EDITORS NOTE: This is the nineth in a series titled Decadent Democrats. You may read the previous installments here:
In a Began-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies’ column titled Democrats, Experts, and Peace Plans by Alex Joffe, a Shillman-Ingerman Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a senior non-resident scholar at the BESA Center, Dr. Joffe writes:
As historian Martin Kramer points out, the [Trump] plan is not so much about peace as about partition. In that sense, the break it represents from the past 50 years of “peace processing” is profound. Equally striking is the plan’s reception.
Dr. Joffe notes this about three of the Democrats running in the presidential primary:
- Former VP Joe Biden was blunt: “A peace plan requires two sides to come together. This is a political stunt that could spark unilateral moves to annex territory and set back peace even more.” He added, “I’ve spent a lifetime working to advance the security & survival of a Jewish and democratic Israel.” True to form, Biden revealed more than he intended, implicitly acknowledging that two decades of American-led negotiations in which he had a key role failed to bring the Palestinians to the table.
- Elizabeth Warren piled on criticism, saying, “Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn’t diplomacy, it’s a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it.” This appears to ignore the rounds of negotiations under the Obama administration in 2010 and 2013-14. It also ignores the two-year development of the Trump plan, which included consultations with previous American negotiators, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, the UAE, and Turkey, but which was effectively boycotted by the PA from the start.
- Bernie Sanders demanded that “Any acceptable peace deal must be consistent with international law and multiple UN Security Council resolutions. It must end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent, democratic, economically viable state of their own alongside a secure and democratic state of Israel.” This repeats sacred mantras about “international law” and the “occupation,” setting the clock back to 1967, and giving veto power to the UN and hence Arab-Islamic and subservient blocs.
Dr. Joffe asks: Why have the Democratic presidential candidates expressed such antipathy?
ANSWER: A fundamental principle of American politics today is instinctive and absolute rejection of anything connected with Trump, be it word or deed. This childish impulse, endlessly on display, has eroded the critical faculties of politicians and media alike. Even Obama-era policies that are quietly continued under the Trump administration are rejected.
In The Hill article titled Democrats offer mixed reactions to Trump’s Mideast peace plan Laura Kelly noted:
On one end, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Trump administration’s proposed resolution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict provides some areas of “common ground” for Democrats to get behind and support.
[ … ]
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is seeking the party’s presidential nomination, ripped the administration’s plan, arguing it offered no real future for a Palestinian state.
[ … ]
Dr. Joffe concludes:
Whether these views—which of course still drip with antipathy toward Trump and Netanyahu—will influence Democratic candidates remains unclear. But this partial acknowledgment of reality represents the bargaining stage of grief. The Palestinian leadership appears permanently trapped in the second stage of grief, anger, but the Palestinian people seem to be in a depression. Encouraging them to move forward toward acceptance is critical. Democratic presidential candidates should be encouraged to do the same.
It appears that the Democrats and Palestinian leadership are both “permanently trapped in the second stage of grief and anger.” The Democrats are grieving and angry because President Trump won the White House in 2016. The Palestinians are grieving and angry because President Trump’s peace plan actually gives them their own sovereign state.
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