U.S. President Donald Trump recently tweeted a clear, long overdue message to Mahmoud Abbas; in effect: you can’t have it both ways.
Offended by Trump’s December speech, which clearly left Jerusalem’s final boundaries to be negotiated by both sides, Abbas overreacted with trademark false accusations, and a huffy rebuttal of the U.S. role as peace broker.
Like the proverbial farmer sawing off a tree limb but forgetting he’s sitting on it, Abbas overlooked the billions in U.S. aid funneled to the PA since the mid-’90s, which last year alone totaled more than $730 million in all sectors—economic and humanitarian, security and justice, and UNRWA. Abbas’s tantrum backfired. It’s payback time.
President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel skirted the question of the city’s final boundaries under Israeli sovereignty, leaving them to be determined by final-status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. His stance is in line with the Oslo Accords, to which both parties agreed amid fanfare and a White House lawn ceremony.
But despite the Palestinians’ signatory acceptance of Jerusalem’s disputed status, their disregard for international law and diplomacy has consistently undermined peace efforts.
With all the attention supposedly now focused on negotiations and “peace talks” between the Israelis and the Palestinians, why is most of the attention going to the ending of the building of new residences on land in towns and villages rightfully belonging to Israel?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently addressed the United Nations General Assembly, strongly defending the existence of the state of Israel, and stressing that the Jewish state "will live forever." He also warned the nations of the world that a nuclear armed Iran will be a great threat not only to Israel and the Middle East, but also to all the world.
He started his speech by saying that he was happy to be addressing the UN General Assembly, which was being presided over by the Israeli Ambassador to the UN. Then the first item on his agenda was to stress the long existence of the state of Israel and to defend its present existence. "Three thousand years ago," he said, "King David ruled over a nation called Israel, and from a capital called Jerusalem." He added, "Today we are happy to have a modern Jewish state that will live forever."
To make a point I would like to go back to the time, months ago, when we all listened to media reports about IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit’s, release from captivity. We heard of his “capture” by armed Palestinian gunmen who, in more accurate terms, were Palestinian terrorists. Furthermore, the term “captured” was a complete and intentional misnomer used by the anti-Israel media. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in 2006, not “captured,” and his two IDF comrades were murdered, not “killed in the conflict.”
You have probably heard mention at some time or other of the "Seven Wonders of the World." Of course, they are all strange and unusual physical phenomena that seem to defy reality. But it seems that another worldwide strange wonder, a mental and psychological wonder, took place at the United Nations a few months ago.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly, asking them to support the establishment of a new, independent Palestinian state and to approve its admission to the United Nations. The great wonder is that so many in that UN crowd vigorously applauded Abbas numerous times, virtually expressing their support for such an undeserved and ridiculous request.
For the past two weeks I have been in Israel introducing political leaders and legislators from the southeastern region of the United States to Israeli officials in Jerusalem and also to the mayors of several Israeli towns and cities along the Gaza border. As I sat with my delegation of dignitaries listening to the various highly informative briefings presented to my group, I could not help but reflect upon the circus act which the elected leader of the Palestinian people performed before the United Nations a few months back. As was noted in our briefings, the leaders of the Palestinian people have expertly mastered the art of manipulating the media in order to capture the hearts and minds of even the most educated people around the world. Like a circus act, this is a marvel and a wonder in and of itself. People attend carnivals and circuses in order to see strange and unusual performances.