Mideast

From the Editor Rael Jean Isaac

Corrupting Academic Associations: The Mechanics

Ever wonder how they did it? How BDS activists managed to persuade academic associations with zero connection to the Middle East to pass boycott resolutions against Israel? The answer is provided by a lawsuit focused on the American Studies Association [ASA] against ten of those activists resulting in the release of over 17,000 documents turned over by current and former ASA leaders. The suit charges that the activists, five of them members of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [USACBI] (the faculty arm of BDS), engaged in a successful campaign (in 2013) to “covertly” take over the ASA and use it to support the BDS movement in violation of specific ASA bylaws.

The lawsuit identifies Rutgers assistant professor of women’s studies Jasbir Puar (who has repeated libels that Israel harvests the organs of young Palestinian men for scientific research) as chief strategist. The suit charges that emails between the defendants show how Puar packed the ASA leadership with BDS advocates. One advocate wrote: “In my conversations with Jasbir it’s clear that the intent of her nominations was to bring more people who do work in, and are politically committed to…the question of Palestine.” Emails between the activists also show that they agree not to include their goal of advancing BDS in their pitches to the membership for election to the ASA National Council. The one candidate who disclosed his support lost—those who kept it secret were elected. Once elected they manipulated ASA procedures to ensure the membership would not vote down the Council’s decisions by artificially freezing the cutoff date for dues payments. Even then, the lawsuit claims, the BDS activists never obtained the number of votes necessary for a boycott but imposed one anyway!

In the case of other academic associations, the BDS activists employed a variety of ingenious devices—for example, holding the boycott vote at the end of the meeting when all but the BDSers had gone home.

Blood Libels at Rutgers

Mazen Adi

Rutgers has the distinction of having not one (Jasbir Puar) but two faculty members who have accused Israel of trafficking in human organs. Rutgers has appointed as adjunct professor of Political Science Mazen Adi, who worked for Syria’s foreign ministry (most recently as legal adviser at the Syrian Mission to the UN) for 16 years. While he was defending a boss who was actually guilty of gassing and starving Syrian citizens, including children, he was libeling Israel with a modern version of the blood libel–claiming it was harvesting the organs of Palestinian children. For the Rutgers administration Adi’s evil calumnies are obviously no barrier to his appointment. Indeed its spokesman has responded to protests with self-righteous declarations that Rutgers supports the faculty’s right to free speech. Now there’s a laugh. To cite one example, in 2014 Condoleeza Rice, a black woman, a former Secretary of State, herself an academic by trade, an unexceptionable choice as Rutgers commencement speaker, was forced to bow out when a bunch of rowdy students decided she was not progressive enough for their taste. There was no speaking out by the administration on her right to free speech; it scurried for cover.

Mideast

Another Anniversary by Rael Jean Isaac

The hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration has passed to mixed reactions. It has been celebrated, as it deserves to be—the achievements of the Jewish state that emerged from it are breathtaking—but also attacked and denigrated.

Some of the attacks are unsurprising. The “Foreign Minister” of the “State of Palestine” Riyad Malki said it was bringing legal proceedings against the British government in British and international courts, in his words, to “compel the British government to apologize and make reasonable reparations to make up for that tragedy [the Balfour Declaration] including recognizing the State of Palestine.” The UN is using the occasion to set aside $1.3 billion to fund Palestinian legal campaigns against Israel and to support creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Emily Thornberry

More unsettling are some British reactions. Melanie Phillips reports that Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend the dinner celebrating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a dinner attended by Prime Minister Netanyahu as the guest of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. In his place he sent the Labor shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry who made no secret that she saw nothing to celebrate. In an interview with the Middle East Eye news site, Thornberry said: ”I don’t think we celebrate the Balfour Declaration but I think we have to mark it…and I think probably the most important way of marking it is to recognize Palestine.” Even more unsettling are the reactions of some hitherto respectable Jewish organizations. For example, the American Jewish Historical Society has clearly gone over to the dark side with its plan (only withdrawn under pressure) to “commemorate” Balfour with speeches by two anti-Israel activists, partnering with the viciously anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace.

