Advocates of Palestinian Statehood are the Biggest Obstacle to Palestinian Statehood

Who is the greatest obstacle to Palestinian statehood? It’s not Donald Trump, he could go away tomorrow and nothing would change. It’s not Benjamin Netanyahu, he too could go away tomorrow and nothing would change. No, rather it is the likes of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Peter Beinart.

Consider that since the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian Authority has had two presidents, only getting a new one when the first one died. Israel on the other hand has had six different individual prime ministers and the United States has had four different presidents of various persuasions. Yet Labor, Likud, or Kadima Israeli prime minister nor any Republican or Democratic U.S. president can get a Palestinian leader, who does not have to face the voters, to make a deal. Why not?

Some may say that the assassination of Yitzah Rabin made the prospects of a peace deal impossible and that therefore this is Israel’s fault because there are no real differences between Israeli prime ministers, party labels notwithstanding, because the they are afraid of the electorate. Maybe, but this does not explain why Ehud Barak threw public opinion to the wayside in a failed attempt to reach a deal with Yasser Arafat at Camp David in 2000.

Democrats not named Tlaib and Omar like to accuse Trump (and Republicans generally) and Netanyahu of turning the U.S.-Israel alliance into a partisan issue. The problem with this line of thinking is that as a result of the before-mentioned Barak throwing public opinion to the wayside to do what he thought was in Israel’s best interest, the Israeli Labor Party might as well be a dinosaur: something that was once great, but has since gone extinct. The Second Intifada, which Palestinians justified on the grounds that Ariel Sharon dared to go to a Jewish holy site, the Temple Mount, and the security disaster that resulted from the 2005 Gaza disengagement has left left-wing ideas about what it takes to achieve peace fully discredited within Israel. Yet, nobody in the media or the Democratic Party has recognized this fact. They just keep banging their heads against the wall. People on the left wish for or seek Netanyahu’s defeat without considering that his main opposition is running to his right on security matters. If Bernie Sanders and people like him thinks that leveraging U.S. aid to Israel is going to get the Israelis to change their behavior, they are delusional.

In an attempt to think outside the box, the Trump Administration has taken a different approach to the conflict. Still, despite their efforts, the likelihood that any deal gets signed is pretty much zero, but why? Critics will and already are citing such things such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and cutting aid to UNRWA. In other words, an approach to the conflict that slants heavily towards Israel. No.

First, the embassy move was hardly radical. It has been long understood that at the very least, West Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. Everybody knows that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the only reason it was not done sooner is because everybody is terrified of upsetting Palestinian sensibilities. Far from being some radical departure from previous policy, during his announcement on the matter, Trump declined to endorse a vision for the future of Jerusalem, instead merely recognizing that just as Paris is the capital of France, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

As for UNRWA, those refugee camps, if they can still be called that after 70 years, are hotbeds of anti-Israel agitation and indoctrination. They exist solely because the Arab states refused to accept their ancestors after they invaded the infant Israel in 1948. Israel by contrast, took in Jewish refugees created by that war. They exist as a political pawn for Palestinian negotiators to leverage a right of return, a condition that no Israeli prime minister, left, right, or center is ever going agree to. You can’t argue that Israel needs a deal if it wants to remain both Jewish and democratic on one hand and then demand on the other that non-Jewish refugees or “refugees” have a right to resettle in the Jewish State.

Speaking of conditions that no Israeli prime minister will ever accept, herein lies the problem. Nobody wants to be the equivalent of the adult in the room and tell the Palestinian leadership to stop acting like children. The narrative that Israel, the regional power, is oppressing the poor stateless people of Palestine is too baked into the international narrative to be challenged in any effective way: if the UN says so it must be true. The result has been that the PA can cling to their absolutist demands despite holding none of the cards. At the peace table, Israel holds all the cards and they are not going to throw that advantage away in a futile attempt to appease the Israel haters at Turtle Bay. Welcome to the reality of geopolitics.

Once again, we see the problem: one side has all the leverage in terms of the actual on the ground situation, one side has the support of “the international community,” so nobody budges. Self-styled champions of the Palestinian cause continue to encourage a futile “resistance” to the “occupation.” The more radical anti-Semitic ones hold out visions of a pre-Balfour Declaration Palestine where the Jewish State is destroyed. Others just live with the belief that the justness of the cause is sufficient to place the all the blame on Israel and that if, in spite of all evidence, they can keep up the pressure, the Israelis will eventually capitulate.

These people do nothing for the people they claim to care about.

As mentioned before, the Palestinians are not exactly in a position to be making demands, therefore if they honestly want a state (and that’s a big “if”) need to ask what they want as part of their future state and what they need. Do you need East Jerusalem do be your capital or is that merely an aspiration? Why are you demanding that non-Jews be allowed to settle in the Jewish State as part of a final deal?

There are many people who will say something to the effect of “It is because I love Israel that I oppose Netanyahu,” the problem is there are no people who will say “It is because I support the Palestinian cause that I oppose the right of return or the idea of a divided Jerusalem.”

This is the great tragedy of Rashida Tlaib. As a Palestinian-American she has a tremendous platform to denounce the self-serving and corrupt PA, including President Mahmoud Abbas. As a good progressive Democrat she could preach peace and tolerance between the two peoples and condemn the hate and not only the terrorism, but also the glorification and the subsidization of it. Instead she spews revisionist history about the conflict and the Holocaust, while supporting the anti-Semitic BDS movement and sharing anti-Semitic cartoons on Instagram. Tlaib’s much talked about cancelled trip to Israel with Ilhan Omar referred to the trip’s destination as “Palestine” despite the duo being scheduled to land in Tel Aviv. The only people who think Tel Aviv is in Palestine are those who do not believe Israel has a right to exist. Instead of trying to move the ball down the field towards the end zone of peace, Tlaib continues to encourage futile resistance, which will do nothing to advance the cause she claims to care so deeply about. She is the perfect example of the advocate who does more damage to the cause of Palestinian statehood than any American or Israeli right-winger could ever dream of.

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Writing about politics and other interesting things. Contributing Writer to NewsBusters. Member of YAF’s National Journalism Center’s Spring 2019 class.

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Alex Christy

Alex Christy

Writing about politics and other interesting things. Contributing Writer to NewsBusters. Member of YAF’s National Journalism Center’s Spring 2019 class.

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