John Kerry, who served as US Secretary of State under former US President Barack Obama, claimed more than once that poverty leads to terror. We'll give the poor economic prosperity, he thought, and the level of terror will drop. If anyone thought that the Trump administration had changed direction - the "deal of the century" proves that nothing has changed.
The economic workshop, to be held this week in Bahrain, is proof. We'll give the "Palestinians" economic prosperity, says Jared Kushner, who leads the Trump administration's peace deal staff, and the level of enmity will drop.
Both Kerry and Kushner, along with many others, should know that this is an illusion. The poor in Africa do not choose terror. There are millions of poor people in Nigeria. They don't choose terror. And among the "Palestinians" as well, those who choose violence are not necessarily poor.
The city of Shechem (Nablus) has enjoyed relative prosperity in recent years, thanks to the buying power of Israeli Arabs. Has it changed anything for Zakaria Zubeidi? After all, in recent years he has enjoyed status and is well-to-do financially. But he went back to terror. Because the brainwashing and incitement are a lot stronger than the options of money and prosperity. All the mass terror attacks in the US were carried out by successful, middle-class Muslim youth. Did any of that prevent them from choosing terror?
The biggest obstacle to achieving peace was and remains the fantasy of a "Palestinian right of return," which are supported by not insignificant portions of academia, the media, and the Israeli and global Left. In this sense, the anti-Israel campaigns are not promoting peace. They are preventing it. In order to advance towards peace, we need to look the "Palestinians" in the eye. They'll act like adults the moment we treat them like adults. Anyone who walks around campuses around the world and turns Israel into a criminal is someone who encourages their fantasies, someone who is funding UNRWA, someone who is cultivates the illusion of return - and someone who is perpetuating the problem.
It's difficult, very difficult, to wean an entire community off illusions. After all, the "forces of progress" cultivate illusions. It's a lot easier to invite people to a workshop in Bahrain. Kerry's mistake was in his theory regarding poverty and terror. Kushner, it's sad to see, is repeating that exact same mistake.
The full article was published in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper.