Please don't rock the boat. Don't stray from the path that has proven to be effective. Too many have died, too many lives ruined. Please,stay with the initiative that has ushered in one of the most peaceful times in recent history.
Why did previous administrations fail while the last administration slowed the cycle of violence and offered unprecedented hope for a true and lasting peace?
1. Examining the claims. Palestinian negotiator's claims were generally accepted outright, without much research into their validity, or consideration for the inevitable consequences of accepting such demands. This led to negotiations that started at a place much too steep for Israeli negotiators to even consider realistic talks. A basic and objective check on these claims would have quickly resulted in the nullification of many of them.
For example the demand for "the right of return". Well, why was it that so many Arabs left Israel in the first place? Were any even forced out? Why did Arab nations require the incoming refugees to remain in refugee camps, kept in squalid conditions, while other refugees have long ago been settled and rebuilt their lives?
Even the basic claim to "restore" the "Palestinian State" raises many red flags. Was there ever really a Palestinian Arab nation? Did they ever have rulership anywhere? Or perhaps it is all a pretext to simply gain valuable land? Perhaps the "poor Palestinian people" cause, is a multi billion dollar money maker where leaders like Arafat, Abbas and Hamas get filthy rich by inciting others to violence, continuously fueling the flames of hatred, while staying safely behind the scenes. Have you checked why they are sitting on billions of dollars? Why PA schools books are filled with antisemitism?
A minimal amount of research will reward you with a treasure trove of proof clearly spelling out that the claim for Statehood may not be so innocent. Sure there are local Arabs who are suffering, wishing for a better life, but is an independent Palestinian Arab State with its own army and police their true solution?
President Biden, send some people undercover and go ask the average Arab in Judea and Samaria what they would honestly prefer, to live under Israeli rule, with peace, where Jews would feel comfortable to hire them and buy by them, or under an independent Palestinian rule? The answer will shock you.
Don't ask the "leaders" who stand to gain power and wealth that comes with ruling over a State. Ask the average man, the one you truly seek to help. Perhaps statehood would only serve the leaders agenda and leave the great populous behind. Most serious of all, a State could be used as a staging ground to ignite a regional war sponsored by Iran, who is the main supporter of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Iran's desire to "wipe Israel off the map" is no secret.
The previous administration took issues that were unjustified off the table, right away. The right of return in no longer relevant. The claim is weak and the result would end the Jewish State. The next obvious truth is that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people. That was the biggest no-brainer of all. All of mankind has know this for a few thousand years. Despite the warning from all the "experts" who have made a lucrative career despite failing miserably in middle east policy, the moving of the American embassy ignited no war, was mostly forgotten a month later and served to take a huge issue off the table.
What genuine problem really needs to be solved and who exactly are we solving it for?
2. Rewarding terrorism. Every civilized country has realized long ago that rewarding terrorism inevitably backfires and naturally leads to more terrorism. Yet in Israel there is a glaring, blatant double standard. Terrorists were magically labeled as "freedom fighters" and threats and ransoms became "a legitimate struggle". Attempts to defend or prevent further terrorism were regularly criticized by UN resolutions. The approach of justifying terror has only lead to new levels of horror, blood flowing in the streets and a living hell for both sides. It has only furthered any chance of a real peace.
Fanatic Islamic cells around the world quickly learned from the successful, bloody campaign of the Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and others. Blow people up with a sad story justifying your cause and explaining that this is the only way to bring needed justice. Your voice will be heard, the sympathy will come. The other side will weaken and eventually give in. The model was duplicated in countries all around the world with horrific results. Many countries experienced first hand for the first time the bitter taste of extremist Islamic Jihad.
As I write these words the Palestinian Authority continues to proudly publicize that they make monthly payments to convicted terrorist locked away in Israeli jails. Not "freedom fighters", but killers of innocent men, women and children who are now being openly supported by the PA. The previous administration put an end to this. Not the PA support to terrorists, for the PA refused outright to stop these blood payments. America simply stoped funds from going to the PA. Nevertheless, the PA gave up on millions of dollars in American support just so they could continue to publicly support convicted terrorists. What does that tell you?
The PA still got the clear message that America does not negotiate with and certainly will not support terrorism, directly or indirectly in any way, shape or form. The PA also got the message that Israel has a clear right to protect itself. Israel will not be restrained if there is a coordinated attack originating from the PA or any other terrorist organization operating within the PA's jurisdiction. The past four years have marked a dramatic reduction in terrorism in Israel, specifically large scale Hamas attacks.
Did Israel take advantage in any way whatsoever of the clear support for the State of Israel to defend itself? Absolutely not. Quite the opposite. There are less roadblocks now than there were four years ago. Thanks to the reduction in violence, Arabs are now more free and have greater opportunities than they have had in many years. Once terrorism is clearly taken off the table, condemned, never condoned or justified, never supported in any way, we can all move forward with productive alternatives and initiatives.
So President Biden, Jews from around the world will continue to pray for peace and for God to guide you faithfully towards it. It's clear to all that your administration was highly critical of the previous. Such is the nature of politics...
Nonetheless, it is also clear to all that the recent, new and honest approach has produced four of the most relatively peaceful years in recent memory and finally pointed the way to a true and lasting peace. There is still a long way to go, but we are now clearly headed in the right direction.
Please don't rock the boat.
Rabbi Avraham Daniel Fried is the Vice President of Degel Ami, founder and CEO of Amutat Darashti Kirvatecha and moderator of the Israeli Frontline facebook group. He received his MA in Education from Yeshiva University and has dedicated his efforts towards Jewish outreach, education and the connecting of donors to organizations for the sake of "strengthening the Jewish nation and adding to the light."