Which brings us to the importance of another anniversary that went totally unremarked: the 24th year anniversary this September of the signing of the Oslo accords in Washington. There is a direct connection between the rampant, ever-growing hostility to Israel and the so-called “peace” agreement Rabin signed with Arafat. Until then, Arafat had been a terror chieftain whose fortunes were in sharp decline. Whatever the failures of Israel’s 1982 campaign in Lebanon, it had one major success, forcing the PLO, which had sowed havoc in both Jordan and Lebanon, to find refuge in Tunisia, a backwater where it remained weak and constrained. With Oslo Israel bestowed vigorous new life on the PLO—and on the worldwide assault on her own legitimacy.

Mideast

In Memoriam Man on a Mission: Dr. Steven Carol (1942-2017) by David Isaac

On Oct. 21, 2017, historical truth lost a great advocate. Dr. Steven Carol passed away of heart troubles. He was 75. He leaves behind a wife and two children. To Phoenix, Arizona residents Dr. Carol was best known for his radio guest appearances on KKNT 960 AM’s “The Middle East Radio Forum,” a weekly show where he served as Associate Producer and Official Historian.

Dr. Carol authored four books, including Middle East Rules of Thumb, Encyclopedia of Days: Start the Day With History, From Jerusalem to the Lion of Judah and Beyond: Israel’s Foreign Policy in East Africa since 1948, and his last book, which was also his masterwork, Understanding the Volatile and Dangerous Middle East, which we reviewed in these pages last year. The magisterial 1,000-page tome covers virtually every aspect of the Middle East and includes maps and charts Dr. Carol drew himself (he had attended Brooklyn Tech and could have easily become an engineer if not for his passion for history). Something from Brooklyn Tech must have rubbed off. Dr. Carol brought an engineer-like exactness to his chosen profession.

Steven Carol

What few know is that Dr. Carol’s major accomplishments all came in the last 15 years of his life. He had been a high school teacher. (In 1987, New York State named Dr. Carol “Outstanding Teacher.”) But he had to give it up. The reason is a dramatic one. In 2002, Dr. Carol underwent surgery for an aortic root aneurysm. His wife, Hadara, is convinced that her husband, who suffered high blood pressure, was pushed over the edge by the demand from a principal to raise the grade of a failing student, who also happened to be a star athlete, so that he would be eligible to play. Every teacher had agreed to do it. Only Dr. Carol refused.

The surgery involved cutting a 12-inch incision from his heart down to his belly. His wife recalls her astonishment when the surgeons informed her they weren’t sure that they had correctly reconnected him. (Over 100 connections were involved.) Dr. Carol lay unresponsive in the ICU for 60 days. The doctors finally told his wife to pull the plug. Although she and her husband had agreed to such a recourse ahead of time, she struggled with the decision and found herself unable to do it. Though not a devout woman, she prayed to God: “Don’t keep him here for me. Don’t keep him here for the children. Keep him here for his work.” Dr. Carol woke shortly afterward. His first words: “Where the hell am I?”

Mideast

Palestinian State – Enhancing or Eroding U.S. National Security? by Yoram Ettinger

The choice of business and social partners should be based–objectively–on a proven track record, not–subjectively–on unproven hopes and speculation.

Similarly, the assessment of the potential impact of the proposed Palestinian state on U.S. national security should be based–objectively–on documented, systematic, consistent Palestinian walk (track record) since the 1930s, not–subjectively–on Palestinian talk and speculative scenarios.

Furthermore, an appraisal of the Arab attitude toward a proposed Palestinian state should be based–objectively–on the documented, systematic and consistent Arab walk since the mid-1950s, not– subjectively–on the Arab talk.

Since the 1993 Oslo Accord, the documented track record of the Palestinian political, religious and media establishment has featured K-12 hate-education and religious incitement. This constitutes the most authoritative reflection of the worldview, state-of-mind and strategic goals of the proposed Palestinian state.

Moreover, since the 1930s, the Palestinian track record has highlighted close ties with the enemies and adversaries of the U.S. and the Free World.

For example, the Palestinian Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, whose memory and legacy are revered by the Palestinian Authority, embraced Nazi Germany, urging Muslims to join the Nazi military during World War II. Moreover, in 2017, Hitler is still glorified by Palestinian officials and media, and Hitler’s Mein Kampf is a best-seller in the Palestinian Authority.

