The Limited Influence of Moderate Arab States on the Palestinians

(Israel Hayom) Jonathan S. Tobin - The standoff at the Temple Mount can serve as a tutorial in the complexity and irrationality of the conflict for the U.S. It illustrates that the president's ambition to leverage Saudi and Jordanian influence over the Palestinians into brokering the "ultimate deal" is a hopeless quest. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not a real estate transaction in which compromise and smart negotiating can achieve a result. The willingness of Palestinians to take to the streets and even murder Jews over the metal detectors is proof that the core issues are not territory, settlements or security measures, but existential and religious concerns that are not currently susceptible to compromise. The conflict is rooted in a Palestinian political culture in which intolerance for the Jewish presence in the country is decisive. Any measure, even one as reasonable as putting up metal detectors at a holy site where guns were just smuggled in to carry out a double murder, was going to be interpreted by Palestinians as an intolerable offense to their national pride and faith. President Trump may think he can split the difference on real estate, but surely not even he thinks he can do the same with respect to religion.

2017-07-27 00:00:00

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