Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

The progressives are about to become regressive


November 27, 2020

The out-going Trump administration has implemented many policy decisions regarding the Middle East during its term in office that have resulted in a paragon shift in the Arab World’s perception of Israel from non-recognition and enemy to recognition and alliance.

While the Trump Deal of the Century has been summarily rejected by all Palestinian factions and their terrorist partners, Hamas and Hezbollah, the Abraham Accords entered into between Israel and respectively, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and subsequently Sudan has revealed a major shift in Arab perception that the obstacles to settling the Palestinian/Israeli conflict lie essentially with the Palestinians.

These Arab countries along with Saudi Arabia recognize the belligerent rise of Iran and its ambitious pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems that threaten the region. They see Iranian funding of international terrorism and terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Yemen and the Gaza strip as threats to their security, economies and religious leadership in the Moslem world.

The irrational ambitions of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s authoritarian president, whose fantasy is to restore the Ottoman Empire, have only added to the Arab world’s security, economic and leadership challenges.

These concerns have re-focused their attention on their own national interests to a point that recognizing and cooperating with Israel in all these spheres are in their best interest; and that the real obstacle to peace are the Palestinians who cling to the outdated mantra of “no peace, no negotiations, no Israel” and who have refused every peace deal offered by Israel since 1948.

The Trump Administration’s policy of cutting off funds to the Palestinian Authority for continuing to use United States funds to compensate and support terrorist and their families is backed by the bipartisan Taylor Force Act which was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by President Trump on March 23, 2018.

Similarly, the closing of the PLO office in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10, 2018, was taken, according to the State Department announcement, because the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” The Trump administration also based its decision on U.S. law that permits closure of the office because of Palestinian attempts to have the prejudicial anti-Israel, International Criminal Court, to which Israel and the United States are not signatories, investigate fabricated war crimes by Israel against the Palestinian people.

These two American government decisions were lawful, had the backing of a bipartisan Congress and are in the best interests of the U.S. was well as the State of Israel.

A third decision by the Trump Administration was to defund the United Nations Workers and Refugee Agency, an agency originally established to assist Arab refugees dislocated by war waged by six Arab nations to eliminate the newly independent State of Israel.

In reality UNWRA has morphed into an aider and abettor of Palestinian terrorism and propaganda, particularly in Gaza. The original refugees of the war era have mostly passed away, but the PA and the PLO continue to treat their descendants as captive refugees in camps throughout the Arab world for propaganda purposes. The U.S. was disproportionately funding this anti-American and anti-Israel UN agency.

The Abraham Accords and America’s posture regarding the Palestinian/Israeli conflict have moved the needle closer to Mideast peace and stability more than anything accomplished by decades of previous U.S. and international diplomacy.

Unfortunately, the incoming Biden administration, apparently blinded by hatred for everything Trump and under extreme pressure from the progressive wing of the Democratic party, has declared through Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, in an interview a day prior to the election, that the Biden administration will move quickly to reverse all unilateral decisions made by the Trump administration with regard to the Palestinians.

Non-recognition of the new reality in the Mideast, and committing before taking office to old policies that have proven to be failures for generations, will have severe consequences for our nation and the world. Hopefully, new faces in the new administration will be more thoughtful than Harris; and the new administration will not begin its foreign policy without considering this new reality by making regressive policy changes counter to America’s best interest.

If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner.

Mel Pearlman holds B.S. & M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first vice president and pro-bono legal counsel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.


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