Mideast

Jabotinsky’s Children: Polish Jews and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism by Daniel Kupfert Heller Reviewed by David Isaac

Jabotinsky’s Children is a hatchet job, cloaked in a tone of historical objectivity. The “children” are Betar, the youth movement founded by Zionist leader Vladimir “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky, which boasted some 65,000 members in the 1930s, most of them in Poland. The book’s thesis is that Betar youth, whom the author says Jabotinsky originally viewed with “a mix of pity, disdain and suspicion,” ultimately shaped his world view, making him open to fascist ideas. The author, Daniel Kupfert Heller, an assistant professor of Jewish Studies at McGill University, further asserts that Jabotinsky deliberately wrote “provocative and ambiguous prose” to allow “Betar activists to interpret their leader’s writings as they saw fit,” in line with what the author views as their own authoritarian and violence-prone ideology.

The first hundred pages are devoted to a tedious setup describing Jabotinsky’s growing interest in Poland’s Jewish youth and an overly detailed examination of the various existing Jewish groups that would eventually coalesce to form Betar. That the book originated as a Ph.D. thesis probably explains the minutia of this section. Although the author attempts to explain why Jews were attracted to Polish leader Jozef Pilsudski’s right-wing government (not hard to understand as the situation of Jews under his regime was better than either before or after), he doesn’t adequately convey the daunting challenges facing Polish Jews—given the growth of anti-Semitic hatred, the escalating economic hardships, and the progressive closing off by Britain of Jewish immigration to Palestine, one of their few avenues of escape. Neither will the reader learn what the Revisionist movement was about or even what issues preoccupied the Zionist leaders of the day.

That some Betar members flirted with fascist ideas is not in doubt. The question is: So what? It is not surprising that youth movements would be influenced by the politics of the day. Early on, Italian leader Benito Mussolini was not considered anti-Semitic which is why as late as 1934, Zionist leader Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the very face of establishment Zionism, could visit Mussolini as part of a diplomatic initiative without raising eyebrows. Heller admits that in the 1920s and part of the 1930s, fascism was not a dirty word. In the 1920s, Churchill himself wrote that Italian fascism had “rendered a service to the whole world.” As late as 1933, Roosevelt expressed his admiration for Mussolini.

Mideast

The Rise of the Israeli Right: From Odessa to Hebron by Colin Shindler Reviewed by Moshe Dann

The purpose of this book, like several others by Colin Shindler, emeritus professor in Israel Studies at SOAS University of London, is to show how “right wing” governments have misled Israel and prevented peace with its neighbors. Readers seeking an explanation for this on-going phenomenon, however, will be disappointed.

Shindler never explains how the “far Right” is distinguished from “the Right,” or even what “the Right” means. Although used around the world to describe a socio-economic philosophy and agenda, Shindler’s analysis of “the Right” focuses on a single issue: the settlements. Shindler refers only once in passing (on p.325), to “market forces,” “collectivism” (kibbutz socialism), “Labor’s anti-religious ethos and patronizing attitude,” and “Mizrachi voters” (Sephardim) – all of which are critical in understanding Israeli politics and society.

Nowhere does Shindler discuss the role of Israeli’s media, tightly controlled by the Left, including state-sponsored TV and radio, or the role of left-wing academic and literary elites, or the Left-dominated judicial system, or its concentrated economic structure dominated by a handful of families. Shindler misses the point: despite these obstacles, Israeli Jews support a pro-settlement, “Right-wing” government.

One problem in Israeli politics is its electoral system. Citizens do not vote for specific candidates, but for a party. Once in power, the Prime Minister of the victorious party can do whatever he wants, regardless of what he or other party leaders have promised or voters may have intended. This means there is no way for voters to influence policy or ensure accountability. Israeli political parties do not issue political platforms or make policy commitments.

Without an analysis of socio-economic forces driving Israel and the settlement movement Shindler fails to understand why “the Right,” or more accurately, the Likud Party continues to attract Right-wing voters – even when it does not fulfill its promises. Israel’s last election made this point clear. Although the Left-wing Zionist Union/Labor party was predicted to win, PM Netanyahu’s last-minute appeal to voters carried Likud to an astounding victory.

Rather than provide an explanation for why Israeli Jews vote increasingly for “right-wing” parties, he opines: “There has been a drifting away from a belief in the moral norms of liberal states — a decline in the belief in democracy and an increase in the sense of particularist Jewishness.” (p.361)

Shindler does not discuss Palestinian terrorism and PA incitement and its effects on Israeli politics. Hamas “bombings” are noted in passing; Hezbollah not at all.

