Esor Ben-Sorek

Facing Hard Compromises

With President Donald Trump you don’t get something for nothing. For every favor or courtesy, there is a price to be paid in return.

In speaking of his recent triumph, the official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of the State of Israel, the American president is expecting a pay-back. He refers to them as “hard compromises for peace”.

What compromises in particular is he looking for from the Israeli side? The issue of Jerusalem has been resolved post facto. It is a Jewish city, a Jewish capital city, in which Christians and Muslims may also reside.

Is president Trump expecting us to allow the return of more than one million descendants of the Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war? On that, there can be no compromise.

Is he demanding that Israel demolish the settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank)?  I see little to none of a compromise.

Is he requiring Israel to surrender territories re-captured after the 1967 war which will put the Palestinians on the very doorstep of Israel? There can probably be some compromise on exchange of territory. How much and where would have to be agreed upon by the two warring nations.

Can Israel, at this junction, refuse Trump’s “hard compromises”? I hardly think so. But our wise and pragmatic leaders, not just the dreamers, will need to determine how far they can go to satisfy President Trump.

In my opinion, nothing that Israel can or will do will ultimately result in a formal peace agreement between us and the Palestinian Authority. Mahmud Abbas will not endanger his life from a possible assassination by his own people for surrendering to Israel’s terms.

And speaking “dugri”, I do believe that our Prime Minister is more interested in keeping his seat warm than making peace with the Palestinians. He is satisfied with the status quo. And now his concerns are less with the Palestinians and more with the northern borders of Lebanon and Syria “governed” by the war-like hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran is a greater danger to us and to regional tranquility than are the threats from Hamas and Hizbullah.

Will President Trump go a step further by recognizing Ramallah as the capital city of a future State of Palestine? He speaks of “hard” compromises, not realizing that every compromise is “hard”. There are no simple compromises that can satisfy us and the Palestinians. President Trump needs to understand that.

America has tried and failed in every attempt to bring the parties to a negotiating table. Stubborness exists on both sides, but much more so with the Palestinian side. While Israel always agrees to sit together and to talk about the issues facing them, the Palestinians always find an excuse to say “no”.

Abbas is correct when he says that the United States can no longer be considered an “honest broker”. It is obvious to the world that America has taken the side of Israel while still portraying itself as a true friend of the Arabs of Palestine.

But who could replace the Americans? Certainly not the Russians nor the Chinese nor members of the European Union who have long been biased against the Jewish State . Not even the Saudis who came up with a peace plan requiring Israel to return to the 1967 borders in exchange for peace with the Arab and Muslim nations.

The situation remains “teku”…. Unresolvable until the arrival of the prophet Elijah bearing words of the imminent coming of the messiah.

Until then, I fear that President Trump’s quid pro quo payment from Israel will have to be put on hold.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
Related Topics
Related Posts