Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

In the case of the gift horse named Trump whose offer of the gift of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was an offer that no one on the Jewish Israeli spectrum could refuse we should disregard conventual wisdom and look the gift horse in the mouth.What do the teeth of this gift horse tell us as Israelis about how this gift should be viewed?

One way of looking at the teeth of this animal is to understand the horse’s teeth are false teeth. That is to say the gift horse named Trump has through the recognition of Israel not shown a real commitment to Israel but only has satisfied his own limited home constituency in an increasingly turbulent American political process. By contrast as we explore the horse’s mouth  we do not find any teeth which would lead us to believe that we have strong support from the President in our looming problems with the Iranians in Syria. However domestic politics are part of any international political process so  the fact of the horses false teeth should not completely dull our joy of the gift

As we further peer into the mouth of this horse we see the image of our own Prime Minister Netanyahu reflecting off the teeth. Those who oppose the Prime Minister do not like this reflection because of the warmth and power it gives off seemingly “melts” the suspicions of corruption he faces. All and all what the horses teeth in the matter of our Prime Minister tells us is that like horse itself out Prime Minister has domestic interests in the gift. There is nothing unusual in this and the gift should not be frowned on because of this. In the end whatever the fate of the Prime Minister, the gift of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will remain and stand by its own merit.

Finally as a final precaution to be sure  that we fully understand what is in the mouth of this gift we take an x-ray of the mouth. From this x-ray we are able to determine that on two of the horses teeth  can be barely determined the words peace process. As people who live in the area we understand why the words are barely discernible because the peace process is dead, driven deeper in its grave by the violence that will accompany the gift of American recognition and the subtraction of Jerusalem as a motivation for Palestinian negotiations. Yet it just  here that Israelis should pause and evaluate the gift. The peace process or the absence of the peace process is just another episode in the historic Jewish Israeli question of how to deal with the Palestinians in out midst. The answers have ranged from expulsion in the War of Independence to attempts to integrate the Palestinian population of Israel proper into Israel through political and economical means. Israelis should make no mistake the process goes on most visibly in the territories with or without a peace process. The model of Jerusalem as a certification of “what in reality already exists” is the same model of realpolitik that will be presented when if present trends continue the territories are annexed with its Palestinian population. Israelis whether they are for or against Trump’s gift should understand that the model it represents will leave a Israel dealing with an increased Palestinian population in an enlarged Israel. The model of Jerusalem as  simply a political reality should be borne in mind by Israelis as they peer into the future in the territories.

About the Author
Born and educated in the United States Edward Stern has spent most of his adult life in Israel with the exception of five years when he lived and worked in China and Korea. He is an English teacher and sometime editor with a life long interest in politics and history. Some people have told him he is also a good photographer.
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