Israel was the focal point of US news last week with the ceremonial presentation of what President Trump calls ‘the Deal of the Century’.
And a good deal it is, notwithstanding some major pitfalls such as even offering a palestinian state at the end of a long haul.
We have embraced the offer and it seemed that most of the country was on board too. The Zionist citizens of the State of Israel are long overdue for some goodwill and new plans, and this deal offers both. Israel wants peace, mothers want their sons to stay safe and not have to fight on our borders. Citizens want quiet and we all seek prosperity for everyone living under the umbrella that is this beautiful, miraculous Jewish state.
Peace is made between enemies, sometimes. This time Abbas and the PA have made clear they are not interested in a path that includes reducing terror or accepting the Jewish state – rejecting the advancement of their own people and trading away an opportunity for economic prosperity. Shame.
Deals are made among friends, and this is the handshake we saw with Pres Trump and PM Netanyahu. It is the basis for moving forward with similar ideals. Our goal is to ensure a secure, prosperous future for ourselves and our neighbors. Despite the palestinian leadership’s rejection over the years for anything resembling prosperity without terror, we will try to provide a serious economic boost for our neighbors. You heard the clapping in the room when the US mentioned a $50 billion investment for our Arab neighbors – this is good for everyone, and it is despite the desires of their unelected leaders. Change can only come with bravery and vision – it’s ok for Trump and Netanyahu to be the ones providing this first step!
Jewish sovereignty over our homelands is a historic must, and it lends security and a way forward for everyone. We had expected this move immediately, yet yesterday’s weekly government meeting had its hands tied by Jared Kushner’s remarks following the deal’s presentation. ‘We hope’ the first steps will take place after the elections? He surprised his own team, as well as ours, and that red light is the dangerous thread now held by the interim Netanyahu government. It had a legal right, perhaps imperative, to implement the first stages right now, as the window of opportunity was unique and imminent. Now the legal situation is unclear and we again return to wavering, rather than clear leadership. Netanyahu proved brave and willing, and he believed this was the way forward. So did US Ambassador David Friedman’s team, it appears, and we are left agape, the lack of implementation creating a loss of leadership that could unwittingly upheave our March elections unjustly.
Shame, again. This time on those who have dialed back this brave step, so welcome in Israel today. We could go ahead, but this would anger our partner in the deal, and it would raise questions within our own system, simply because of the interim status of our government. Only a unique opportunity would be a legal impetus for our government to vote in new policy today, and the fear is that we may be missing that chance with internal quarrelsome wavering within the Administration. This is also damaging Netanyahu’s standing, just before our elections.
In short, what began as a good scene last week, is now a dangerous setting – and if the left wins our election, they could use the deal as a basis to first set up a Palestinian state in large borders, and then move on to the rest of the discussion, whatever that would be. Dangerous indeed. Let’s hope and pray that good intentions prevail and quick action is taken.