Pres-elect Donald Trump, who is a businessman and a consummate dealmaker, has described the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as the “ultimate deal.” But such a phrase presupposes a “two-state solution” in which both side are equal.
However that is not the case because: 1. Israel is a sovereign state recognized for 70 years and the Palestinians have only a non-sovereign entity, the Palestine Authority; 2. Israel is a strong American ally while the Palestinians are vehemently anti-American; 3. Any Palestinian State that would be established by this process would immediately become a magnet and a haven for all kinds of anti-Israel (and anti-American) terrorists, including Hamas and ISIS that exist close by; 4. The Palestinians have no culture of compromise, they are intransigent and still want only to destroy Israel and are constantly inciting violence against Israelis; 5. The existence of UNRWA, the UN agency that deals with and supports the Palestinian “refugees,” tends to perpetuate the stalemate, because UNRWA has become part of the Palestinian movement, supporting the Palestinian narrative and running schools that educate Palestinian children to hate Jews (some of the schools are named after terrorists as “martyrs”).
This kind of “two-state” approach has been followed by all previous US Administrations from Nixon to Clinton and particularly by the Obama Administration, without any notable success. In fact US Secty. of State Kerry boasted recently that he has had some 137 meetings with PM Netanyahu during his tenure. He must have had many fewer meetings with Pres. Abbas of the PA because the American approach has always been to put pressure on Israel, as the only amenable ally, to make concessions to the Palestinians. Instead of this approach, the US should exploit its powerful position of influence to pressure the Palestinians to finally accept a fait accompli, that Israel exists and that they do not qualify for a sovereign state.
There are several good reasons for this “one-state solution”: 1. Israel has the right under international law to inherit all the lands formerly controlled by the British Mandate (excluding what is now Jordan); 2. The Jewish settlements in the so-called West Bank (Judea and Samaria) are therefore not illegal or illegitimate; 3. The US has been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars both directly into the PA and indirectly thru UNRWA that have been totally wasted (stolen) and which perpetuate the current stalemate and allow the PA to continue to support terrorism and to incite their population.
There are good reasons why the US should stop supporting UNRWA 1. Many of the so-called Palestinian refugees live within the former British Mandate, i.e. within Palestine and therefore are not refugees under international law, they are internally displaced people and do not qualify; 2. The UNRWA definition of refugees includes all descendents, which is a ludicrous situation and means that the number of refugees keeps increasing instead of decreasing as for all other refugees in the world; 3. The US provides a vastly inflated proportion of the funding to the PA and UNRWA (ca. 25%) when the Arab States provide very little.
Given these facts the US is in a very strong position to put pressure on the recalcitrant partner, the Palestinians, to make a deal that it can’t refuse. Pres-elect Trump please note!