Writes Caroline Glick in RealClear Politics:
The PLO is disoriented, panicked and hysterical. Speaking to Newsweek this week, Saeb Erekat, PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas’s chief conduit to Israel and the Americans, complained that since President Donald Trump was sworn into office, no administration official had spoken to them.
“I don’t know any of them [Trump’s advisers]. We have sent them letters, written messages. They don’t even bother to respond to us.”
The Trump administration’s shunning of the PLO is a marked departure from the policies of its predecessor. For former president Barack Obama, together with Iran, the Palestinians were viewed as the key players in the Middle East. Abbas was the first foreign leader Obama called after taking office.
Obama did say that he was going to fundamentally change America, after all. Trump’s decision to give the PLO the silent treatment is quite a signal that his administration won’t be treating them with kid gloves anymore. Trump’s busy changing American back it seems in a way which will actually hold the PLO and their terrorists masters accountable in ways they aren’t accustomed.
Erekat’s statement reveals something that is generally obscured. Despite its deep support in Europe, the UN and the international Left, without US support, the PLO is irrelevant.
All the achievements the PLO racked up under Obama – topped off with the former president’s facilitation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 against Israel – are suddenly irrelevant. Their impact dissipated the minute Trump took office.
Israel, in contrast, is more relevant than ever.
While Trump occasionally pays lip service to making peace in the Middle East, his real goal is to win the war against jihadist Islam. And he rightly views Israel as a woefully underutilized strategic ally that shares his goal and is well-placed to help him achieve it.
Unlike Obama – and to an extent previous GOP administrations, Trump represents the American side of the dispute as weary of indulging terrorists and their political arms. Concludes Glick:
Trump’s emerging strategy on Iran and ISIS, together with his refusal to operate in accordance with the standard US playbook on the Palestinians, indicates that the US has abandoned this practice. Under Trump, Israel is free to defeat its enemies. Their most powerful deterrent against Israel – the US – is gone.
Israel has long argued that there is no difference between al-Qaida and Hamas or between ISIS and Hezbollah. It has also argued that Iran threatens not only Israel but the world as a whole. Hoping to co-opt the forces of jihad rather than defeat them, successive US administrations have chosen to deny this obvious truth.
Unlike his predecessors, Trump is serious about winning. To do so, he is even willing to take the radical step of accepting Israel as an ally.
The PLO is right to be hysterical.
With Iran doubling down on the Trump administration’s fresh sanctions after their ballistic missile test with war games, its clear Trump may have to deal with an Iranian-inspired intifada from Hamas in the region. But Israel will defend itself this time without silly reminders from the State Department to show restraint and remember that path to peace or something.