Trump in Israel. Will Abbas laugh at him, too?

Tuvia Brodie,

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Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.
Now that US President Donald Trump has arrived in Israel, he should announce the US Embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Here’s why:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) acts as if it owns Israel. It demands the US Embassy must remain in Tel Aviv. It expects everyone to comply.

At the UN, 50+ Muslim countries support the PA. They have even ‘kidnapped’ a UN body to pass what amounts to a declaration of war against Israel: Israel must abandon all claims to its ancient-modern capital city, Jerusalem (Joel Gehrke, “UN body demands Israel abandon capital in Jerusalem”, washingtonexaminer, May 2, 2017).

Israel has something called, ‘a basic law’’ (ibid). That law says, in effect, that Jerusalem is complete and united, and is the capital of Israel (ibid). But the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has demanded that Israel essentially rescind that law so Jerusalem can be taken over by the PA (at some future-but-unnamed date) (ibid). Really?

In what was perhaps an attempt to humiliate Israel, UNESCO had the gall to pass this insulting anti-Israel resolution on Israel’s Independence Day—the day Israel celebrates its modern re-creation. On this day, in other words, UNESCO demanded Israel ‘uncreate’ its eternal capital.

Remember now, Jerusalem isn't just a city. it isn't simply a capital. Because of the religious significance of Jerusalem to Judaism itself, Jerusalem is really the heart of the Jewish people ("Jerusalem is the heart of our existence". arutzsheva, May 22, 2017). It beats at the heart of Judaism. 

The point of the joint PA-UN assault on Jerusalem is to cut out that heart. The PA-UN union wants to destroy all that is Jewish in Jerusalem so it can claim all of Jerusalem as purely Islamic--just as it claimed the Temple Mount as Islamic, not Jewish (the October 2016 UNESCO vote). 

This is the background that welcomes US president Donald Trump’s visit to Israel. He comes to Israel at a time when the existential threat to Israel is, arguably, at its greatest. The PA is happy the UN denies all Jewish connection to Judaism’s holiest site on earth, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (the October 2016 UNESCO vote). It’s delighted the UN denies all Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem (the May 2016 UNESCO vote).

This assault on what’s most Jewish about Israel has nothing to do with Palestinian self-determination. It’s about Islamic conquest. It’s part of the drive to obliterate the Jewish Israel forever.

This is why every map published by the PA of the new ‘Palestine’ never shows that ‘Palestine’ next to Israel. It shows that ‘Palestine’ in place of Israel.

President Trump’s visit here is crucial. He can help the isolated Israel by declaring that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East- -and therefore worthy of America's protection. He can announce that Israel is a staunch and dependable ally of the US--and therefore worthy of America's friendship. 

He needs to say more. It’s well-known that Arab leaders respect power—and, most important, respect the clear willingness to use that power (Gideon Israel, “What Trump needs to say to Abbas”,frontpagemag, May 2, 2017).  Arab leaders lose all respect for one who has power but won’t use it (ibid). They see powerful countries which are hesitant to use its power as weak and capable of being manipulated (ibid). This is how Abbas saw US President Barack Obama. In his own way, Abbas laughed at Obama.

If Trump begins to act like Obama, he, too, will lose Abbas’ respect. As a consequence, Israel will suffer just as it did when Obama was president. But if Trump stands strong with Abbas, he’ll win.

So far, Abbas has lied to Trump. He’s rejected—as ‘insane’--a Trump request to stop paying salaries to Arab terrorists in Israel prisons. He’s declared he’s not ‘ready’ to sit face-to-face with Netanyahu to talk peace. In other words, so far, Abbas acts as if he can do anything he wants with Trump, just as he did with Obama.

Trump needs to show that Abbas is the supplicant in these peace talks, not the victor. Trump can do that by moving the US Embassy. But when he moves the Embassy, he needs to get tough with Abbas. He needs to say, if Abbas provokes violence over this move, the US will not support the PA in any way--period.

He’s got the US Congress behind him. All he need do is stand up to Abbas—then follow through. He needs to remind Abbas he is not the victor who gets to define the terms of a peace. He is the supplicant.

Right now, Abbas lies to Trump. He honors Jew-killers at home as he talks to Trump of peace .If Trump wants to have any influence over Abbas, he’s got to show he’s tougher than Abbas.

It’s a harsh truth. But it’s what Arab leaders respect. If Trump wants that respect—and the influence it brings--he’s got to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Otherwise, Abbas will, in his own way, laugh at him, too.

I suspect Tanach (the Jewish Bible) suggests Trump won't go down this road. But I can't be sure. 

Stay tuned. This movie isn't over.