Sovereignty – or as the world likes to call it, “annexation” – of Judea and Samaria is still the goal. Despite the brilliant and extraordinary peacemaking efforts by the Trump administration, the 2,000-year dream of re-applying sovereignty to Israel’s Biblical and historic heartland should still be the prime focus.
I believe it will indeed happen if President Trump is given a second term. It is up to all friends of Israel to help make that a reality.
After the signing of the Abraham Accords, I was astounded and amazed by the reactions of The New York Times’ anti-Trumpers: Bret Stephens, Thomas Friedman, and Roger Cohen. I think it is illustrative.
For starters, Stephens – who wrote some top articles about the Middle East when writing for the Wall Street Journal, entitled his op-ed on September 15 in The Times, “Rare Triumph in the Mideast” – actually took a step back and sounded apologetic. He concluded his piece, “But it behooves those of us who are frequently hostile to Netanyahu and Trump to maintain the capacity to be pleasantly surprised – that is, to be honest that what happened between Israel and two former enemies is an honest triumph in a region, and a year, that’s known precious few.” It was good seeing Bret Stephens eschewing his anti-Trump rhetoric, even if only for a day. It was long overdue. Israel needs Stephens’ advocacy. He veered way off course since the 2016 election. We need him back.
Thomas Friedman wrote on the day after the signing of the Abraham Accords an op-ed entitled, “Love triangle spawns Peace deal in Mideast.” He writes, “Having covered Arab-Israel diplomacy for more than 40 years, I have to say that the normalization agreements signed Tuesday between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Israel and Bahrain came about in a most unusual – but incredibly revealing – fashion.” In my 35 years working on behalf of the Jewish people, I have never seen eye-to-eye with Thomas Friedman. Although I still strongly disagree with most of his points in the article, I was happy to see some praise showered upon the Trump administration. That is a first for Friedman.
The one Friedman paragraph that is revealing is, “I can’t predict how it will all play out, but when the most technologically advanced and globalized Arab State, the UAE, decides to collaborate with the most technologically advanced and globalized non-Arab State in the region, Israel, I suspect new energies will get unlocked and new partnerships forged that should be good for both Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Muslim human-to-human relations.”
Then there are the diehards like Roger Cohen who cannot unshackle their liberal chains for even one fleeting moment. After having seen Stephen’s and Friedman’s op-eds, Cohen, four days after the signing, decided to set the record straight and blast the President. He entitled his work, “Trump’s Middle Eastern Mirage.” Cohen scornfully and disdainfully writes, “Still there’s something rotten in the Peace choreography of Trump, Jared Kushner, Ambassador David Friedman, et al.” Cohen later writes, “For all the pious sentiment in the agreement about resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the reality is that Trump, Kushner, Friedman, et al. have treated the Palestinian National cause with contempt.”
Cohen cannot bring himself to the realization that President Trump has done more to promote peace in the Middle East than most of his predecessors, and certainly more than President Obama, who as Bret Stephens wrote, “tried hard and failed badly.”
Stephens also pointed out “that conventional wisdom is the view, succinctly put by UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez in February, that “resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains key to sustaining peace in the Middle East.”
This is the warped view of Roger Cohen. As Stephens further elucidates, “The rise and fall of ISIS, civil war in Syria, and anarchy in Libya, Turkey’s aggression against Kurds, proxy battles and hunger in Yemen, political turmoil and repression in Egypt and Iran, the bankruptcy of the Lebanese State, the plight of Middle Eastern refugees – if any of these catastrophes have something in common, it’s that they have next to nothing to do with the Jewish State or its policies.”
Roger Cohen would do well to sit down with his colleagues, especially Bret Stephens, and learn a thing or two.
The bottom line is that President Trump actually gets things done. He also gets a reaction from people. The Abraham Accords are a testimony. I have faith that he will accomplish much more, including sovereignty, if given the chance.
Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.