Biden foolishly is reversing one of Trump's major Middle East policies
The most brilliant thing that Trump did when it came to bringing peace to the Middle East was to marginalize the Palestinians. By making them irrelevant, he allowed other countries — none of which like the Palestinians — to come directly to the table with Israel. Biden, of course, is reversing that.
The Palestinians are not a real people, pardon me for saying so. By that, I don't mean they're imaginary; they exist, but the identity they claim does not.
Jews have lived in the land of Israel for at least 3,800 years. They are the indigenous people. Those people who call themselves Palestinians mostly arrived in the 19th century. They were refugees from various internecine battles between Muslims in different Arab countries. They didn't own the land but, instead, were squatters or laborers on land owned by wealthy Ottoman Turks.
When these drifters settled in the land, it was called Syria-Palestine. The name "Palestine" was the name the Romans applied to it when they conquered it in 70 A.D. It was a deliberate insult, meant to sever the Jews' ancient ties to their land. The Syria part was because the Muslims had conquered the land, and it eventually ended up under Ottoman Turk control as a swampy, disease-ridden region adjacent to Syria.
Fast-forward to WWI. The Ottoman Turks sided with Germany. When Germany lost the War, Britain gained control over the Palestine part of Syria-Palestine. By this time, Theodore Herzl's dream of returning all the diaspora Jews to their ancient land to avoid Europe's deadly anti-Semitism had taken hold.
Jews were traveling to the land still known as Palestine. They didn't steal the land. They bought it very cheaply because it was a useless swamp. And then, through hard labor, they made the land flow with milk and honey. The Arabs living on the land were at first quite delighted because the Jews made life better for them.
Meanwhile, in England, Arthur Balfour believed that Palestine was the predestined home of the Jewish people. Everyone, including the future Faisal I bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi, who ruled over Syria and Iraq, thought it was a good idea to have the Jews bring their energy, commitment, and modernity to this backward land.
And then the bureaucrats came along.
British civil servants who had never risen above mediocrity in other parts of the vast empire were shipped to Palestine. This was their chance to shine, and they certainly didn't want Jews to get in the way. The Jews were especially offensive because their energy and initiative — and compassion to their Arab neighbors — put the bureaucrats' lazy inefficiency to shame. The Jews threatened their job security, so many bureaucrats went to work ginning up Arab nationalism, including "Palestinian nationalism." It worked.
The big secret about the Palestinians is that the other Arab nations dislike them. They're considered dangerous malcontents. While everyone was fussing some years ago about the wall Israel built to cut down on terrorism, nobody mentioned that Egypt has a wall keeping the Palestinians out. They mattered only because they were a pawn in the Cold War and, for the Arab nations, they were a good distraction to keep people from noticing their own governments' failings.
Between the Cold War and the Arab nations using Palestinians as a distraction, the Palestinians found themselves central to all Middle East peace plans. No plan ever worked, though, because the Palestinians never wanted a two-state solution. As Hamas's charter says, their goal is to drive all Jews from the land (mostly by killing them). You can't reach a fair agreement with genocidal people.
Trump's genius was to ignore the Palestinians. Instead of working to achieve an Israel-Palestinian peace deal, he looked at Arab countries that would benefit from business deals with Israel, and then he went to work. And so the Abraham Accords were born.
The Biden administration is quietly ramping up its financial assistance to Palestinians, in the latest reversal of former President Donald Trump's foreign policy.
The State Department, along with the US Agency for International Development, notified Congress of their intent to deliver nearly $75 million in aid to the region just one day after announcing a $15 million commitment publicly to vulnerable Palestinian groups.
What Biden is doing is stupid unless your goal is to return violence to the region. It remains to be seen whether the surrounding Sunni Arab nations once again enshrine the Palestinians as the fulcrum to any peace plan or they decide not to go down that route and, instead, maintain their mutually beneficial new relationships with Israel.
Image: Aziz Salha, proudly waving his blood-stained hands after lynching two Jewish men in Ramallah.
You can find the MeWe post for this article here.