This week commenced the rollout of the first stages of the Trump administration’s much-ballyhooed Middle-East peace plan, aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Spearheaded by Trump’s Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner, the first step in the plan was an economic workshop aimed at improving the economy in the West Bank, and economic peace more generally between the two sides. This collaborative strategy is a refreshing new approach after years of antagonistic plots by Palestinian leadership to economically hurt Israel, including the BDs movement, in which scores of Hamas leaders hold leadership positions.
In fact, there are many indicators that BDS has hurt Palestinians in the West Bank far more than it hurt Israel, exemplified by the 500 Palestinian workers who lost their jobs after BDS successfully pressured Israeli manufacturer SodaStream into leaving the West Bank.
But in a move that has come to be seen as typical by the Palestinian leadership, they turned up their nose at this opportunity to overcome economic barriers, showing once again that their irrational disdain for the Jewish state continues to far outweigh any desire to improve the lives of their people.
The playbook of Palestinian leadership at this point is simple and fourfold:
- Reject any concessions or attempts at collaboration from Israel or America,
- Bemoan the economic stagnation affecting their constituents,
- Blame Israel for everything in an attempt to foster a rally-around-the-flag mentality for the purpose of keeping militant sentiments alive and well.
- Take terrorist action against Israel for the sole purpose of trying to get ensure further concessions.
In short, Palestinian leaders want so much that they will reject anything short of everything, so they end up with nothing.
After all, it was Israel who pulled out of Gaza in 2005 in an attempt to foster peace, and it was Israel who has offered Palestinian statehood on a multitude of occasions in failed attempts to bring about peace.
And what has the Palestinian leadership offered in return? They have monetarily incentivized terrorism- knifing attacks, suicide bombers, barrages of rockets and boycott attempts- all aimed at compounding as many Israeli civilian casualties as possible, all the while using their own civilians as human shields.
Attempts at making peace moving forward would do well to target helping the Palestinian economy and improving the lives of its occupants, while strongly condemning the acts and pointing out the hypocrisy of Palestine’s leaders.
If this approach succeeds, maybe the Palestinian people will see that a collaborative approach, not antagonistic one, with Israel is the best way to secure their own prosperity.