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President Trump's Realpolitik Middle East Opportunity
President Trump's Realpolitik Middle East Opportunity
If there is one thing that President-Elect Trump may do right, it is apply some Realpolitik to the Mideast. It may be the only possible way to deal with the matter.
By Mike Konrad
If there is one thing that President-elect Trump may do right, it is apply some Realpolitik to the Mideast. It may be the only possible way to deal with the matter.
For far too long, the world has tried to solve the Mideast morass from a position of morality. However, when the competing sides have completely opposing moralities, there can be no common ground. Out of the frustration arise completely wild-eyed proposals that have absolutely no hope of working.
The Arabists are now proposing a one-state solution, where both Jews and Arabs would be equally enfranchised inside a secular state. Even were one to assume that such a proposal is morally defensible, does anyone seriously believe that Israel's Jews will ever allow themselves to become hostage to a Muslim Arab demographic that could possibly outnumber the Jews at some point.
The most famous proponent -- not the only one -- of this one state solution is Ali Abunimah at the Electronic Intifada (https://electronicintifada.net/), who wrote One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (https://www.amazon.com/One-Country-P.../dp/0805086668). The proposal is neither bold, nor new. The Arabs put forth the same proposal during the 1947 United Nations debate on the partition of the Palestine Mandate. The Jews were adamantly against it. They wanted their own Jewish majority state. What the Jewish community rejected in 1947, they will reject now; and pretty much for the same reasons. Muslim constituencies and polities are insane.
On a basic level, this is not even a question of right or wrong, but of reality. Yet, Mr. Abunimah is a star on the college lecture circuit (See video #1 at bottom of this post), where he pedals this flat-earth solution to navigating the hazards of the Mideast, to academic applause.
On the Israeli side, there are dozens of theorists who concoct equally absurd solutions. One favorite idea is that the Arab denizens -- in the legal sense (https://thelastbastille.wordpress.co...gally-defined/) of a disenfranchised inhabitant of a region -- of Judea and Samaria would be tendered only residency rights, while Israel could control the security borders; and the Arabs' legal citizenship would be settled with Jordan.
Did anyone ask if Jordan would agree to this? Apparently not!
Over the past few decades, the Jordanians' biggest nightmare has been the talk about resettling the Palestinians in the kingdom by turning them into permanent citizens. The talk about turning Jordan into a Palestinian state has also created panic and anger among Jordanians. -- Gatestone Institute - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6...n-palestinians
As wonderful as the pro-Israel proposal may be on paper, Jordan will not commit suicide to help Israel.
Equally deranged are those who propose that the Palestinians be given Sinai (http://www.shamrak.com/sh_articles/E...i%20Option.htm). Egypt would no more cede its territory to the Palestinians than Israel would cede the Negev to them. The last thing Egypt's Sisi administration (http://www.thetower.org/1593oc-egypt...-terror-group/) wants is 2 million Hamas-affiliated Gazans given an independent state adjacent to Egypt; or worse yet, absorbed into Egypt.
I understand the Jewish desire to redeem the land, but it should not cloud their reason. The Arabs are not eager that the Zionist endeavor succeed, and will do nothing to help it along. Any proposal predicated on group Arab assistance is delusional, and should not be entertained.
Sadly, the Palestinians are Israel's problem.
Beyond comprehension, is the suggestion of the otherwise reliable Michael Curtis:
The Palestinians would do well to honor the 100th anniversary of the [Balfour] declaration. -- American Thinker - http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...claration.html
Hasn't Mr. Curtis read the founder of right-wing Zionism, Ze'ev Jabotinsky? who speaking of the Palestinians Arabs, wrote:
The native populations, civilised or uncivilised, have always stubbornly resisted the colonists, irrespective of whether they were civilised or savage. -- The Iron Wall (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...l.html)/Jewish Virtual Library
One thing about Jabotinsky, he was clear headed. He did not seek Arab approval. Likewise, President Trump should dispense with moral considerations, and deal with the reality on the ground.
He should deal with the Mideast on these terms:
- Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Israel does not want to divide the city. This is a de facto reality. He should move the embassy to the capital, Jerusalem, which is the norm for American embassies.
- President Trump should stop pressuring Israel to divide Jerusalem or to divide Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. It should be apparent by now that Israel will not divide either. President Trump should stop the pressure, for no other reason than it is a waste of money. Again, not a moral decision, but a practical one.
