Jared Kushner, Don't Waste Your Time on an Israeli/Arab Peace Agreement

In the midst of all the euphoria concerning Mr. Trump’s election to the presidency, the president-elect has suggested that a possible role for his son-in-law Jared Kushner might be to broker a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Arabs.

One hopes that Trump and Kushner do not, in fact, waste any time pursuing this will-o’-the-wisp. Four major, intractable obstacles stand in the way of any conceivable peace agreement; until they have gone away, there is no prospect.

Here they are, in no particular order: 

  1. Arab intransigence

Despite offering numerous meaningless statements since 1993, no Arab interlocutor has been willing and able to prepare his people to make the compromises necessary for peace. Every single Arab politician has always encouraged the maximalist positions; treacherous terrorist assaults have been glorified and the perpetrators treated like heroes and martyrs. To this day, "Palestine" refuses to acknowledge the very existence of a Jewish state.

The last time I was in Israel, I had occasion to play with the television set in our hotel room, and decided to practice my (rather rusty) Arabic by listening to the official PA news broadcast. The broadcast began with a map of “Filastin,” which extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, and conspicuously neglects to list a city named Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean shoreline.

In other words, the de facto position of the Palestinian Authority is not the two-state solution of the supposed peace process, but a “one-state” solution -- and the state is called “Palestine.” Listen to what they say in Arabic, not the hypocritical nonsense they spread for general consumption in English or French.

  1. Arab states’ refusal to absorb “refugees”

The surrounding Arab states -- including Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt -- have completely refused to address the situation of the so-called "Palestinian refugees" within their borders by granting them citizenship, the right to employment in their countries, etc. All of them have constantly encouraged irredentism and extremism in the camps, and often funded, aided, and abetted terrorist operations against Israel.

Meanwhile, the former Jewish populations of these same Arab countries were expelled; many of those Jews were settled in Israel. A transfer of populations has occurred. The Arabs who fled from Israel and their now far numerous descendants must be settled within the Arab states in which they currently reside, or no peace is possible.

This situation of population transfer following war is hardly unique. What is unique is the Arab states’ refusal to absorb these Arab populations for 70 years.