By Attorney Brad E. Kauffman, Esquire
Donald J. Trump, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, is living on another planet if he honestly believes that he can arrive on the international stage and cement a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Even if he could cement such a deal, it would not make America great again.
Trump is straddling the fence on one of most important planks of the Republican Party, namely the unequivocal support of the State of Israel.
Trump dubiously claims that he would be Israel’s greatest friend in the White House. He also routinely portrays himself as a “tough guy” who will defeat terrorism and bring the world to order. However, when Trump asserts on the campaign trail and at the GOP debate in Houston on February 26 that he could not side with the Israelis or the Palestinians because he has to remain neutral, the Republican front-runner appears to be anything but pro-Israel, or tough, for that matter.
If Trump was truly oriented toward eradicating terrorist organizations such as Islamic State (ISIS), why would he even consider negotiating a deal that could bring to fruition a Palestinian state which undoubtedly would be saturated with radical Islamic terrorists eager to destroy the Jewish state?
Besides, contrary to Trump’s inflated ego in regarding himself as the infallible negotiator who can negotiate any deal in the world’s most volatile of conflicts, the TV reality star is simply out of touch with the reality of the world. US presidents Bush 41, Bill Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama have all employed the best and the brightest in the negotiating world and still failed to secure any peace deal.
During the Clinton administration, Israel aided by US negotiators offered the Palestinians an unprecedented offer of 95 percent of the West Bank including east Jerusalem. Yasser Arafat rejected that offer and instead launched the second intifada. After the Camp David 2000 summit, there have been the Taba talks, the “Road Map” for peace, the Annapolis Conference, the 2010 Mitchell-led talks and the 2013-2014 Indyk talks to name a few, which have all ended in a stalemate for one reason.
Namely, the negotiations were undermined by an intransigent Palestinian Authority, first headed by Arafat then by Mahmoud Abbas, who simply have no interest in living side by side in peace with Israel. Rather, the PA remains hell-bent on promoting the murder of Jews.
There is thus no basis for Trump’s ill-conceived conclusion that his neutrality will entice the Palestinians to relinquish their intractable hatred for the Jewish people simply because a brash New York businessman named Trump begs them to do so.
Moreover, neutrality has already been proven ineffective.
In fact, neutrality only emboldens violence. Obama has been reluctant to condemn Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel for fear of taking sides. How has Abbas rewarded Obama for his neutrality? The Palestinian leader praises the murder of Jews as a “peaceful popular awakening” and vows to renege on agreements with Israel.
You do not need to be the Grand Marshall of the New York Israel Day parade to accept the indisputable fact that pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace through negotiation is a consistently failed strategy that astonishingly keeps getting recycled by US presidents.
Clearly, the constant stalemates call for an entirely different approach to Middle East peace, which is the one employed by the two fiercely pro-Israel senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. That approach is to take sides and, using Cruz’s words, “Unabashedly stand with Israel.” Rubio emphatically proclaimed during his Miami Super Tuesday rally “when I’m president of the United States, we will always be on Israel’s side.”
Now that is the kind of strength and determination we need in our president; surely lacking in the Trump brand of naivete. Under a Rubio or Cruz administration, the PA will come to the immediate realization that its terrorist-supporting shenanigans will not be tolerated and they will learn to respect the United States of America again.
If Trump is elected president, expect more of the same old equivocal Clinton-Obama style of negotiating that will only hurt the cause of peace and once again end in a colossal failure.
The author is a Maryland attorney, pro-Israel activist, freelance writer and observer of political campaigns.
This article was first published in the Jerusalem Post and was submitted by the author for publication on Matzav.com.