subscribe: Posts | Comments      Facebook      Email Steve

On Trump’s phony “Mideast peace plan”


In politics, they say, timing is everything. Today, less than 50 days before the election, Trump is enjoying a spectacle of great pomp and historicity: the signing of a Mideast agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Of course, the timing is blatant: with this move, Trump not only cements the support of his evangelical base, he picks up some Jewish votes and furthers the possibility—a dim one, in my estimation—of winning a Nobel Peace Prize, when the winner is announced on Oct. 11.

Trump wouldn’t be the first politician to time good news with an upcoming election. That’s how the game is played. And he’s pulled this one off rather well. The peace agreement will receive widespread news coverage, especially in conservative media, where they’re already touting this as the equivalent of Teddy Roosevelt ending the Russo-Japanese war (for which T.R. got his own Nobel Peace Prize). Trump knows how to do this kind of stuff. It’s all part of getting the T.V. ratings, and I don’t fault him for a moment for doing it.

The problem, from the point of view of this Jew, is that Trump’s Mideast policy is a catastrophe. It gives Israel everything it has always wanted—formalizing Jerusalem as the capital and letting Israel “immediately” annex its West Bank settlements. More importantly, the Trump plan basically jettisons a two-state solution forever. The Palestinian people have thus been robbed of the goal for which they’ve fought for the last seventy years; Trump has essentially told them to forget about ever having their own country.

I’m no hardline lefty, but I do read history, and I don’t like the fact that Israel, with United Nations connivance, has purloined the land the Palestinians have lived on since time immemorial. This is a people, the Palestinians, who through no fault of their own have been robbed of nationhood, been consigned to the most dismal poverty, and have had their hopes and dreams stolen from them. Yes, it’s true that the Palestinians have been some of the most recalcitrant people on earth. Their insane vow—to drive Israel into the sea—has never been reneged. Their obvious hatred of Jews is psychopathological, but then, so is Israel’s obvious hatred of the Palestinians. The latter have done some of the most egregious things against Israel for decades, a period of time in which they could have reached some kind of settlement with their neighbors. But what was offered to them was never, in their estimation, what they really wanted and deserved: their own country.

Who can criticize a people for rebelling against having their nationhood taken from them? Can you imagine how the armed militias in our own country would react if, somehow or other, another country seized control of large parts of America? The Proud Boys and their ilk would launch their own Intifada and the fighting would be horrendous. I was totally shocked when I heard of Jared Kushner’s “peace plan,” which predictably drew howls of outrage from the Palestinians, who will never support it. Far from being a “peace plan,” this is simply a continuing step towards war.

To understand why Trump and Kushner did what they did, you have to understand two things. First is Trump’s reliance on the evangelicals, and vice versa. The evangelicals believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. We all know the Bible can be interpreted pretty much any way anyone wants; in the case of the evangelicals, they think that Jesus won’t return for a second coming until Jerusalem is restored as Israel’s capital (check that one off as accomplished) and Israel is restored to her Biblical borders, including Judea and Samaria, i.e. the West Bank. Again, mission accomplished.

But you also have to understand that Jared Kushner’s brand of Judaism is very similar to the Wahhabi brand of Islam, which is to say, one of its most fundamentalist, militant and irrational sects; Osama bin Laden was a Wahhabist. Most American Jews properly shun the Kushner brand of Orthodox Judaism, which, while not as extreme as the cult-like Hasidic forms of Judaism, nonetheless sees the Bible as literally true, and Israel as the most important country in the world. That this makes Kushner something of a dual-allegiance American is seldom discussed, but there can be no doubt that he views Israel’s Jews as a superior class of human and the Palestinians as a lesser form, not deserving of the same rights and privileges as Jews.

This runs counter to everything I’ve ever understood about my religion. We believe in fairness, in equity, in righting historical wrongs, not continuing them. We believe in compassion for a slighted people, the Palestinians, who have been kicked around by the West for centuries: by the Ottoman Turks, by Britain and France during their heyday, and, since World War II, by Israel and its patron, America.

The plight of the Palestinian people has not been abated one bit by this fake “peace plan” of Trump and Kushner. The day of reckoning hasn’t even been postponed. The Palestinians aren’t going away. Their birth rate is one of the highest in the world; Israel will continue to be surrounded by hostile Muslims made even angrier and more desperate by Trump’s betrayal of the Palestinians. It’s sad to see history being raped in the way that Trump currently is raping it, and it’s even sadder to see the news media not telling the truth about the “peace deal.”

Leave a Reply


Recent Comments

Recent Posts