Mideast

How the Quakers Became Champions of BDS by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander Joffe

Editor’s Note: Starting in 1970 the AFSC became a pioneer in advocating for the PLO, then still all but universally recognized in the West as a terror group. For those interested in an in-depth view of the process by which the Quakers moved from genuine advocacy of human rights to defaming Israel while flying the false flag of human rights, far and away the best study was published by AFSI in 1979. The 72 page pamphlet, by former Quaker H. David Kirk, was entitled “The Friendly Perversion: Quakers as Reconcilers: Good People and Dirty Work.” It is available in full on the AFSI website. The AFSC is now among the official promoters of an outrageous bill introduced by ten Democrats that would prevent U.S. tax dollars supporting Israeli “detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children” (i.e. terrorists under 18 years of age.) There have been 79 terror attacks by such “children”, including the brutal murders of mothers and their innocent small children, in the last two years. The bill (like the AFSC) does not condemn the incitement to such acts by the PA media (specifically cited by one of the “child” murderers as the reason for his action) or the rewards it bestows on families of the murderers.

In a not-so-earth-shattering move, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has appointed a Palestinian-American, Joyce Ajlouny, as its new Secretary General. Ajlouny is a native of Ramallah and formerly the head of the Quaker school there, a “passionate” advocate for Palestinians and for “evenhandedness.”

Ajlouny may be the perfect candidate to run the AFSC, the leading American Quaker organization, which over the years has cultivated its image as peaceful and supremely benign. Few suspect, much less know, that one of their central missions these days is promoting the BDS movement that opposes Israel’s existence.

How did a century-old religiously based pacifist organization transform itself into one of the leading engines for the Palestinian cause? Part of the answer lies in the AFSC’s evolution, which has gone from trying to save Jews to vilifying them. Its Quaker theology has similarly gone from emphasis on the “Inner Light” that guides individual conscience to something like old-fashioned Christian supersessionism, where Jews deserve to be hated. The result is that the organization is now effectively captive to progressive Israel-hatred.

Founded during World War I to provide alternative forms of “service” to pacifist Quakers, the AFSC quickly became one of the foremost refugee relief organizations of the early 20th century, with operations around the world. A favorite of Eleanor Roosevelt’s, the AFSC was also active within the U.S. during the Depression, teaching skills across Appalachia and the South.

Mideast

Media Bias? Nothing New Here Ruth King

Many years ago an Arab in Jerusalem stabbed an elderly Orthodox Jew whose companions gave chase, captured the assailant and beat him until the police came. Peter Jennings, who was the anchor of ABC News from 1984 until his death in 2005, described it thus: “Today an Orthodox mob chased and beat a Palestinian Arab.” That was artful bias–reporting an incident factually with no exculpatory explanation.

The other networks were no better. NBC reported outright lies during their coverage of the Lebanon War.

In 1984 Americans for a Safe Israel produced a documentary entitled NBC in Lebanon- A Study in Media Misrepresentation. In The New York Times, the television critic John Corry reviewed it as flawed (naturally) but admitted “[I]t attempts to prove, and to a large extent does prove, that coverage by the NBC Nightly News of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 1982 was faulty.” He continued “One may argue, of course, that journalism ought not to reflect any viewpoint, and that to accuse NBC of not reflecting the ‘Israeli viewpoint’ is only to accuse it of not taking sides. On the other hand, the documentary, judiciously using NBC’s own film, suggests that NBC was indeed taking sides and pressing the viewpoint of the P.L.O.“

Of Tom Brokaw, the “star” of the AFSI documentary, Dan Rather who ‘resigned’ in disgrace from CBS after he orchestrated a false report on the National Guard Service of then President George Bush, and Peter Jennings, journalist Sarah Pentz had this to say: “Each of these men leaves a shameful legacy on the face of American journalism. They led their networks into a shocking wave of politically biased reporting and did absolutely nothing to rebuke those who indulged in it––because, it was their agenda, too. They knew exactly what they were doing. Each is responsible for the blackening tarnish that covers all journalists today because of their partisan politics.”

These biased network journalists paved the way for the clowns who dominate network as well as print media today. At least those three had credentials as journalists, however badly they misused them. The present lot reports on world events, and especially Israel without a clue. They pretend that the history of Israel started in 1967 when Jews, without provocation or legitimate rights, invaded the peaceful and productive lands of the “West Bank.”

