Monday, May 29, 2017

The Keys to True Peace in the Middle East - Rovvy Lepor

by Rovvy Lepor

Dershowitz: If the Mafia offered bounties to kill its opponents, no one would sympathize with those who made the offer. Yet the Palestinian leadership that does the same thing is welcomed and honored throughout the world

If the Trump Administration wishes to succeed in achieving true peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors in Judea and Samaria, the U.S. must first recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and must demand a full stop to Palestinian terrorism and incitement against Israel. This makes all the difference between true peace and an empty agreement.

The Trump administration appears determined to finally achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). This attempt to broker true peace between Israel and Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (aka the Palestinian Arabs) is doomed to failure unless and until the “peace process” takes a radically different approach toward making peace.

If the Trump administration simply follows the strategy of the previous three administrations (Clinton, Bush, and Obama) it is doomed to also fail in achieving peace. The strategy of the previous administrations was to pressure both sides to negotiate and demand numerous concessions from Israel, from security concessions to transfer of land from Israel to the PA. Such concessions have often led to a significant deterioration in peace, with Palestinian terrorists attacking Israel. One such infamous example was the “disengagement” from Gaza where roughly 10,000 Jews were expelled from their homes. Shortly thereafter, Hamas took control of Gaza. Since then there have been three major military conflicts between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

Therefore, if the Trump administration truly wants to see if peace is even achievable, they must take a very different approach than previous administrations. Otherwise, if the U.S. wants to achieve a meaningless declaration of peace signed by both parties on a piece of paper, even if it leads to violence rather than peace, they would simply be proclaiming “‘peace, peace!’ while there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8:11)

To determine if peace is even feasible, the Trump administration must immediately recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel once and for all and move its embassy to Jerusalem. Israel will never agree to a peace deal that does not recognize Jerusalem as its capital. That recognition must also come from the PA prior to a peace agreement.

By immediately moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the U.S. would initially recognize “West Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel. President Trump could then send the following ultimatum to Mahmoud Abbas: in one year we will recognize a United Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unless the PA stops all incitement against Israel and Jews for that entire year. This includes all forms of encouraging terrorism. In addition, the PA must prevent all terrorist attacks against Israel. If they do not comply, the U.S. will stop all aid to the Palestinians forthwith.

PA controlled media, including television, radio, Internet, and print, all incite Arabs to murder Jews and Israelis. This is also rife in the Palestinian school system. The Jerusalem Post reports that “over 200 U.S. government [i.e., Obama administration] approved textbooks used in hundreds of Palestinian UNRWA-sponsored schools” teach Arab children to murder Israelis “and sacrifice themselves… to drive Jews out of the country.” This incitement reaches to the highest levels of the Palestinian government. In September 2015, Mahmoud Abbas said, “We salute every drop of blood spilled for the sake of Jerusalem. This blood is clean, pure blood, shed for the sake of Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr will be placed in Paradise, and all the wounded will be rewarded by Allah.”

The PA must stop naming squares, streets, and institutions after terrorists and must remove all such names and references to terrorists immediately. (One of many examples of this practice occurred in 2010 when the PA named a square after a terrorist who murdered 37 Israelis in 1978. Another is the PA’s frequently honoring the arch-terrorist Abu Jihad who was responsible for the murders of 125 Israelis, including naming a park after him.)

The PA must immediately stop all payments to terrorists in Israeli jails. In 2016 alone, the PA paid $140 million to Arab terrorists who had been imprisoned by Israel and another $175 million to the families of Arab “martyrs.” This accounts for a whopping 7% of the PA’s budget.

The Palestinian Authority must ban all terrorists from running in Palestinian elections. Mahmoud Abbas should start with his own Fatah; after all he is the President of Fatah. The PA continued to show its support of terrorists with the election this month of Tayseer Abu Sneineh as mayor of Hebron, the largest Palestinian controlled city in Judea and Samaria. Sneineh is a terrorist convicted of the 1980 murder of six Israeli Jews, including two American citizens and a Canadian national. Sneineh was a candidate of Abbas’ Fatah Party!

Israel has already demonstrated its willingness to make peace through so-called “confidence building measures” including the 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank). Israel has already done its part. To achieve true peace, it is time for Palestinian concessions. For peace to work, President Trump should not insist on a transfer of Israeli territory to Palestinian rule as part of a so-called “confidence building measure.” That would be a path to failure.

President Trump called terrorists “evil losers” and in his speech this week at the Israel Museum said that “we must drive out the terrorists and the extremists from our midst, obliterate this evil ideology, and protect and defend our citizens and people of the world” adding that “all decent people want to live in peace.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, during his Senate confirmation, said in reference to the PA: “It’s one thing to renounce [terrorism] and another thing to take serious actions to prevent it,” adding that Palestinian leaders have to do “something to at least interrupt or prevent [terrorism]” before there can be “any productive discussion around [Israeli] settlements.”

President Trump stated that Mahmoud Abbas is ready for peace, saying, “I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace.” President Trump should judge Abbas and the Palestinian leadership by its actions and regular incitement to violence rather than by statements made by Abbas in personal meetings with him.

Alan Dershowitz explains the reality on the ground when it comes to PA incitement to violence:
“…when the Palestinian Authority claims to reject terrorism, they reward the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists with large compensation packages that increase with the number of innocent victims. If the perpetrator of the Manchester massacre had been Palestinian and if the massacre had taken place in an Israeli auditorium, the Palestinian Authority would have paid his family a small fortune for murdering so many children. There is a name for people and organizations that pay other people for killing innocent civilians: it’s called accessory to murder. If the Mafia offered bounties to kill its opponents, no one would sympathize with those who made the offer. Yet the Palestinian leadership that does the same thing is welcomed and honored throughout the world.”
If the Palestinians truly want a state, they must start by permanently and immediately stopping all incitement against Israel and Jews in every form. They must stop rewarding and encouraging terrorism. If they are truly serious about peace with Israel, they will stop their terror war against Israel. If the Palestinian Authority does not stop funding, inciting, and committing terrorism against Israelis, there can be no peace deal.

Rovvy Lepor


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