The Israeli-Arab conflict has long been viewed as an intractable problem. The gap between what one side is willing to accept and another willing to give is both wide and deep. Even with such reality, governments around the world verbally encourage direct communication between the parties and state their support of an outcome which both Israelis and Palestinians would endorse.
But those parties then do everything to undermine that very concept.
The United Nations and many Arab countries stated that the basis for a peace agreement was two states along the 1949 Armistice Lines with “East Jerusalem” as the capital, echoing the stated position of one side, the Palestinians. The UN and Arab countries pushed laws that made it illegal for Israeli Jews to live in those lands and promoted a boycott movement of any business that operated east of the Green Line. These were not activities designed to promote Palestinian-Israeli dialogue but to hand the Palestinians everything they sought WITHOUT dialogue.
Further, the Palestinian Authority and Israel had signed agreements specifically stating that Israel controlled most of the “West Bank,” an area known as “Area C” in the Oslo Accords. So not only did the global community hinder dialogue between the parties, it ignored and undermined the agreements already signed by them!
The United States under President Donald Trump moved to reorient the two parties and the global community back to the basic principles of having two parties desirous of peace sit and negotiate treaties which would THEN be accepted by the entire world.
Rather than parrot the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 which gave the Palestinians everything they desired, Trump put forward a plan which Israelis desired. Finally there were two plans made public by third parties which could serve as the starting points for negotiation.
More directly, Trump advanced the Taylor Force Act which precluded handing the Palestinian Authority U.S. money while the PA financed terrorism. Trump also endorsed the Oslo Accords which stated that Area C is Israeli Territory. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited some of those Israeli Territories this week and stated clearly that any product made in those areas should carry the label “Made in Israel,” much the way products made in Puerto Rico and American Samoa are labeled “Made in U.S.A.”
For too long the world gave Palestinians a pass for terrorism and the impression that they will get everything they desire now without negotiating and signing agreements with Israel. The Trump Administration has taken several important actions to refocus the parties towards a roadmap for an enduring peace.
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