Trump and Haley change the game for the Palestinians

Palestinians are facing a new reality, and they don't like it a bit.  They are discovering that their old game doesn't work with President Trump and Nikki Haley.

At last, the United States is calling an end to the decades-long game that the Palestinians have played with the U.S.  They have been able to simultaneously extract hundreds of millions of dollars from the United States every year and fund terrorists who kill Americans and Israelis.  Only a "foreign policy expert" could believe that this is a wise policy, which is why it takes a man accustomed to accomplishing big things in the real world (as opposed to endlessly "advancing the peace process" to no effect) to call a halt to the madness.

President Trump signaled that the game is over two days ago:

It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue...

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018

...peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018

U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley is not just on board, but an effective advocate and trench warrior:

Responding to a reporter's question on whether the [U.S.] will continue to provide funding for the [U.N.] Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to millions of Palestinian refugees, in light of a non-binding [U.N.] General Assembly resolution last month condemning the [U.S.] recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Haley said Trump was prepared to cut aid to UNRWA if the Palestinians refuse to return to peace talks.

"I think the president has basically said that he doesn't want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table," Haley said.  "We're trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn't happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation." 

"The Palestinians now have to show their will – they want to come to the table.  As of now they are not coming to the table but they ask for aid.  We're not giving the aid," added Haley.  "We're going to make sure they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process."

The implicit threats that the Palestinians have used all these decades to keep the money flowing are:

1. The Arab and Muslim worlds will explode.

2. If the Palestinian Authority falls, it will be replaced by Hamas or Hezb'allah, and the cooperation with Israeli security forces by P.A. forces will end.

As any skilled and artistic dealmaker would, President Trump has already addressed both of these threats.  With Saudi Arabia more concerned about Iran than the Palestinians, there will be desultory fury whipped up, at best.  The protests against the Jerusalem embassy move have not exactly plunged the world into chaos, after all.  And Hezb'allah depends on Iranian funding and arms, and that may not be a secure support base as Iranians threaten to topple the mullahs and complain bitterly about their wealth flowing outside their country.  As for Hamas, its base of power in Gaza is awfully vulnerable and could be wiped out if push really does come to shove.

Most of the U.S. aid to the Palestinians flows through UNWRA, the U.N. agency that operates as a de facto enabler of Palestinian radicalism.  The U.S. contribution overwhelms all other sources of funding.

Hat tip: Streiff, Red State.

The status quo has not been working well for a long time.  The P.A. is in a corner now, with few good options.

Let the "experts" rant against this "escalation."  Politically, this is a loser, as Americans understand the idiocy of funding Palestinian terrorists.  Diplomatically, it may downsize the careers of people who have "expertly" managed the "peace process" to no avail, but that is a downside only for the individuals involved.

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