The mouse that roared
The mouse that roared

When the incoming Trump Administration spoke about the possibility of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem the Palestinians began making threats.

Hamas, the Islamic terror regime that controls the Gaza Strip, threatened a new upsurge of violence and terrorism by saying that the move would ”open a new chapter of conflict” and “add fuel to the fire.”

Nasser al-Kidwa, a close relation to the deceased Yasser Arafat and a member of Fatah threatened to downgrade Palestinian Authority ties with the United States.

Mahmoud Abbas said that his leadership would declare that the US is no longer a broker in the Middle East peace process and turn to the United Nations, as if they haven’t already done this.

Palestinian Authority diplomat Saeb Erekat said that the Palestine Liberation Organization, an entity that considers all of Israel as an illegitimate country occupying ‘Palestine,’ would revoke its 1993 decision to recognize the State of Israel.

This is an empty threat. They have never accepted the State of Israel. The PLO Charter still contains Article 2 stating that “Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.” The British Mandate stated that all of Palestine was to be the National Home of the Jewish People.

It is the so-called Palestinian entity that is the fraud here, not the Jewish state.

They are throwing out vacuous statements of “infringements of international law” and “historic legitimate rights” when there aren’t any.

Palestinian leaders like Erekat have a history of saying one thing to the foreign media and something completely different to their own people.

Threatening violence, Article 9 of the PLO Charter says that “Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine.”

“Two-state” solution advocates  should note that this Article would remain the core belief of radical Palestinians should Israel be forced to withdraw from territory and these “Two-State diplomats now insist that the essential heart of the Jewish People be included in this so-called solution.  What is commonly defined as “1967 lines” behind which Israel must relinquish includes the eastern parts of Jerusalem and the Old City which contains most of the most important shrines of Judaic heritage.

Erekat said that all agreements signed with Israel would be dead should the United States move its embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinian signatures are apparently meaningless. When Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in 1993 he agreed to renounce violence. Seven years later he ordered major terror attacks against Israel. This terrorism, known as the Second Intifada, went on for two years peaking with the Passover Massacre at Netanya’s Park Hotel when a Palestinian suicide bomber murdered Jews who had gathered to celebrate the Jewish festival of deliverance.

Palestinian signatures and promises are temporary appeasements, convenient pauses until a more favorable opportunity to eradicate Israel.

Proving this point, Erekat threatened that the entity he represents would consider all agreements signed with Israel null and void and that Israel would be responsible for paying all the salaries of the Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. In other words, he threatened to disband the Palestinian Authority.

This opens up the possibility of applying alternative and better solutions for Israel and for the local Arabs than the two-state failure.

Erekat also warned that he would ask the UN General Assembly to suspend Israel’s membership if the United States moves its embassy. Erekat may have forgotten that the PLO is a non-member observer at the UN and cannot ask the UN to do anything.  

The United Nations has proven by it incessant anti-Israel voting that it is at war against the Jewish state. Yet Israel continues to thrive and develop. It is the Palestinians that threaten and shrivel and, take note; the Arab world is fed up of them.

Erekat threatened to disband the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians should know that this is an opportunity for Israel and the United States to initiate a move away from the failed two-state paradigm.

There are a number of feasible alternative solutions some of which require the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and replacing it with something better for the Arab population of the area. The PA has been a corrupt, undemocratic, violent governing body while the people under its divided authoritarian rule continue to suffer.

Israel, since its inception, has known Arab wars and terror. Israel is strong. Israel will not fold under new threats.

If the Palestinian cannot stop roaring and get back to the negotiation table with a sense of pragmatism that has been so lacking for decades, the time has come for bold new initiatives that would allow Israel to withdraw from the diplomatic cul-de-sac in which it finds itself today.

For this it needs the support of the United States.

The United States should set a marker by moving its embassy to Jerusalem because there is justice in it and it is the right and moral thing to do.

It should acknowledge to the Palestinians and to a world in denial that without the Jews Jerusalem would not have been built thousands of years ago and it is their eternal capital.

The Palestinians Arabs should be told that their stubborn refusal to accept this fact will never bring peace or a state

The United States should move its embassy to Jerusalem and tell the Palestinians that any violent rejection of it would be interpreted as an act of war against the United States.

One more point. The Trump Administration is filtering citizens of countries that promote terror to prevent potential terrorists from entering into the United States. The Palestinians have been at the forefront of inciting and inflicting terrorism for decades. One of them murdered the US Attorney-General Robert Kennedy in 1968. Yasser Arafat ordered the murder the kidnapping and murder of the US Ambassador and his deputy in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1973. Arafat also ordered the kidnapping, torture and execution of William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut in 1984.

Other Americans have been killed by Palestinian terrorists. In 2016, a New York appeal court threw out a $655 million judgment brought by American victims of Palestinian terror not because the Palestinian Authority was innocent. On the contrary, the case was dismissed because the judges claimed an American court has no jurisdiction over the Palestinian Authority or Fatah. In other words, the Palestinians can get away with the murder of Americans if they are targeted in Jerusalem or elsewhere in Israel.

To now have these people threaten America and Israel is disgraceful and must not be rewarded by meekness. The United States should assert its right to work out of Jerusalem where the Israeli Government is based and it should warn the Palestinians that it would incur the wrath of the United States if it fails to advance peace or practice further violence.

Furthermore, Brexit and the phenomenon of a Trump ascendency herald the start of a new World Order.  We saw signs of change when Britain, who had voted for the iniquitous UNSC Resolution 2234 that attempted to rob Israel of the vital Jewish heart of Jerusalem, reverse itself under the looming presence of a Trump presidency by defending Israel and refusing to sign the anti-Israel statement at the Paris Conference. This was followed by the UK vetoing an attempted endorsement by the EU Foreign Ministers.

The Palestinian Authority has opened a campaign to embarrass the British Government over the Balfour Declaration which celebrates this year a century of forging the way to the re-establishment of the National Home of the Jewish People with Jerusalem as its capital.

As both the United States and Britain have taken a stand and acknowledged that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and an integral part of the Jewish People they have little choice in honesty and justice but to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

And the Palestinians be damned if they refuse to accept it.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of the new book  ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’