|A flag burns in Gaza; For link click here|
President Trump’s historic visit to Israel on 22 May presents the perfect opportunity for him to deliver on the promises he made to Israel during last year’s presidential election campaign.
Trump’s broad-ranging foreign policy speech on 27 April 2016 highlighted the disgraceful way Israel had been treated by the Obama Administration:
"Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity.
President Obama has not been a friend to Israel."Trump’s claim was certainly justified.
Obama – aided and abetted by his two Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry – had deliberately undermined the written commitments made to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by President Bush on 14 April 2004 and subsequently endorsed overwhelmingly by the Congress by 502 votes to 12 (“Bush/Congress Commitments”).
“To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.”The shared interests of Israel and America became inextricably entwined after the Bush/Congress Commitments had:
1. secured Israel’s total disengagement from Gaza and a part of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) in 2005
2. promised President Bush’s stalled 2003 Roadmap proposing the two-state solution a real chance of coming to fruition.The Bush/Congress Commitments were also crucial to Israel’s agreement to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as publicly declared by Israel’s then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the international conference called by President Bush in Annapolis in 2007:
“In the course of the negotiations, we will use previous agreements as a point of departure. U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the road map, and the letter of President Bush to the prime minister of Israel dated April 14, 2004.”Obama’s treachery in derogating from the Bush/Congress Commitments was compounded when he refused to veto Security Council Resolution 2334 passed during the dying days of Obama’s Presidency on 23 December 2016.
Trump needs to repeat this part of his 2016 message loudly and clearly in Israel:
“… your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them. You’ve made that agreement, you have to stand by it and the world will be a better place."Sticking by the Bush/Congress commitments will sound a clear warning to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Arab League that PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas will become irrelevant if he continues to:
1. press for a complete withdrawal by Israel from Judea and Samaria (West Bank)
2. refuse to accept Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people
3. maintain a claimed right of return to Israel for millions of refugees and their descendants contradicting the unequivocal terms of the Bush/Congress Commitments.Trump – as only he can – has put Abbas on notice this could well happen:
“We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in The New York Times or being watched on television.”Bipartisan Congressional support will welcome Trump honouring the Bush/Congress Commitments – confirming Trump’s bold vision:
“We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties – Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies.”Integrity always trumps betrayal.