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February 16, 2017 8:00 am

A Palestinian State Is Not in America’s Interest

avatar by Yoram Ettinger

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at Wednesday's White House press conference. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at Wednesday’s White House press conference. Photo: Screenshot.

In 1948, the conventional “wisdom” at the US State Department was that the reestablishment of a Jewish state would damage US interests because the Jewish state would be aligned with the USSR, undermine US-Arab relations, intensify regional instability and be militarily devastated by its Arab neighbors, thus causing a second Holocaust.

That “wisdom,” of course, was wrong.

The State Department’s views were also wrong when: the US appeased Egyptian President Nasser (1950s); facilitated the toppling of the Shah of Iran (1977-78); embraced Saddam Hussein, and inadvertently encouraged his August 1989 invasion of Kuwait; proclaimed Yasser Arafat to be a messenger of peace (1993); welcomed the Arab Spring (2011); supported the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood against Egyptian President Mubarak, and turned a cold shoulder to pro-US President al-Sisi (2011-2017); and toppled the Qaddafi regime, thus transforming Libya into a major platform of Islamic terrorism (2011).

In 2017, the conventional “wisdom” maintains that the Palestinian issue is at the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that the US can reset the Middle East by forcing peace on the Israelis. According to this view, the proposed Palestinian state is an integral part of the Israeli-Arab peace process, and would ultimately benefit US security interests.

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But this view flies in the face of 14 centuries of Middle Eastern history, the Jordan-Palestinian conflict and the track record of the Palestinians since the 1920s.

All attempts to introduce democracy and peace into the Arab Middle East have been defeated by deeply-rooted intra-Arab violent violence (which has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict).

Furthermore, while the US — rightly so — invests billions of dollars to bolster Jordan’s current regime, a Palestinian state would actually endanger the pro-US Hashemite monarchy.

In October 1994, during the Israel-Jordan peace treaty ceremony, top Jordanian military and intelligence officers reportedly cautioned their Israeli colleagues: “Don’t allow the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, because it would doom the Hashemite regime east of the River; and, be aware that agreements signed with the Palestinians in the morning are violated by night time.”

The Palestinian Authority and the PLO claim to represent all Palestinians, including those in Jordan. The conflict between that Palestinians and the Hashemites in Jordan led to the pre-1948 clashes between King Abdullah (who was murdered by a Palestinian in 1951) and the Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin al-Husayni; the 1970-71 Jordan-PLO war of “Black September”; the 1985-87 clashes in Jordan, and the current unrest among many Jordanian Palestinians. Creating a Palestinian state would clearly undermine the security interests of Jordan — a key US ally.

The creation of a Palestinian state would also trigger destabilizing ripple effects in pro-US Saudi Arabia and all of the other pro-US Arab Gulf states, providing a robust tailwind to Islamic terrorism. A Palestinian state would also advance the Iranians’ goal of dominating the Persian Gulf, and the broader Middle East.

Furthermore, most Arab states do not view the Palestinian issue as a true or important concern. As the January 25, 2017 edition of the prestigious Saudi weekly Asharq al-Awsat stated, “Due to the destruction and displacement that has affected the Middle East in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the Palestinian cause is no longer central. We do not forget how extremists succeeded in exploiting the Palestinian tragedy to serve unscrupulous regimes….” And contrary to the conventional “wisdom,” none of the traumatic developments that led to the Arab Spring and its aftermath had anything to do with Israel.

Moreover, it’s easy to see the adverse impact that a Palestinian state would have on the US and the world if we simply examine the Palestinians’ track record: waves of anti-Jewish and anti-Arab Palestinian terrorism during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s; the Palestinians’ World War II alliance with Nazi Germany; their alliance with the rogue Soviet Bloc; their 1970s-1980s training camps for Asian, African, European and Latin American terrorists; and their warm ties with Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea. And don’t forget the endless Palestinian incitement to terrorism, which is, of course, completely counter to US interests and values.

A Palestinian state in the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria would reduce Israel to a 9-15-mile sliver of land — and transform Israel from a unique national security asset of the United States into a liability.

A Palestinian state is not in America’s interest.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom. 

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