During his first year in office, President Trump has continuously challenged the status quo, but his approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is where the strength of his leadership truly shines.
Solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the golden trophy set high by several U.S. Presidents since the formation of Israel in 1948, but none have been successful. For years, Presidents have tried the same dry worn-out approach, of course, to no avail. However, the Trump administration’s approach is refreshing, new, and might be what it takes to succeed in this long sought out American goal.
By recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump is being practical and accepting of the reality that has existed since 1967, and arguably since the time of King David. Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sent shock waves throughout the world and caused condemnations, including, unsurprisingly, from the United Nations.
For Israelis, Jerusalem has always been the capital, and Trump calling it so was not surprising. Even Anwar Sadat, the former President of Egypt, addressed the Knesset in Jerusalem in 1977 furthering the legitimacy of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
President Trump was the only one willing to take the heat of doing what is obvious and right. Despite the fact that as candidates, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all claimed Jerusalem to be the capital as well. The Trump administration’s move resulted in the United Nations condemning U.S. policy and Ambassador Nikki Haley responding that: “The US will be taking names.”
At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names. pic.twitter.com/ZsusB8Hqt4
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 19, 2017
In vintage Trump fashion, he has also begun the process of ensuring that the world knows about the drastic change in American foreign policy and spending. He has affirmed that Americans would no longer be disrespected or taken advantage of by those who receive US tax dollars through aid. Trump threatened to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority who gave more than $347 million in 2017 to terrorists and their families.
Most of the aid started with the Oslo Accords in 1993 to encourage the peace process to begin. Since then, the Palestinians have been reluctant to come to the negotiation table, and therefore Trump is rightly looking to change the terms of the deal to ones that actually can benefit Americans and Israelis alike.
Trump’s no-nonsense approach shows zero willingness to play games with the Palestinian Authority or allow the United States to be continuously disrespected while taxpayers give their hard earned money to the PA, who sponsor terrorists that live to murder Israelis.
Trump, of course, tweeted about his position on this issue highlighting the fact that “we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS year and get no appreciation or respect.” He added: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make as of these massive future payments to them?” Though Trump’s approach may seem brash, his statements and policies are once again pushing the actors to begin talks.
It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
…peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
While the Palestinians haven’t been cooperating, the U.S.-Israel relationship appears to be growing stronger than ever. With the opening of the first permanent U.S. military base in Israel in September, to Congress allocating $38 billion in aid to Israel over the next decade. Meanwhile, the US-PA relationship is only worsening and the Palestinian Authority even refused to meet with officials from the Trump Administration.
It seems that Trump’s business background highly influences the way he approaches political conflicts. He realizes that new solutions are necessary and that if the entities he’s negotiating with aren’t cooperating or respecting him, it’s time to put his foot down.
The U.S. remains the primary mediator between the Israelis and the Palestinians due to their history and great sums of aid they provide. For this reason, Trump realizes that both the Israelis and the Palestinians will eventually have to find a solution, and the pressure he is applying is to ensure that talks begin and that he has a chance to broker a deal. Trump’s “art of the deal” mentality is proving to be successful.
President Trump, Kol HaKavod.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.