Reagan mainstream quotes remain scathingly short and relevant. In the 1980 presidential debate with Jimmy Carter, four words reduced Jimmy Carter to insignificance: “there you go again”. The gist was simple: we’ve already chewed this lunch, and the taste hasn’t changed. The Biden Administration in dismantling everything that was Trump, are now regurgitating the same lunch that predecessors apart from Trump, brought up in a futile attempt at peace in the Middle East. A different band conductor playing the same song. Why?
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced renewed US aid to Gaza like the second coming. Like it was a new concept. A new idea. Like he knows something all of us have not seen or heard before. A May 26, 2021 Associated Press article in the Stars and Stripes pushes “stupid” to another level: US will provide aid to Gaza, not Hamas. That’s like saying that it will rain but not on my house. The “new” idea is negotiating with the Palestinian Authority (PA) who have been as ineffectual in Gaza as a third eye. Unless Blinken has been living under a rock, everyone with an ounce of sense and credibility knows that since 2006, the PA has lost all control over Gaza to Hamas. It is common knowledge that Hamas and their buddies Hezbollah are funded by Iran with only one purpose in mind: obliterating Israel. They don’t hide it. If Mr. Blinken or Mr. Biden even minutely assume or think that funding Gaza through the PA will change or sway the power in the region to moderates, then they have truly crossed over into the proverbial Twilight Zone. What guarantees are they seeking?
The Stars and Stripes article by a biased Associated Press attempted to deflect from the obvious by stressing that Blinken would not be meeting with Hamas. That’s like going to a party but pretending not to run into the host. Should this set Israel’s mind at ease? The PA continually refuse to recognize Israel as a State. That is no secret. The Associated Press politely referred to this travesty as objection “…to that language” because “…it undermines the rights of Israel’s Palestinian minority”. Whatever that means. All citizens living in Israel have the same rights. What undermining is the PA referring to? A nebulous public relations attempt against Israel by the west who totally dismisses all unprovoked missile attacks across the border into Israel as aggression. 3,800 missiles shot at Israel have been systematically ignored like annoying flies on a hot summer day. The argument: the Iron Dome protects Israel. Would the world have preferred that the 3,800 missiles hit their targets and killed thousands of Israeli civilians instead? Would that have made it better for everyone? Would that have reduced Israeli “aggression”?
But back to funding Gaza. Unless the Biden administration personally delivers the aid to building contractors, physicians, nurses, and other service providers, and spends the next ten years supervising the rebuilding of Gaza, funding will never reach the people of Gaza. Aid has never improved Gaza’s quality of life because it was always diverted to armament specifically used against Israel. Hamas does not build shelters under hospitals; it builds ammunition depots. In a fit of unprecedented cynicism, I will opine that not a cent of aid will build infrastructure in Gaza this time around either. But the game keeps on being played, and the media played with it.
According to another Associated Press reporting (May 27, 2021), in his visit to Egypt, Blinken is “shoring” up international support to rebuild Gaza by “bolstering” the PA. We must remember that founded in terrorism against Israel, the PA has been insidiously legitimized by the international community despite its continual anti-Israel rhetoric. Blinken and the Biden administration want us to believe that the PA will turn a new leaf, they will reform, because they want Gaza back. That train left the station in 2006. They allowed the slow deterioration of the region as Hamas gained power and money from both Iran and until 2016, from the US and UN. They used funds aimed at infrastructure and quality of life to be diverted toward underground arms storage and reinforcing missile launchers on public buildings that include schools, hospitals, and homes. If the international community really thinks that Hamas will stand by and watch their treasury be diverted to the PA, then they have all been subjected to a communal lobotomy.
Is there a solution to Gaza? There cannot be or should be any agreement without first recognizing Israel and its right to exist as a state and country. That has to be the start of any attempt at reconciliation or peace plan in the region. The UN, EU, and progressives in the US Congress have no problem recognizing the PA as a legitimate government, but they have a problem with Israel demanding its own recognition in the region and its right to defend itself. If the PA is really bent on peace and a two-state solution, it must disassociate itself from all terrorist groups and stand up to them. A vision I do not envision.
Neighboring Arab states which have signed agreements with Israel, need to step up to the plate and assist in the reconstruction of Gaza into a self-governing entity with Democratic ideals and financial dependence. Israel has never refused health care and humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. It is in Israel’s interest to move toward a political, humanitarian, and economic solution in Gaza, but not at its own expense. Charity always begins at home. Pumping aid into a cancerous region run by thugs keeps the status quo rather than brings change. That should have been learned through the many US Administrations and wars in the region.
In 2019, Jared Kushner, chief negotiator to the Trump Administration drew up a plan he called “Peace to Prosperity”. It was parodied by the likes of MSNBC, CNN, and the liberal media en masse. If it came from the Trump Administration, it must have been bad or ridiculous. Although holes in the plan were often craters, its basic concept was sound. A two-state solution was proposed through sound economic infrastructure and contribution to the global economy. The plan proposed opening up the West Bank and Gaza to private investors predominantly rich Arab countries. Allow Arab countries to take care of their own for once. The plan also included a Palestinian self-government with emphasis on education, business, and finance. Empowering the Palestinians to take control of their destiny. Part of the plan was the expansion of airports in Lebanon and Jordan which would allow the flow of foreign businesses in and out with ease. A $50 Billion economic plan would have built a sustainable state. The PA opposed it vehemently, the gravy train from the west would have ended and accountability would have taken place. Not a great combination for a corrupt government.
Kushner decided on plan B and normalized relationships between Israel and several Arab States with the hope of putting pressure on the PA to join the civilized world and start cooperating for real peace in the region. The Abraham Accords demonstrated the frustration Arab states felt with Iran funding terrorists on their door step, and the PA unable to control them. The Abraham Accords happened despite the Palestinians and not because of them. This great opportunity to peace in the region was abandoned by the incoming Biden Administration who has now thrown the region back to square one with a “solution” that has never worked before and will not work now either. Stupid at the expense of both Israel and the Palestinians.
Taxpayers in the US, especially those in the mid-west and rural America find it hard to understand “aid”, when people are out of work and businesses out of business in their States and country. They don’t understand why a skirmish in the Middle East should impact them. It is getting more difficult to justify giving away billions to countries that often despise us. The overly biased media whether left or right does not help either because they do not report, they pontificate. And as we witnessed during the 11-day bombing of Israel, the media gave the public relations trophy to Hamas. We shake our heads in disbelief as we see the world going to hell because sound decisions were reversed based on visceral dislike of predecessors. We have quickly moved from peace between Arab States and Israel to 3,800 missiles and 11 days of war that killed hundreds in Gaza, and if it were not for the Iron Dome, it would have killed more in Israel. A new administration that instead of building on the Abraham Accords decided to start the “aid” to Hamas cycle all over again. Empowering them in the process to start another war with Israel. Painful to watch especially for the Israelis and Palestinians.
What does Blinken and the administration hope to achieve? What is their plan for rebuilding Gaza? How do they intend to strike a peace deal without Hamas? Are they locking Hamas up in a closet while they “talk? A nebulous and foolish attempt at redefining past failures into a “new and improved” narrative. “…we believe that Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely…” (US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. May 26, 2021. Israel). Really? Who’d have thought? This is the best you can do? Well…There you go again Mr. Blinken.
Krauss. J. Associated Press. May 26, 2021. US will provide aid to Gaza, not Hamas. Stars and Stripes
Associated Press. May 27, 2021. Blinken arrives in Egypt to shore up Gaza cease-fire. Stars and Stripes