President Trump has done more to advance civilization than most of the Great Leaders who have come and gone. He has brought G-d back into America. He has brought honor and glory back to our Armed Forces. He has not been given the credit he deserves. He has withstood attacks the likes of which the world has never seen. He is a born leader. Even some on the other side of the aisle would admit this, even if they can’t tolerate his character or personality. His leadership has actually brought a semblance of order to the world. The fact that the Gulf Oil States showed up (or wrote letters of support) to the White House with the President and Prime Minister of Israel says volumes.
There is fear and loathing in Iran. That is a step in the right direction. There is actual hope that the Iranian threat will actually be dealt with one way or another. This was not the case under either President George W. Bush’s two terms or President Barack Obama’s two terms. Iran remains the number one threat to civilization. President Trump’s approach has been working.
North Korea is the number two problem in the world today, and President Trump has made inroads. He has a long way to go, but at least some progress has been made.
I feel safer today than at any time under President Obama. I believe most Americans feel the same way.
This all brings me to my thoughts on President Trump’s Peace Initiative between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
There is no doubt that a tremendous amount of work and thought went into a very detailed framework for peace. The president should be commended for trying to solve one of the most intransigent of problems on Earth. He has waded into one of the thorniest, most complex, and mine-field-laden areas that one can imagine. His realistic approach ultimately will be the one that will work.
The fact that the PA rejected the Trump Plan outright gives one a clue as to how difficult it is to make peace. It also highlights the fact that Israel really does not have a peace partner. I have been saying this since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. President Bill Clinton said that Yasser Arafat had made him a “colossal failure.” Arafat was not a true partner in peace. Nor is Mahmoud Abbas. Anwar Sadat was indeed a true peace partner. When he asked for peace, he meant it. This has not been the case with Arafat or Abbas.
Since the Oslo Accords were signed, Israel has made concession after concession for peace. Over 40 percent of Israel’s G-d-given land was surrendered on the altar of peace. Peace has yet to be achieved. If anything, there has been more terrorism, with thousands of Jews being killed since the Oslo Accords were signed. The Trump Plan does try to once and for all end “pay for slay.” Unfortunately, the very week of the peace announcement, it was determined that $150 million goes from the PA to terrorist families. This is not peace.
Given this background, it is very difficult to understand how the PA can be offered statehood with a capital in Jerusalem as part of any agreement. I realize that the PA would have to fulfill many benchmarks before this could happen. The idea of a two-state solution fell by the wayside since the PA waged its Intifada of 2000. For people like me, to use the two-state solution narrative again opens up many old wounds. It also sets a precedent for the future that is untenable. The president himself had veered away from using this terminology until this past week.
Yes, if the result of this whole exercise is the recognition of Israeli sovereignty and ultimate annexation of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley, then I will feel loads better, but I am concerned about “terminology.”
I have full confidence in President Trump, but I am concerned about future presidents who are not pro-Israel like our president. They will cherry-pick the parts of the Trump Plan that they like, in order to pressure Israel. They will say, “You fully endorsed the Trump Plan” so endorse my plan, as well. “If the two-state solution is acceptable to you in the Trump Plan, then it must be acceptable to the vast majority of Jews.” Future presidents might not force all the requirements upon the PA the way the Trump Plan does.
Peace is always a noble and critical goal. The president’s heart is in the right place. He continues to advance civilization on a daily basis. When the Palestinian Authority finally wants peace, they will know whom to call. The phone is not ringing off the hook.
Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.