President Trump will bring indispensable leadership back to the Middle East, and the world will be better for it. — Armstrong Williams
Which side are you on in the Arab-Israeli conflict? The issue illustrates the power of one American group over another — blacks and Jews.
The Black Lives Matter movement accuses Israel of “genocide” and “apartheid.” Palestinians in the occupied territories struggle to alleviate poverty, unemployment and other economic woes Ethiopian Jews in particular living in Israel, have faced overt discrimination. While President Trump pays little attention to blacks, Jews and Israel have his ear.
Though smaller in numbers, Jews have more economic and political clout than blacks. The United States is home to the second-largest (after Israel) Jewish community in the world. The American Jewish population is estimated at 8 million. This is 2.6 percent of the total U.S. population. Jews have 23 Members of Congress.
The U.S supports Israel because it’s perceived to be in our best interest. As reported by Politico: “In Israel, where the conservative Likud has been solidly in power for the past four decades, the peace process is no longer a major political issue. It may be Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, two men who profess to be Israel’s strongest defenders, who definitively shatter the ‘unbreakable alliance.’”
Trump has spoken with pride about his Jewish grandchildren. His daughter Ivanka is a convert to Judaism, and his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law is Jared Kushner.
Trump has largely eschewed the traditional U.S. framework for Middle East peacemaking. During a White House visit with Netanyahu, Trump said, “I’m looking at two-state and one-state [solutions], and I like the one that both parties like.”
The state of Israel has a population of 8.5 million, 74.8 percent of which are Jews (about 6.5 million) and 20.8 percent Arab (about 1.7 million). The Arab-Israeli conflict refers to the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots of the modern conflict are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically belonging to Palestinians.
Palestine is a de jure sovereign state. The Palestine territories has a population of 5 million. Palestinian people have lived in Palestine over the centuries. Since establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians.
The J Street organization deserves attention. The group, which touts itself as “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people,” advocates policies that advance U.S. and Israel’s shared interests and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution.
“One often-cited key to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is economic development,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “To that end, there seems to be broad agreement about the importance of extending development aid to help the Palestinians build the physical and social infrastructure.”
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.