Seeing through anti-Trump anger to achieve peace

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Seeing through anti-Trump anger to achieve peace

Extremist activists have managed to hold Palestine hostage to their unattainable demands, which would essentially return the clock to 1947 before Israel was established by the United Nations with the overbearing influence of the United States.

By Ray Hanania

Nearly two years into President Donald Trump’s term in office, it should be clear to everyone that he is there to stay. And given the disarray in the leadership of his Democratic critics, he might even get a second term in 2020.

Trump’s critics have gone over the deep in their hostility, anger and even hatred. First they said he could never get elected as President. He embarrassed them and proved them wrong. Then they said he would be impeached and thrown out of office before he could finish his first year. It’s now been 19 months.

But, is it clear to Palestinians yet? It should be because they have a lot at stake and listening to the foreboding predictions of the Trump haters as basis for their reticence against Trump won’t hurt the president as much as it could hurt Palestinian interests.

No one knows what Trump’s real deal is, although it certainly must include some aspect of Palestinian independence.

Although Trump has given Israel much since his election, including moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital, his extreme support of Israel might just be his way of preparing to deliver a painful blow to Israel’s politics.

We’re not dealing with an experienced diplomat here, but a man who all his life “went with his gut”, took extreme risks and did things that surprised many, all the while building a very lucrative and successful high profile American life.

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You can’t write Trump off, just because he is one of the most brutal and sometimes vicious public wars with both America’s Democratic political establishment and America’s biased, pro-Israel mainstream news media.

The war with Trump is only two years old. The war for Palestinian independence is more than 100 years old. So maybe Palestinian leaders should stop following the lead of the leftist extremists in American politics and stop believing the anti-Trump propaganda. They need to start developing a strategy of their own.

Maybe it’s not obvious to Palestinians that the world around them has seen cracks building in support for their cause. Those cracks are not just visible in the Western World but in the Arab World, too, where Israel continues to exploit the long-standing and unresolved battle between Arab moderates and extremists. The sad truth for Palestinians is that Israel not only has the military advantage over our resistance, but it has played world politics far better including with the one country in the world that has the most decisive influence over Palestine’s future, America.

Led by outspoken activists who have more weight and voice than Palestine’s feeble government, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Palestinian activists have undermined peace reinforcing a non-productive rejectionist strategy by demanding a One-State Solution and rejecting compromise based on the Two-State Solution. The One-State Solution plays to the more energetic emotions of the Palestinian diaspora while the Two-State Solution requires confidence in one’s abilities to achieve ones’ goals in negotiations.

Extremist activists have managed to hold Palestine hostage to their unattainable demands, which would essentially return the clock to 1947 before Israel was established by the United Nations with the overbearing influence of the United States.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to change how Palestinians have dealt with setback after setback over the years, and instead evolve into a new strategy that sees past the anti-Palestinian nature of America’s political influence to learn to approach it better?

It is true Trump has tapped several pro-Israel fanatics to represent his “Deal of the Century” overtures. They include his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his bankruptcy lawyer and fanatic settler advocate David Friedman, and political extremist Jason Greenblatt. All, like Trump, have limited diplomatic experience.

But in truth, are they really worse than any of their predecessors who not only have allowed Israel to expand its settlements more so during the peace process under the administrations of President Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama? Trump’s predecessors have reigned over a steady undermining of Palestinian rights, re-enforcing Israel’s standing in the Middle East using its financial leverage to weaken the Arab World’s confrontation of Israel’s repeated violations of international law, UN resolutions approved by its near powerless General Assembly, and violent aggression against defenseless civilians.

The only challenge Palestinians have that they must overcome is the inherent tendency for the majority to allow the smaller but more vocal extremists to bully them into inaction. Hamas and its activists have been fighting against the peace process since it was first initiated by the late President Yasser Arafat.

The extremists have done everything to reject any form of compromise from Madrid, to Oslo, to Camp David to Wye and Taba, and even today they close their eyes to the murderous extremism of Hamas. These rejectionists constantly attack the secular leadership first by Arafat and now by his successor Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas can do no wrong in their eyes, but every effort by Abbas to coordinate security with Israel is attacked as a betrayal of Palestinian rights.

Violence is a threat not just to Israelis but to the Palestinians, too, and it must be stopped.

Abbas isn’t the strongest and most inspiring leader the Palestinians have ever had, but he would be more effective if Palestinians would silence the extremists and come together with a strategy to survive, rather than pursuing a “rejectionist” game plan for their destruction.

It’s time to ignore the “spin,” and the propaganda, and take President Trump more seriously, recognizing that when it came to serving Israel, what Trump is doing is no different than what his predecessors did.

Trump, however, might be the only person to force Israel to recognize Palestinian rights as a part of a final peace accord that ends the conflict, the violence, and the hate.

Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist and the author of several books including “Yalla! Fight Back.” His personal website is Twitter: @RayHanania

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, Middle East Monitor in London, the, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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