Friday, March 23, 2018

The Unifying Force of Sectarian Islam and the Institutionalization of Hatred of Israel

Yesterday, [March 13, 2018] the White House hosted a conference with representatives from 20 countries, including Israel and many Arab states, to discuss solutions to the worsening humanitarian and economic conditions in Gaza.  The conference, convened by White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and members of the National Security Council (NSC) staff and the Department of State, was attended by representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, the Office of the Quartet, and the following countries: Bahrain, Canada, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.  The White House conference built upon a meeting held in Cairo, Egypt, last week, and will carry ideas forward to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting in Brussels, Belgium, at the end of the month.  The Administration of President Donald J. Trump believes that deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza require immediate attention.  The situation in Gaza must be solved for humanitarian reasons and for ensuring the security of Egypt and Israel.  It is also a necessary step toward reaching a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, including Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank.  The attendees yesterday discussed concrete proposals for finding realistic, effective approaches to the challenges Gaza currently faces.  White House officials presented specific project ideas, developed in conjunction with the NSC staff and Department of State officials, which the AHLC may seek to fund through discussions at its upcoming meeting in Brussels.  The nations and entities represented at the conference have the ability to work together and make a difference.  The dialogue will continue, in the coming days, in close coordination with other stakeholders, as all parties take tangible steps toward making meaningful improvements in the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza.
 
When President Donald Trump made his announcement that the United States finally would formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and make plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem where all Israeli government agencies are located, the Palestinian Authority went into hissy-fit overdrive. At a subsequent meeting of the Arab League, Mahmoud Abbas went into paroxysms of shrill rage, condemning in no uncertain terms the White House and the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinians boycott Jared Kushner's White House conference on Gaza
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has effectively cut off ties to Washington [Getty]

Calling upon Arab nations to do their duty by the Palestinians to rise in rage and reject the American initiative, he fumed and fulminated and accused both the U.S. and Israel of all manner of dastardly plots against Palestinians. Others at the conference listened, drummed their fingers, yawned and failed to respond as instructed; no vehement protests were forthcoming from members of the Arab League directed either toward the United States or against Israel. Since then, all indications are that those same Arab states have attempted to reason with Abbas.

The White House chaired a conference on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza last week. In attendance were the Arab states' representatives as well as Israel, and other members of the international community. Absent: Palestinian representatives; they simply would not lower themselves, preferring to retain their august dignity rather than attend such an event orchestrated by the White House and the president's son-in-law in his role as arbitrator urging a peace agreement between Israel and the P.A.
A Palestinian women walks past graffiti painted on the wall of the building of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City on 8 January 2018. MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images
The Arab states, those with Sunni majorities and Sunni governments were there for a dual reason. Relations with Israel have warmed behind the scenes, quite discreetly but quite practically, in a compact that unites them against the Shiite triangle of the Islamic Republic of Iran which has effectively captured Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq in its net, aiming directly to elevate Iranian influence and control of the Middle East. A prospect unbeloved by the Arab Sunni nations. Which welcome Israel's powerful military might to its agenda.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on his way to mounting the throne with the abdication of his father is a crucial component in the arrangement structured by the White House, bringing with him Egypt, and the Gulf principalities. Saudi Arabia, it would appear, has, under the influence of the White House, informed the Palestinian Authority of its expectation that it would accede to the U.S.-brokered peace talks bringing peace to its final conclusion between Israel and the Palestinians.

As if it could be readily accomplished. As if the Palestinian leaders and their Arab nation counterparts hadn't over generations, persuaded their populations that Israel has no business settling itself comfortably in the Middle East and Jews can be trusted and relied upon to be good neighbours. The Arab street has been so persuaded through official government channels to believe Israel to be a foreign interloper, so inculcated with suspicion and hatred, those same leaders are now facing the prospect of rejection of a move to recognize Israel's right to exist just where it is.

Above all, Mahmoud Abbas, who has never stopped portraying Israel as a malign force determined to eradicate the presence of Palestinians, rewarding Palestinians who commit themselves to martyrdom services to the cause of "resisting" the "occupiers" and "oppressors" of an "apartheid state" knows full well that if he accedes to any agreement with Israel whereby the two countries could conceivably live amicably side by side, his life would be forfeit, and Hamas, the oppressors of the Gazans, would take over the West Bank by popular concurrence.

Palestinians who consider themselves hapless victims, a steadfast belief fostered both by their leaders and aided and supported by great swaths of the international community remain devoted to that vision of themselves. The United Nations refugee body (UNRWA) established singularly for the purpose of representing Palestinian refugees' interests has ensured that the Palestinians remain refugees. They appeal to the international community as pitiable victims of Israeli aggression, even while the P.A. urges aggression against Israel and rewards those who commit deadly violence.

Palestinian leaders have effectively painted themselves into a corner with their determined portrayal of themselves as leaders of a pathetic nation of refugees unable to exist without the endless support of the international community whose financial contributions enable the victimhood-refugee status they so firmly cling to. The PA agenda of undermining Israel through slanderous public relations claims, and the Hamas intransigence on Israel's existence both lead to sacrificing Palestinian lives and aspirations to normalcy in the greater interests of destroying Israel.

US President Donald Trump's peace envoy Jason Greenblatt (L) tours a Hamas terror tunnel near the Gaza Strip with Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories Yoav 'Poly' Mordechai on August 30, 2017. (COGAT Spokesperson's Office)
US President Donald Trump’s peace envoy Jason Greenblatt (L) tours a Hamas terror tunnel near the Gaza Strip with Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai, on August 30, 2017. (COGAT Spokesperson’s Office)

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