The pace of rumors, attacks, and preemptive panicked rejections is accelerating as the release date of the Trump administration’s peace deal draws near.
The most common targets of the attacks, aside from the president himself, have been the leaders of his negotiating team, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. The media are infuriated, not only because it’s their default reaction to everything this White House does, but also because Kushner and Greenblatt have managed to keep their work remarkably leak-free.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) denounces them because the Trump Administration has broken with longstanding practice and decided not to coddle and fetishize the PA, but to treat it as the corrupt, terrorist kleptocracy it is.
No one, however, seems to have as much venom for Kushner and Greenblatt as the Washington intelligentsia, the “Middle East Experts” who have built lucrative careers peddling a flawed and unjust conventional wisdom. For them, President Trump and his team of outsiders represent the gravest of all possible threats: realism, clarity, and the exposure that could put a sudden end to their pompous sinecures of failure.
Think-tankers, diplomats, academics, and pundits cringed when President Trump called upon Arab heads of state to drive Islamists from their midst.
They gasped when Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, relocated the U.S. embassy, and then recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan.
They seethed when Trump withdrew from Obama’s odious deal funding Iranian terror and normalizing the Islamic Republic as a nuclear threshold state.
They wailed when Trump refused to sacrifice American interests due to the botched Saudi operation against Jamal Khashoggi, a terror-abetting Muslim Brotherhood propagandist who infiltrated their blind, foolish, self-important Washington clique and was accepted as a “journalist” and peer.
They howled when he designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, offered a $10 million reward for information interrupting Hezbollah’s terror-financing network, and announced plans to join Arab allies in recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
Those overwrought histrionics pale in comparison, however, to their apoplexy as they contemplate the looming loss of their crown jewel: the “Two-State Solution.” They dread a realistic, workable plan. It would lay bare the damage they’ve inflicted upon innocents in pursuit of a delusion that made sense only in Western seminar rooms, never on the ground in the Middle East.
So much so, in fact, that they’ve let slip the truth. After decades of protesting that their vaunted “Two-State Solution” was necessary to promote regional peace and stability – every part of which has been demonstrably false – their tune has now changed. Now they attack Trump, Greenblatt, and Kushner for crafting a plan that may not fulfill “the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.”
This shift raises two lines of questioning. First, if the Trump team produces a plan that enhances regional security and stability and builds the groundwork for a durable peace, should anyone care if it fails to fulfill aspirations that the Washington intelligentsia deems “legitimate”?
Second, what is Palestine? Who are its people? What are their aspirations? Which of those should Americans regard as “legitimate?”
Contrary to conventional wisdom and “expert” dogma, the answers to these questions do not support the creation of a new Arab state. Palestine was a name the Romans coined for Judea in the 2nd century to punish the Jews for a series of rebellions. From then until the 20th-century re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty, no people or state of Palestine ever existed.
No one ever claimed membership in a Palestinian nation. No one ever suggested that the residents of Palestine – Jews, Christians, Muslims, or anyone else – were meaningfully distinct from the residents of Syria, Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) or the Arabian peninsula.
In 1920, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations installed the UK as the Mandatory for a “Palestine” whose map corresponded roughly to modern Israel and Jordan. The League tasked the British with establishing a Jewish homeland that respected the civil and religious rights of the region’s other residents. Within the lands of their Mandate, the British created an Arab, Muslim state east of the Jordan River – the bulk of the territory – and withdrew to enable a Jewish state to its west.
The remaining “legitimate aspirations” of the “people of Palestine” all rest upon stability and security.
On these humane, compassionate, just objectives, every action the Trump Administration has taken, and every indication Kushner, Greenblatt, and their team have given, points in the right direction. It is the corrupt, murderous “Two-State Solution” that fails to accommodate legitimate aspirations, exercise compassion, or comport with any meaningful sense of justice. No wonder its enablers are enraged.