ANALYSIS: Trump Causes Revolution in Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 |  Yochanan Visser

A revolution is taking place in the way the United States deals with the Palestinian Israeli conflict and it could have serious ramifications for the security situation in Israel some say while others see God's hand in the stunning developments.

Last week the Trump Administration announced it would cut $200 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it will receive assurances the PA and Hamas will spend the aid to improve the lives of Palestinians and not on funding terrorism directed at Israel.

The money will now be “redirected” from the so-called West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza and will be used “to serve U.S. national interests”, according to a statement by the U.S. State Department.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that a senior Trump official had said “the administration will no longer enable the Palestinian Authority and those in the Hamas terrorist government to use aid dollars in their war against Israel.”

"Hamas is fighting a morally-bankrupt war at the expense of the Palestinian people, the anonymous official was quoted as saying.

“Hamas's corrupt and illegitimate control has provoked conflict and led to poverty and hopelessness, while hampering the ability of the international community to help," he added.

The decision is “separate” from the  “Congress' mandate in the Taylor Force Act but designed to work in parallel with it,” the source told Free Beacon reporter Adam Kredo.

The Taylor Force Act, named after an American tourist who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv, is meant to force the PA in ending its so-called ‘pay to slay’ policy, the payment of monthly stipends to jailed Palestinian terrorists and their families via the PLO.

PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat reacted furious to the decision and argued that the U.S. has an obligation to provide the Palestinian Arabs with financial aid.

“The international community is not doing the Palestinians a favour by providing them with financial aid," Erekat said in a statement.

"This is a due duty of the international community, which bears responsibility for the continued Israeli occupation," he claimed in an apparent reference to the process which led to the founding of the state of Israel.

At about the same time, John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, announced the administration would halt its yearly contribution to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) due to the council’s anti-Israel bias.

The United States used to contribute 22% of the UNHRC’s yearly budget via its overall payment to the United Nations.

The UNHRC was founded in 2006 to improve human rights worldwide but instead became obsessed with alleged Israeli crimes vis a vis the Palestinian Arabs without taking the PA and Hamas to task over their violations of human rights.

Last year Musab Youssef the son of Hamas’ spiritual leader Hassan Yousef attended a Israel-bashing session of UNHRC and harshly criticized PA and Hamas over these human rights abuses.

Then there was a leaked report by Hadeshot News in Israel about Trump’s intention to cut aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) until it changes the unique criteria by which it counts Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA granted refugee status not only to the roughly 600,000 Palestinian Arabs who fled what became Israel again during and after the 1948 War of Independence but also to their descendants. 

The PA claims there are now 5,3 million Palestinian ‘refugees’ and has always demanded the not-existing ‘right of return’ for them while UNRWA takes care 809,738 registered ‘refugees’ who still live in 19 refugee camps in Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

The U.S. is reportedly demanding a new definition of a ‘Palestinian refugee’ and wants UNRWA to adopt the definition used by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees the UN body which takes care of refugees worldwide and resettles most of them in their host countries within three years.

All these measures are meant to increase the pressure upon the PA and Hamas but have the potential of blowing up in Israel’s face as some commentators put it.

“The ramifications of these abrupt steps will only empower the radicals,” claimed former IDF spokesman Peter Lerner who predicted Trump’s hard balling of the PA and Hamas will “likely blow up on Israel’s doorstep.”

Lerner’s concerns about the results of Trump’s current strategy vis a vis the Palestinian Arabs are shared by left-wing commentators such as Amos Harel of Haaretz.

Harel fears the cutting of US aid to the Palestinian Arabs will result in a new round of violence with Hamas in Gaza.

Others, however, regard Trump’s brazen steps in the now 100-year-old conflict with a more spiritual outlook based on ancient Jewish scriptures.

One of them is rabbi Yosef Berger who is the custodian of King David’s tomb on Mount Zion.

Berger says Trump is paving the way for the building of the third Temple and the coming of the Messiah while he already achieved a great ‘Tikkun’ (reparation) by recognizing Israel sovereignty over Jerusalem and by moving the US embassy to Israel’s capital.

“He (Trump) has already created a great tikkun (reparation) for the Christians through his unprecedented relationship with Jerusalem. Trump is the representative of Edom that will perform that final historic reparation for his entire nation by building the Temple,” according to rabbi Berger.

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