Mideast

NOVEMBER 2017 MIDEAST OUTPOST

Outpost

Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer

Outpost is distributed free to Members of Americans for a Safe Israel

Annual membership: $100.

Americans for a Safe Israel 1751 Second Ave. (at 91st Street)

New York, NY 10128 Tel (212) 828-2424

Mideast

Hell’s Union : William Mehlman

If the proposed shotgun marriage (aka the “reconciliation agreement”) between a Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority famed for its largesse to murderers of Israelis and a Gaza City-ensconced Hamas terror organization pledged to Israel’s extinction is ever consummated, Rosemary’s Baby is likely to be the only fruit its loins are capable of producing. The Jewish State will, of course, be charged with its breast-feeding.

The union is still pretty much a 50-50 bet at this writing as the partners prepare for a November 21st meeting in Cairo to put the “finishing touches” on a deal that would purportedly clear the way for the PA to set up shop again in a Gaza peninsula from which it was driven in 2007. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, his token prime minister Rami Hamdallah and Hamas’ strongmen Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar will be tasked with formally establishing the new Palestinian unity government and setting a date for general elections.

The devil, of course lurks in those “final touches.” The touchiest of them is Abbas’ warning that there will be no reconciliation unless and until Hamas’ 27,000 man Izzedin al-Qassam Brigade is disbanded and every last gun and rocket in its arsenal surrendered to the new central authority. Abbas says he will not tolerate anything like Hezbollah’s gun-slinging arrangement with a castrated Lebanon. “Is my Arabic clear on this?” he declared in an interview with Egypt’s CBC TV news service. “One state, one government , one gun.”

That’s not all Abbas is demanding of Hamas in down payment for this Egyptian-brokered deal he’s demonstrably less than enthusiastic about. Inter alia, he wants unfettered control over the border crossings into Egypt and Israel, the firing of 43,000 Hamas-appointed government employees and their replacement by 10,000 PA loyalists ousted in the 2007 coup. Already in his pocket is the termination of the short life of Hamas’ quasi-governmental “Administrative Committee.” It was this attempt at the creation of a shadow government that sparked the PA’s cutoff of further payments to Israel of Hamas’ electricity bills, its slashing of unemployment compensation to the peninsula’s municipal workers, the reduction of payments to Hamas prisoners residing in Israeli jails and the reduction of medical supply shipments.

These Hamas concessions notwithstanding, “after years of failed attempts at reconciliation,” Avi Issacharov observes in the Times of Israel, “Abbas appears profoundly skeptical about the possibility of true national unity.” His Cairo TV interview is suffused with ambivalence. “It’s not certain there will be elections,” he told his interrogator, “or that even the establishment of a state will be soon. We don’t deceive each other or sell illusions to anyone. The issue is difficult.“ Issacharov characterized that as a “surprising remark for the leader who tells the Palestinians at every opportunity that the establishment of a state of their own is imminent.” It may reflect what Hillel Frisch, Senior Fellow at the new conservative-oriented Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies calls Abbas’ awakening to “the bitter zero sum game” into which he’s ventured. “Only a showdown can decide between Hamas and Fatah [the PA’s political arm],” Frisch submits, “with one side totally victorious and the other totally defeated and it’s doubtful Fatah can muster the strength to make a bid for true power in Gaza.”

Nor will either side “be able to bridge the ideological divide or be able to forget their blood-soaked history anytime soon,” avers Grant Rumley in an Atlantic piece headlined “The Doomed Palestinian Reconciliation Plan.” “The reality is that Hamas is unlikely ever to give up its military control over Gaza. The faction wants Abbas to pay for the cost of governing. Abbas wants acquiescence and disarmament. Ultimately, there’s no middle ground…”

In fact, the only thing Fatah and Hamas have in common is their mutual interest in the disappearance of Israel. It is only on the path to that holy grail that they differ. Hamas’ choice remains, as always, military confrontation aided and abetted by its Iranian and Hezbollah allies. But the exorbitant expenditures on weapons, tunnel construction and the care and feeding of a 27,000-man fighting force in pursuit of that objective has put Gaza’s economy in meltdown. Unemployment is running at 40 percent, electricity, supplied by Israel and currently being paid for by Egypt, is limited to five hours a day, overpumped aquifers, seeping salt, have created a dire shortage of drinkable water, sanitation and health services are at marginal levels and much of the housing and infrastructure damage incurred in a 2014 rocket war against Israel remains untouched. Nothing less than the threat of civil insurrection, combined with pressure from Egypt, persuaded Haniyah and Sinwar to concede administrative control of the peninsula to its PA rival under the rubric of “national unity.” Their concept of that phrase, however appears limited to sticking the PA with 2.4 million bitter, largely impoverished and unhoused Arabs – “keeping the books and picking up the garbage,” as one observer put it – while Hamas gears up for another round with Israel.

