Netanyahu's Poodle - Time for a Redo

The reason that former US presidents gave lip service to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and never did, was the hope each of them had that there was still a prospect for negotiations to resolve the Palestinian problem. One has to assume that Trump has no such illusions despite his advertised pretensions.  After the split screen image of Palestinian protestors being cut down in Gaza on the one side of the screen, and on the other Jarad Kushner smiling, celebrating the Embassy move to Jerusalem, and blaming the Palestinians for their own demise, can anyone explain how a Palestinian leader, even one who owed his sole to the CIA,  could sit down with the US and live to see the next dawn? 

As some commentators have pointed out, there were ways to do the Embassy move that would not have burned bridges.  But if that was the case before, then Trump, by playing Netanyahu's poodle, has now tossed that lifeline aside. I favored the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the move of the US Embassy there - and I still do - but not the way that "our" Ambassador Friedman, the Christian right, and Donald Trump have carried it out.  Trump is the man who never sees a question mark as a problem. Do we support a two state solution" "we'll see." An while Trump cogitates, Gaza, according to the UN, is falling into an unsustainable condition of poverty, hunger, and despair.  Shooting Palestinians is probably not the best solution and I would argue not a solution at all. Israel cannot fix the border until it helps to fix the problem of Gaza's sustainability.

Forget the so called "peace process." There is none, and not likely to be any for some time to come.  Forget Kushner and his merry band who have defined themselves, intentionally or inadvertently, as acolytes of Netanyahu. Forget the Israeli-Palestinian issue - and let us concentrate on the "Palestinian issue." Only when there is renewed hope in the future among the people of Gaza and the West Bank will a path to peace be opened. The only way to defeat Hamas is to show that it does not have the answers for Gaza.  And the only way to do that is to begin to provide some of those answers.

We need to turn the page back to Salam Fayyad and some of his ideas, as well as to the Jordanians to focus on the Valley of Peace initiative and the joint industrial zones. Access to the sea for Gaza fishermen, power generation projects, water projects and an infusion of private sector and governmental capital tied to specific projects jointly monitored by the EU and the Palestinians.  I would have said the US but no one would believe any more that we were objective.  

We call members of Hamas "terrorists" and some certainly are in our definition, but intheir definition they consider themselves "nationalists" - brave "heroes" who face live fire with "David's sling" - the irony is overwhelming. Trump is a master at tagging his enemies with labels. But labels do not provide rational roadmaps for the future.  Political tag lines can get him elected, but they cannot solve the problems we face or those faced by our friends in Israel and among the remaining few Palestinians who may hold our some hope for us - "after Trump."  None of us can afford to wait. as Trump would say "who knows."  But we don't have to know to act.  Let's call on the Americans who know the Gaza situation best, who have lived and worked there, even if, God forbid, they worked for Clinton's State Department. 

Ned Walker