Informed observers of US Middle East policy
often discuss developments between Israel and the US and limiting themselves to the difficulties of the eight years Obama , forgetting the differences between the Israeli and American governments over polices towards the PLO with five successive presidents.
However, having run a news agency in the heart of Jerusalem for the past 30 years, my perspective on US –Israel policy differences goes back 28 years, not 8 years.
The critical moment of crisis of confidence became pronounced when President Ronald Reagan recognized the PLO in December, 1988, ignoring US policy guidelines which tied US recognition of the PLO to a demand that the PLO must first accept UN resolution 242, denounce violence and recognize Israel.
The new Reagan policy towards the PLO stood in sharp contrast to repeated declarations of Reagan’s Secretary of State George Schultz who passionately denounced the PLO as an unrelenting terrorist organization, which could never be trusted to make peace.
With my own eyes, I watched Schultz lead AIPAC participants at the AIPAC conference in May 1987. in a chant, “Hell No, PLO”
Yet the Reagan demands of Arafat, leader of the PLO, were far from that.
Within two days of Arafat mouthing symbolic words which denounced terrorism, the PLO issued continuing statements that this did not mean that the PLO would have to stop killing Jews to achieve its goals of Palestinian Arab independence.
In December 1989. I asked a close Reagan adviser, Dr. Alan Keyes, with an impeccable pro Israel stance, who served as under Sec’y of State for Inter organization Affairs, as to why the Reagan Administration turned on Israel in favor of the PLO.
Dr. Keyes gave a clear response: The Saudis were fearful that the PLO, would organize an Intifada resurrection in Saudi Arabia which would result in the PLO burning their oil fields, destabilizing the Arab and world economy.
Yet the Reagan unconditional acceptance of the PLO has marked US Middle East policy until the inauguration of Donald Trump.
During these 28 years that of this new PLO policy, the US helped create the nascent Palestinian Authority, which introduced a new school system of schoolbooks and teachers who have indoctrinated the next generation of Palestinian Arab children with the “values” of liberating all of Palestine by force of arms.
In 1996, I met Arafat and asked to see the new PLO schoolbooks, which would be placed in use in the PA/UNRWA school system. Arafat complied and arranged for our office to receive new Palestinian Authority schoolbooks. Ever since, our office has have produced updated translations that seem to prove the thesis of MK Benyamin Begin, who often remarks that PLO advocates the “two stage solution”, not the two state solution.
Yet successive US administrations refused to acknowledge the lethal content of the new Palestinian Authority curriculum used in the UNRWA school system, which prepares 492,000 Arab students in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria and Gaza for a Jihad holy war against Israel.
All that changed in February, at the first press conference that President Trump held with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, when the new US President dramatically declared that he had seen the Palestinian Authority textbooks, and, as a result, expressed doubts as to the sincerity of the PA as a peace partner.
How did the President get to see the PA school books?
Only through happenstance in Jerusalem. I covered a conference in Jerusalem where conservative political parties from a number of nations, and raised questions about the neglected issue of education during the years of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which hardly reached any results that bespoke of peace on the horizon.
Unknown to yours truly, the person sitting next to me at this conference was the chief a representative of the Trump transition team visiting Israel.
The Trump representative left Israel with full documentation of the latest Palestinian Authority schoolbooks and with factual refutation of US State Department reports, which had misled successive US administrations to believe the peaceful intentions of the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA.
Within a matter of weeks,the Trump rep to Israel placed the PA curriculum on the desk of the new US President. As a result, the US President hinted that the Israeli government should now act against the incitement in PA schools.
The US government therefore did not object when Israel placed the PA warlike intentions front and center on the face book page of the Israeli foreign ministry and the Israel Prime Minister’s office.
And the US government raised no objections when the Israeli government closed down an Arab school in Jerusalem, because it adopted the war education curriculum of the PA.
Meanwhile, Mr. Netanyahu, who now acts as the foreign minister and the prime minister, directed Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli to raise the issue of PA to every diplomatic mission in Israel.
She has done so and will continue to do so, and with an invitation to address AIPAC with that message, with the sanction of the new President of the United States, who has removed 28 years of US constraints against denouncing the warlike policies that emanate from the PLO and their administrative arm, the Palestinian Authority.