In the long-continuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, conventional wisdom has it that peace can be achieved through realistic negotiations between the parties to the conflict.
The previous Obama administration displayed a clear tilt towards one party to the conflict, the Palestinians, at the cost of the other, Israel.
Last month, Washington's abstention from voting on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334 led to its passage. This resolution condemns Israeli settlements in "Palestinian Occupied Territories." Resolution 2334 also implies that Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are all occupied territory, when in fact, it was Israel that liberated them from the illegal Jordanian conquest of them in the war of 1948. The resolution effectively states that any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines, or Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem, is illegal.
Objectively speaking, this resolution amounts to anti-Semitism: it is simply counterfactual to the Jews' history in the region. Both the Bible and archeology reveal that Jews have had a historical connection with this land for more than 3000 years.
Given the history of violence that the Palestinians indulge in against the Jews, it would seem a counter-productive precedent to reward decades of terrorism and uncivilised behaviour with a state. It would also leave the Palestinians, who deserve a responsible and accountable leadership, under the domination of two corrupt and brutal governments, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
One hopes President Donald J. Trump, as the leader of the democratic world, would waste no time to bury this counter-factual, anti-Semitic resolution. Nikki Haley, Trump's appointment to the United Nations, has already condemned the controversial resolution as an "outrageous bias" against Israel, and criticized the Administration of former President Barack H. Obama for the abstention that let the resolution pass.
Nikki Haley (pictured above from 2014), President Trump's appointment to the United Nations, has already condemned UN Security Council Resolution 2334 as an "outrageous bias" against Israel. (Image source: defenseimagery.mil)
The Trump Administration needs to see to it that UNSC Resolution 2334 is rendered null and void. Significantly, it has the moral and political support of the American Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly condemned the resolution. The Senate has introduced a similar bipartisan bill to cut funding from the United Nations.
Ironically, it is Washington's "no" to this resolution that will help the peace process, not this resolution, as the Obama Administration disingenuously tried to claim.
A study of the various proposals Israel has made to the Palestinians from time to time shows the key obstacle to peace is not the Palestinian demand for any piece of land but its refusal to recognize the very existence of the Jewish state, or, presumably any state but an Islamic one, preferably its own. That there is any dispositive linkage of land for peace is a myth.
Sometimes, the Palestinians do recognize the state of Israel. At a news conference, then Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat once said, "We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel."
The Palestinian leadership said they did so in the Oslo Accords, too, but they never practised it. In all the proposals for peace Israel has set forth, the Palestinians have never even made a counter-offer, and seem especially averse to signing an "end of conflict" document.
The current Palestinian leadership is divided into two factions -- the West Bank-based Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas. Both openly incite violence against the Jews, and aspire to the eventual creation of an Islamic state replacing all of Israel.
According to a recent House of Representatives resolution, there have been more than 300 terrorist attacks targeting Israelis since September 2015. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, too, incites violence against Jews.
Washington's "no" to the resolution would give the right message to the Palestinian Authority to join the Israeli leadership in direct negotiations, recognize the Jewish state and appreciate its security concerns.
The United States could also move its embassy to Jerusalem. This would send the Palestinian leadership and others in the region a strong message that Washington will support both historical facts and countries that comport themselves with civilised behaviour.
Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi.