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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Trump proves critics wrong in the Mideast

Israel is the canary in the coal mine of freedom. History shows that totalitarian governments go after the Jews first. After 72 years of undeclared war (the last 47 in an undeclared truce) Israel and Arab states are formally agreeing to peace.

War gets in the way of business. Since the Yom Kippur War, the Arab states have moved on to bigger things. They spent the last few decades modernizing. Dubai is the most modern city in the world. And while President Donald John Trump was never able to pull off Trump Tower Dubai, the experience taught him that peace was achievable in the Middle East if you cut Palestine out of the picture.

And so he did.

As president, he has ignored Palestine to the point where Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has noticed. His column following the signing of the Abraham Accords was almost praiseworthy because he almost praised President Trump for doing what Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Bush again, and Obama failed to do.

He got Arab countries to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government. Carter got Egypt to sign on. Clinton got Jordan. The rest of 70-plus years of Mideast Diplomacy failed because American presidents focused on the Palestinians.

Friedman of course refused to credit Donald Trump where credit is due.

The Timesman wrote, "The fact that the normalization of Israel-Emirates and Israel-Bahrain relations was actually set in motion because of the failure, thus far, of the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy does not diminish its significance, even if it adds a dollop of irony to our story.

"My rule: In the Middle East, you get big change when the big players do the right things for the wrong reasons."

Translation: Friedman's predictions of doom were 180 degrees wrong. He said moving the embassy to Jerusalem would bring war.

It brought peace.

The move signaled to Arabia that the United States was moving beyond Palestine. The Arabs said it was about time.

But Friedman said in a December 6, 2017, "Every Israeli government since its founding has craved United States recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. And every United States government has refrained from doing that, arguing that such a recognition should come only in the wake of an agreed final status peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians — until now.

"Today, Trump just gave it away — for free. Such a deal! Why in the world would you just give this away for free and not even use it as a lever to advance the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian deal?"

I wonder how Friedman knows that the president got nothing for the move. Heads of state do not always notify the public about their international deals. Diplomacy is done both in public and private.

But Friedman like most of the media thinks he is smarter than a mere billionaire who became president in his first run for office. Ask the genius Mini Mike how that works. Heck, even H. Ross Perot could not pull that off.

Friedman wrote, "Trump is susceptible to such giveaways, not only because he is ignorant, but because he does not see himself as the president of the United States. He sees himself as the president of his base. And because that’s the only support he has left, he feels the need to keep feeding his base by fulfilling crude, ill-conceived promises he threw out to them during the campaign. Today, again, he put another one of those promises ahead of United States’ national interest."

Nearly 3 years later, the wisdom of that move is unveiled. As I said last night, "Moving the embassy to Jerusalem brought peace."

Losers like Friedman attribute it to luck.

He was not alone in being totally wrong.

The Washington Free Beacon reminded everyone today of what the experts said then, writing, "Avi Berkowitz’s elevation to a top negotiating position on President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace team was met with near-universal derision by so-called experts and the mainstream press.

"Martin Indyk, who served as ambassador to Israel under President Bill Clinton, mocked the appointment of Jared Kushner’s onetime assistant. The Brookings Institution’s Natan Sachs declared the then 29-year-old Berkowitz 'young and inexperienced.' The media were less diplomatic: Politico derided Berkowitz as Kushner’s 'mini-me;' Vanity Fair dubbed him a 'coffee boy.'

"On Tuesday, Trump oversaw the signing of the Kushner- and Berkowitz-orchestrated Abraham Accords that officially normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, as well as an agreement between Israel and Bahrain — the first such deals in over four decades. Pretty good for a coffee boy."

Bloggers got it all along.

Jeff Dunetz wrote on Tuesday, "Trump correctly figured out that many of the moderate Arab States were tiring of the Palestinians refusal to even try to make peace.  They were tired of having to carry the Palestinians and were already dealing with Israel behind the scenes. The ones already working with Israel were the Sunni-led states like UAE and Bahrain (and the Saudis), because of their fear of Shia Iran.

"But two things had to happen before the U.S. could take advantage of that gulf states’ frustration. Trump had to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there. What this did was take the religious component out of the equation. The Arab States who made peace would not be conceding the Muslim’s third holiest city to Israel, now that it’s a done deal.

"The second move Trump had to make was making America energy independent. With that independence, no oil-producing nation could claim economic leverage over the United States."

Of course, our energy independence came courtesy of oilman George Phydias Mitchell, whose petroleum engineer in 1998 made what we call fracking feasible.

But neither Bush 43 nor Obama embraced fracking as a tool in the diplomatic toolbox preferring bombs and drones over economic sanctions. The former provide instant gratification and permanent damage while the latter causes short-term discomfort and lasting change.

Israel is the canary in the coal mine of freedom. Today, she sings.


  1. Never Bet Against Donald John Trump.

    Who wrote that? Say his name. SAY HIS NAME. SAY! HIS! NAME!!!

  2. Even though not words of praise, That had to pain Friedman greatly to write that column. Mr. World-travelled know-it-all should be singing hallelujah to PDJT and his team of inexperienced fools. But if this is as close as he gets to that, I’ll take it. What a great time this is.

  3. yeahbut, yeahbut, Barry was totally on top of the March Madness tournaments.

    1. Hahaha! What an empty suit we had for 8 LONG years!

  4. In talking about the State Department's foreign policy "experts," President Harry S Truman said, "An expert is someone who is afraid of anything new, because then he wouldn't be an expert anymore."

  5. Friedman is dead wrong about President Trump's not being President of the United States in favor of being president of his base.

    Those who are not in PDT's base do not belong in the United States. They need to get with the program, go live somewhere else, or learn to STFU and live in fear of being found out for the rest of their worthless lives.

    Freedom of speech sounds good on paper, but extending it to protect marxism is fetishism that turns our sacred Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.

    Never suffer a marxist to live.

  6. The amazing ( and in my opinion, God ordained.) May be a sign of the beginning of the end times but not yet.Jerusalem is the geographic center
    of the world's land mass. The Center of Religion. Now the Center of peace.. the peacemaker- President Donald J. Trump and his Son-in-Law.
    The big thing is Iran is powerless to do anything. Just read an article on the mysterious fire a the plant that it put them back a long way
    must've been "Jewish Lighting."(My old Boss a Jew- was the one who introduced me to that. Also Had a bible study on-"Praying for Peace."
    and the subject was Peace can only come to the middle east if Jerusalem is at peace. How about that...

    1. Is that supposed to be "Jewish Lightening"?

  7. Bravo excellent piece. Nothing more fearful for a so called expert than to have to face the realization that someone younger ... and at the very least as smart has passed them by.

    Jared is smart and operates from a position of humility. He has a full life ahead to make even greater accomplishments.


  8. all the highly intelligent and highly experienced negotiators for the past 70 years never realized that palistian intransigence was they did not want a peace accord with Israel. Trump realized there was no satisfying palistine with anything that was offered in the last 70 years up to and including statehood.
    In negotiating the best deal you must be prepared to walk away. Trump indicated he knew palistine was not serious and he was willing to walk away.
    It's a same not one of these wonderful, experienced, intelligent skilled negotiators recognized that for 70 years. They never set their target as peace in the middle east. Their target has always been placating palistine. palistine was not willing to play along.

  9. I’m glad she acknowledged the monstrous premise of this otherwise good comedy. A couple breaks up, so they decide to divide up their infant twins — so each girl will never see the other parent, her sister, or any of her other relatives again? Or even know she has a sister? Just as in the original version of this movie, the real villains are clearly both parents…….. Read More