- President Trump could, if he wants, use the embassy move as a bargaining chip to get Israel to issue more building permits to Palestinian Arabs in the eastern side of the city. Israel is rather heavy handed with the issuance of building permits to Arabs and the assigning of fees. For example: Jews who build in Jerusalem may have some of the burdensome local construction fees subsidized by the state, while the Arab residents have to pay them. Israel would consider the presence of the US Embassy in Jerusalem more important and Trump could get a symbolic minor concession in return which would, in no way, diminish Israeli sovereignty, the recognition of which is what Israel really wants.
- President Trump could declare that the peace process is over. It never had a chance. No need to assign blame, just announce that it is a waste of money. Ignoring morality, frankly, neither side wanted to give up land, or recognize the sovereignty of the other in the land. President Trump could say that he will use the money to rebuild Detroit (See video #2 at bottom of this post), which has enough Arabs of it own from nearby Dearborn (See video number 3 at bottom of this post). It would help take the pressure off of Israel. And the president could maintain the fiction of neutrality.
- President Trump could say he will cut down or cut out all subsidies to the Palestinian Authority. This would be a mixed bag. A lot of the those subsidies are spent by the Palestinians purchasing Israeli products, such as food, or consumer goods, and Israeli workers would lose jobs. Both sides would be hurt. But it would cost the USA nothing.
- President Trump could, as much as is possible, work to undo the damage of Obama's deal with Iran. Unfortunately, this cannot be fully undone. The cat cannot be put back in the bag; and Russia and much of Europe will not toe the line. But US manufacturers, oil companies, and banks could be prohibited from dealing with Iran. It would cost nothing and have a major effect.
- President Trump could agree to stop trying to overthrow Assad, in return for Putin breaking economic concessions with Iran. Highly unlikely, but some arrangement could be worked out.
- President Trump could inform the world that he will not pressure Jews to stop building in Judea and Samaria. He will spend his time trying to re-build Newark, New Jersey, instead. Let Europe pressure Israel if they want; and bear the expenses.
- As a balance, he could also inform Israel that while he will not interfere with the "redemption of the land," neither can he stop the world from protesting Israel's actions. If Israel wants all of the land -- which the right wing in Israel does -- then Israel has to finally deal with the Palestinian issue on realistic, not delusional, terms. Israel cannot continue its present practice of doing nothing, stalling, denying the ugliness of maintaining millions of people under martial law for decades, while hoping the problem disappears.
In basic terms, President Trump could present Israel with two options.
A) Since Israel does not want to surrender the land, Israel must either slowly start to enfranchise and assimilate the Palestinians Arabs, forgetting this nonsense about Jordan or Egypt absorbing them, and stop this stalling;
- or -
B) Make arrangements with individual Arabs, especially the females, to reimburse Arab individuals to leave. This will not be cheap, and Israel must be prepared to pay the expenses. It would have to be on a discrete individual basis, as no Palestinian group would sign on.
If the Israelis choose Plan B, President Trump should put massive pressure on other Arab states to accept and naturalize these Palestinian Arabs who come in with money. If the Arabs states prove recalcitrant, as they will inevitably be, the US should bring all diplomatic, economic, and cultural pressure to bear on the unwilling. Immigration quotas should be cut off; no financial aid. The US should convince Europe to do likewise.
If that fails, as it might, Indonesia and, Malaysia could be pressured to accept their fellow Muslims. South America, which has a history of assimilating Arabs, might be convinced to accept some of the Palestinians, if they were selected from only the most peaceful, with an eye to preferring females.
President Trump can do all of this without moralizing and without much cost. Many of these suggestions do not involve directly imposing American policies on anyone, and would only require a few phone calls.
We do not have to do anything to ignore Jewish settlements, without criticism. Shutting down a futile peace process would cost us nothing. It costs nothing to tell Morocco to accept some Palestinians or we will not accept Moroccan immigrants.
This would all proceed from a simple Realpolitik philosophy, which would seem to be agreeable to his "whatever works" personality. It avoids the trap of ridiculous ideas, and just acts to solve the problem in an effective, if amoral basis. If it brings some peace to the Mideast, it would be the most moral option.
Last edited by Paparock; 11-13-2016 at 04:33 PM..