Posted on 3/15/2017 2:13:38 PM With Trump And Netanyahu, So Far It's Mostly Speculation Staff
Trump & Netanyahu: What Do They Really Want?
Throughout the years of the Netanyahu premiership, we have pondered over what Benjamin Netanyahu really believes, and what he really wants. He has professed his belief in Yisrael Shlayma - an Israel from "the river to the sea" - yet he gave away most of Hebron, stated his acceptance of a "Palestinian" state (albeit with conditions), and has restricted the growth of Jewish communities throughout Judea and Samaria.
On the other hand, Bibi has been credited with maintaining the status quo, which has enabled some Jewish population growth within Judea and Samaria, as well as eastern Jerusalem.
Many, if not most Israelis understand that "Palestinians" do not want a state alongside Israel. Instead, they want a state to replace Israel. They also understand that an Arab state in Judea and Samaria would be a security and demographic nightmare, with Arabs stationed on the high ground overlooking Israel's flat coastal plain.
However, thirsting for peace or at least and end to conflict, a number of Israelis would agree to a "Palestinian" state given certain considerations, security-wise and others. Fortunately, every time an Israeli leader offered concessions that could have lead to a state, they have been rejected (think Barak, Olmert.)
Which brings us to today. President Trump's personal envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, just wrapped up meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas. These meetings were purportedly information gathering sessions, to enable Trump to understand the situation better, leading to the calling of an international conference (Trump contemplating regional peace conference).
President Trump has professed great friendship toward Israel, and has lived up to it in several ways, including appointees such as Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Nikki Haley as U.S. Ambassador the the United Nations. There are also reports of Trump considering withdrawing the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Council, due to its strong anti-Israel bias.
Yet, as we reported yesterday, there have also been several problematic appointees within the Trump administration. Thankfully, late yesterday, one of these was withdrawn. Defense Secretary Mattis withdrew Anne Patterson as his choice for undersecretary for policy, primarily due to Congressional opposition to her support of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (Defense Secretary Mattis withdraws Patterson as choice for undersecretary for policy).
Which leads us to ask as we did about Bibi: What does Donald Trump believe, and what does he really want? President Trump has stated that he would agree to whatever the protagonists in the Middle East agree to: one state, two states, or whatever formulation they decide on.
Trump has also stated that any solution must arise from direct face-to-face negotiations between the parties. If so, why would he repeat the errors of the past and call for an international conference, where the cards would be heavily stacked against Israel?
We ask: Has President Trump considered alternatives to an impossible "two state solution"? Does he know enough history to understand that Jordan is Palestine? Does he get it that the conflict is not about land, but is religiously-based where the Arabs/Muslims cannot tolerate a Jewish nation of any size and in any location?
Does President Trump understand the situation in Gaza, where the Arabs were given on a golden platter, what would for all intents and purposes amount to a state of their own, but squandered the opportunity and replaced it with ongoing conflict with Israel? Does he understand the geopolitical consequences of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, only to be replaced by Hezbollah and and estimated 150,000 missiles aimed at Israel? Does he understand that Iran is looking to create a Shiite crescent running from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea? Does he understand that Iran is fortifying troops and positions, creating a new front on the Golan Heights against Israel?
If President Trump "gets it", then he will not repeat the errors of past administrations, and will not try to pressure Israel to vacate land in the name of (a non-existent) "peace".