President Trump, speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unveiled his long-awaited “Deal of the Century” plan Tuesday afternoon, offering Palestinians a state and fifty billion dollars.
“I want this deal to be a great deal for the Palestinians,” said Trump. Prospects for that, however, are not good, as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently refused to take a call from Trump, and called him “a dog, son of a b**ch, a violent man who wants to force us into a program we’re not interested in.” Abbas crowed: “They called me from Washington and I did not pick up the phone. I said no and I will continue to say no…We are going for difficult days and we are beginning to bear the consequences of the refusal. Resistance must be escalated at all points of friction. All young people must be encouraged.”
Abbas is passing up a better deal than the Palestinians have been offered for years. Trump’s vision of a Palestinian state would be larger than Palestinian-controlled territory now, as Trump spoke about the “territorial sacrifices that Israel is willing to make for peace.”
This is unfortunate, as no territorial sacrifices other than complete suicide will ever satisfy the Palestinians. The idea that they will accept a Jewish state of any size, in any form, is a pipe dream, as The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process shows. Trump would have done better to challenge the very existence of this propaganda fiction, the “Palestinian” people, and called upon Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt to grant citizenship to the Palestinian “refugees” whose refugee status is, for political purposes, passed down to children and grandchildren and beyond.
Abbas also must know, somewhere in his dark little heart, that a Palestinian state would simply be a new base for more jihad attacks against Israel, as the withdrawal from Gaza demonstrates. It would not bring peace. Trump said his plan would “resolve the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.” Trump said a “two-state solution” would involve “no incremental security risk” to Israel. Even a demilitarized Palestinian state, however, would not end the jihad against Israel. It would just become an epicenter for weapons smuggling.
This part, however, is on the right track: Netanyahu expressed his gratitude to Trump for “recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.” While Judea and Samaria (aka the “West Bank”) are almost universally described as “occupied territories,” The Palestinian Delusion demonstrates that the only political entity that has any legal right to that region is the State of Israel. Recognizing that fact is a firm step away from the fantasy-based policymaking that has dominated this issue for decades, and returning to reality.
The idea that Palestinians or their allies and supporters will ever accept Israel’s legal claim, however, is a pipe dream. It is easy to see why Abbas so contemptuously dismissed the plan before it was even announced when Trump explained that the Palestinians would not receive the full benefits of the deal until “the conditions for statehood are met, including the firm rejection of terrorism.” The president declared: “To ensure a successful Palestinian state, we are asking the Palestinians to meet the challenges of peaceful coexistence. This includes adopting basic laws enshrining human rights, protecting against financial and political corruption, stopping the malign activities of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other enemies of peace, ending the incitement of hatred against Israel – so important – and permanently halting the financial compensation to terrorists.”
No analyst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ever discusses the role of Islamic theology in the conflict, which is an astonishingly naïve and ethnocentric omission, since Palestinian leaders routinely discuss their motives and goals in Islamic terms. The Palestinians are extremely unlikely to accept the Trump peace plan because of Islamic imperatives that mandate that Islam must dominate and not be dominated, and that any land that once was ruled by Islamic law must be ruled by Islamic law forever. Unless and until these facts are taken into account, every peace plan is foredoomed.
Trump’s peace plan does have one advantage. It is extraordinarily generous to the Palestinians. Their rejection of it will make their true intentions more obvious than ever. Perhaps that in itself will compel the U.S. and the West to go the whole way in discarding the soothing fantasies on which the “peace process” is based.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.