Under Abbas the PA has been plying the diplomatic route toward a hoped-for unraveling of Israel in “stages.” Without raising an eyebrow over its distribution to terrorists and their families of $345 million of the $693 million in foreign aid it has received thus far in 2017, this stateless wonder has established embassies in dozens of countries and been admitted to membership in the International Criminal Court and Interpol. If it can find any justification for wading into the Gazan quagmire, it is in creating the façade of a “unified” Palestinian leadership prepared, however grudgingly, to nod acceptance of a Jewish state in its midst as precursor to the revival of two-state discussions. Hamas may be ready to swallow even that if it can get the administration of Gaza off its back.

The target of all this activity isn’t Benjamin Netanyahu, but Donald Trump. “The American administration backs this attempt at unity,” avers Ma’ariv’s Ben Caspit, “because it views reconciliation as a significant tailwind behind Trump’s efforts to exhaust diplomatic negotiations.” Indeed, a united Palestinian bow to Israel’s right to a mark on the map of the Middle East demanded by the Quartet – the U.S, EU, UN and Russian working group on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – could put Israel in a tight spot in regard to any such negotiations – totally isolated. Netanyahu’s virtual silence on the issue until recent weeks comes as no surprise. When the prime minister spoke against the Iran nuclear agreement before a joint session of Congress in 2015, he was challenging Barak Obama, an adversary. His “great friend” Donald Trump, hell-bent on making the “deal of the century” is another matter. “It is difficult for Netanyahu to come out against initiatives backed by Trump,” Caspit asserts. “Not impossible, but difficult.”

Amplified by Hamas’ appointment of Salah al-Arouri, mastermind of the shocking 2014 murder of three Israeli yeshiva teenagers, as its “reconciliation coordinator,” the prime minister has found his voice. Addressing a Likud faction meeting in Ma’ale Adumim, Netanyahu said that as part of any Palestinian “reconciliation” acceptable to Israel, Hamas would not only have to dismantle its Izzedin al-Qassam Brigade but dissolve all of its ties, military and political, with Iran. “We additionally expect anyone who talks about a ‘peace process’ to recognize the State of Israel and, of course, the Jewish State. We cannot accept fake reconciliation on the Palestinian side that comes at the expense of our existence.”

Figures both within and outside the prime minister’s inner circle were less inclined toward moderation. Even Donald Trump was not spared as former Likud education minister and prospective Netanyahu rival Gideon Sa’ar informed 26 parliamentarians from 15 countries assembled in Jerusalem for the Israel Allies Foundation’s Chairman’s Conference that “when it’s clear to them [Hamas and the PA] that we are here forever, then we can achieve the ‘ultimate deal.’“ As for Trump’s assertion that he wants a final shot at bringing Israel and the Palestinians together before moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Sa’ar declared, “he didn’t promise it to us, he promised it to his voters.”

A somewhat less nuanced Security Cabinet minister, Ze’ev Elkin, berated the U.S. president for his reported opposition to the announced expansion of Jewish housing construction in Hebron, Israel’s second holiest city. “This administration feels comfortable changing the commitments of the Obama government on issues like climate change,” Elkin told Yediot Aharonot, “but for some reason on issues related to us they continue the same outlook that construction over the Green Line is a negative Israeli step.”

Is the White House-Jerusalem honeymoon on the wane? We won’t really know until Donald Trump’s “final shot” at an Israeli-Palestinian peace pact is discharged. The result of that effort will be inextricably linked to the fate of a Fatah-Hamas union whose overwhelming absence of affection can probably be counted on to undermine even its most compelling political convenience. To borrow a signature Trumpian phrase, “we shall have to see.”

William Mehlman represents AFSI in Israel.

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Outpost

Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

Outpost is distributed free to
Members of Americans For a Safe Israel
Annual membership: $50.

Americans For a Safe Israel
1751 Second Ave. (at 91st St.)
New York, NY 10128
tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717
E-mail: afsi @rcn.com web site: http://www.afsi.org

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