Peace and Safety
By Hal Lindsey
Last week, President Trump announced his long-awaited peace plan. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood at the President’s side as he made the announcement. But Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, rejected the peace proposal before he had even seen it. “I will not have it recorded in my history,” he said, “that I sold Jerusalem,”
But the truth is, you can’t “sell” what was never yours.
The announcement left a lot of Jews and Christians confused over how the plan would deal with Jerusalem. Early in the announcement ceremony, President Trump said, “Under this vision, Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided — very important — undivided capital.”
Later he said that his plan would “provide a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem where America will proudly open an embassy.”
So, which is it? Does the plan call for Jerusalem to be Israel’s “undivided” capital, or will part of Jerusalem be set aside to serve as the Palestinians’ capital? As always, it comes down to the meaning of the words. The US plan calls for the Palestinians to have a capital in an area of East Jerusalem now occupied entirely by Palestinians.
The area is inside Jerusalem’s city limits, but outside what we might call the new city wall. When I say “wall,” I’m not talking about the walls of the ancient city of Jerusalem. Yes, it is well outside those walls. But here I’m talking about the West Bank Barrier built by Israel to stop Palestinian terror attacks during the Second Intifada. A small part of what is technically Jerusalem lies outside the barrier. That’s the part that would go to the Palestinians.
A bigger question might be, “Do the specifics of the Trump Administration’s peace plan really matter?” And the answer is that they don’t seem to. Palestinian leaders rejected the idea before they knew anything about it. They refused to give input during the plan’s formation. They have shown repeatedly that they don’t really want a two-state solution. They want a one-state solution — the state of Palestine.
Cal Thomas wrote, “The Palestinian leadership doesn’t want to make peace with Israel. Their goal is to eliminate it.”
We see several examples of this, most notably the peace deal offered to Yasser Arafat in 2000. He was offered a deal that gave Palestinians Eastern Jerusalem and 98% of everything else they asked for. But Arafat rejected it.
Not surprisingly, the Arab League quickly rejected the Trump Administration’s new peace plan. They said it “does not satisfy the minimum of the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people.” They insist that the Palestinians be given a state based on pre-1967 borders.
But wait a minute. Before the Six-Day War in 1967, Jordon controlled Judea and Samaria (also known as “the West Bank”) and Egypt controlled Gaza. Why didn’t the Arab League insist that those two members give the Palestinians their own state back in 1967? Instead, they choose to fight a war with Israel that resulted in them losing those lands.
Another reason this peace plan seems dead on arrival is that there is no legitimate Palestinian leadership to deal with. Abbas was elected to a four-year term that ended in 2009. Being more than a decade late in holding promised elections tells us that the government is corrupt, chaotic, and illegitimate.
Israelis long for peace. Most Palestinians also long for peace. But while the people languish in dire poverty, Palestinian leaders are doing very well. They don’t want change unless that change means the utter destruction of Israel.