In Chemistry, catalysts are agents that speed up a reaction, resulting in significant reductions to time required to achieve synthesis of chemical reagents.
In the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Capital of Israel, the Trump Administration has attempted to catalyze progress in the Middle East. Many persons and governments, wary of backlash of violence from this decision have condemned the decision taken by the Trump Administration.
The problem, however, is “what other path forward is there to the quandary that is politics of the Middle East?”
Are we to hold Israel hostage to Palestinians’ continued unwillingness to renounce destruction of Israel as an objective of their corporate existence? Palestinians have had opportunity over the years to renounce destruction of Israel as an objective of their corporate existence. They have steadfastly refused to make any such public or formal renunciation. When they have been questioned on this matter publicly, as recently as the last military engagement between Israel and Palestinians, they have resorted to bluster and reference to the past; they have refused steadfastly to address the issue of destruction of Israel as corporate objective of Palestinians.
Now that Jerusalem has been recognized as Capital of Israel by the Trump Administration, Palestinians have a decision to make. If they continue to refuse to renounce destruction of Israel as a corporate objective, Israel gets to keep all of Jerusalem. Under such conditions, sharing of Jerusalem cannot foster any real peace in the Middle East. If they renounce destruction of Israel as a corporate objective, a two-state solution can kick in and Israel in interest of peace can release part of Jerusalem for capital of the Palestinians. This is magnanimity on part of Israel, magnanimity for achievement of peace. Having seen what Islamic extremism can do to Arab artifacts, it is important that all Jewish or Christian holy sites in Jerusalem fall within domain of nation of Israel. We owe antiquity no less.
The truth of the matter is history is filled with the fact that Jerusalem always has been home of the Jews. In recognition of specialness of Jewish religion and sense of presence of oracles of God in Jewish land, all conquerors of the Jews over the years — Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, and Romans — initially chose not to destroy the Jewish temple. When either of the Babylonians or Romans chose to destroy the Jewish temple it was because of insurrection by Jewish people against commands of their God Jehovah, insurrection that essentially was cut off at the knees by destruction of the temple.
It is a fact of history that Arabs did not set foot in the holy land until 633 A.D., subsequent to collapse in essence of the western Roman Empire sometime around 440 A.D. If the Western Roman Empire had remained strong, Arab conquest of Palestine probably never materializes. At that point in time (634 A.D.), Jerusalem had been Capital of the Jews for about 3,000 years. This is a historical fact. It is pertinent to note at this point that other than Arabs, no conquering entity ever has tried to claim Jewish lands as their land. This coveting of land that never ever belonged to them naturally except by conquest is aggression on the part of Arabs plain and simple.
Israel always has been interested in some give and take for peace. There are peace treaties between Israel and either of Egypt and Jordan, peace treaties that are being honored. Palestinians on the other hand have steadfastly maintained their corporate objective of destruction of Israel.
Can two peoples live together side-by-side in peace within context of sharing of Jerusalem if one party continues to seek the destruction of the other? Can splitting of Jerusalem create peace when Palestinians continue to hate and seek destruction of Israel? Would such sharing not merely provide opportunity for more targeted, deadly violence? Under a two-state solution it becomes more difficult for Israel to seek redress for targeted attacks because any attempts at redress will be characterized as aggression against another Sovereign State. All an unconditional two-state solution achieves is render violence against Israel easier and less costly. A viable two-state solution must be predicated on renunciation of destruction of Israel as corporate objective of Palestinians. Non-conditionality of a two-state solution on renunciation of destruction of Israel as corporate objective of Palestinians always was a mistake on the part of the United Nations.
The Trump Administration has catalyzed progress in the Middle East. The ball lies squarely now in hands of Palestinians and the rest of the world. Will we all choose peace or allow Palestinians’ intransigence drag us all into hell of war?
War may turn out to be a small price to pay for progress, peace, and some sort of permanent resolution to the quandary that is the Middle East.