The Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see
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If all 100 U.S. senators sign a letter, but nobody heeds the message, does it make a sound?

The last time the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobby had presented the signatures of 100 senators was on March 27, 2015. Senate Amendment 545, co-authored by Sens. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (R-Ill.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPoll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress Justice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case MORE (D-N.J.), sought to re-impose waived sanctions and to impose new sanctions against Iran, reflecting what was intended as a forceful statement of bipartisan unanimity.

Had the 100 signatures represented more than a paper tiger, the largest strategic gaffe in American history—the Iran nuclear deal—would have been prevented. Morally and tactically warranted, Senate Amendment 545 insteaddevolved into nothing less than the engineered forfeiture of American strategic interest. The effects of the power vacuum created by this gross dereliction, accelerated the heinous wave of displacement and barbarity that is being played out in the Middle East today.

Fast forward to April 28, 2017. Once again, all 100 U.S. senators put their signatures on an unprecedented letter that called on the United Nations to cease and desist from its longstanding track record of unjust and disproportionate vilification of Israel.

The 100 signatures on this letter, too, draw a line in the sand. But unfortunately, the U.S. does not have a particularly credible reputation when it comes to enforcing lines—especially red lines. (See: President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Stormy Daniels’s 'View' is incorrect Trump attorneys defend Obama’s Atlantic Ocean protections Don’t let Washington’s toxic partisanship infect foreign policy, too MORE’s response to Syria’s chemical attack, August 2013.)

Will the 100 signatures, which appropriately challenge the relevance of the Palestinian narrative, be anything more than the micro-thin patina of bipartisanship represented by Senate Amendment 545? The festering dynamics within the Middle East do in fact support the abandonment of that narrative, which has increasingly been exposed as deceitful and disingenuous. 

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the quest for a two-state solution were born in a different time and place. As the tidal wave of Islamist violence has torn mercilessly through the region, the nationalistic yearning of Palestinians—the only credible motive on which Israelis may once have based any thoughts of further territorial concessions—has been superseded by an enmity rooted in Islamist ideology. A Palestinian public opinion poll conducted in September 2015 showed that 67 percent of Palestinians approved of the 2014 rocket attacks by Hamas on Israeli population centers. 

As we have witnessed during the last five years, Muslim-on-Muslim violence by terror or onslaught—in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan—has left an incomparable trail of heinous barbarities. Sunni sovereigns condemned as blasphemous, by both Iranian-Shi’a and Sunni Islamists, are aware that their fiefdoms have been targeted for destruction. The last thing Sunni sovereigns in the region want at this moment is a failed Palestinian state. It was well-learned when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 that the neighborhood did not get better. Couple that with the Palestinian Authority’s self-serving kleptocracy, and only a fool would gamble on the Palestinians’ ability to keep a state out of the hands of radical Islamists.

In short, it will be the U.S. Senate’s job to break a decades-long cycle of Palestinian victimhood littered with perfidy and broken promises. America’s Western European allies, by continuing the saga of Palestinian victimhood, have—on a per capita basis—helped create the most welfare-dependent society in the world. Despite an unprecedented volume of foreign aid, Palestinian society remains in a state of paralysis and dysfunction. It is the Senate’s job to remind the world that this extravagantly bungled “social experiment” has led to an unending stream of racist incitement which, on top of Palestinian civil dysfunction, has radicalized a generation of Palestinian children.

Now that is a letter which AIPAC and its “100 signatories” ought to submit.

Andrew Lappin is a Chicago-based redeveloper and contributor to the Haym Salomon Center, a news and public policy group. Lappin serves on the board of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.