Implications of the Jerusalem Synagogue Massacre
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
November 18, 2014
Matthew RJ Brodsky joins Mike Walter on CCTV America to discuss the implications of the Palestinian massacre of Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue. He explains that this kind of attack does not occur in a vacuum but comes as a direct result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, on official media. While the usual condemnation--not outrage--came from the typical world corners, Palestinian President Abbas has been promoting the contoversial falsehood that Israel is seeking to undermine the stability of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif. These cynical lies have fueled Palestinian protests in Jerusalem and beyond. The culture that celebrates such butchery by dancing in the streets, handing out candy, and naming streets and squares after Palestinian terrorists is the boiling cauldron from where this barbaric rage bubbles.
While not conceding that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is necessarily at a tipping point, Brodsky describes that a crucial differentiating factor is the active participation of Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem. In contrast, the first Intifada in 1987 began in Gaza and the second Intifada was fueled from the West Bank under Yasir Arafat's leadership. That Jerusalem's Arabs have been at the vanguard of Palestinian unrest for a few months might mean that their more passive days are behind them.
Regarding this incident's affect on U.S. policy in the larger conflict, Brodsky shares the four bad options President Obama is currently reported to be considering: 1) Launching another high-level peace initiative; 2) Drafting an American peace document to serve the next president without Palestinian or Israeli participation; 3) Abstaining rather than vetoing Palestinian statehood initiatives at the United Nations Security Council, or; 4) Heading toward a pitched confrontation with Prime Minister Netanyahu over Israel's settlement policy.
According to Brodsky none of the above four options will acheive their objectives but conversely will enflame the situation while demonstrating America's diplomatic irrationality and impotence.
Nevertheless, with President Obama in the final two years of his presidency and the mid-term elections in the rear-view mirror, he is most likely interested in securing his legacy--and that does not lend itself to the kind of intelligent incrementalism that the conflict so requires. The foreign policy legacy item the Obama administration appears to covet most is a deal with Iran on its nuclear program and White House policy in the Middle East will likely be conducted through that prism--with all that it portends for the region and U.S. national security.