- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence touched down in Israel to announce at the Knesset that yes, indeed, not only was America moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but also that America was moving its embassy to Jerusalem in jig time — before the end of 2019, in fact.

Make way for the angry birds.

And then came this: “Arab MPs ejected after protesting Pence Knesset speech,” according to Al Jazeera.

Or this, from CBS: “Worry, anger over U.S. Mideast stance as Pence lauds Israel.”

Or this, from Slate: “Pence’s Visit to the Middle East Is Starting to Look Like a Farewell Tour to Israeli-Palestinian Peace.”

Thing is, though — who cares if Pence’s speech angered the Palestinian world? So what if much of the Muslim community is angered and outraged by President Donald Trump’s previous announced intent to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, and to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state — and by Pence’s doubling down of that intent?

Fact is Palestinians don’t have peace in their hearts toward Israel anyway. And they only have peace toward America when they get their way — when they get their pockets filled, for example.

Palestinian National Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, angry at Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and at America’s cut in aid to a United Nations agency that provides financially for Palestinians, just heaped curses on the president that went like this: “May your house be destroyed.” That’s not exactly the sentiment of a peaceful man; that’s not exactly the way to treat a country that still provides tens of millions of dollars in aid to this same U.N. agency.

After all, America doesn’t owe this money — it’s not a valid debt. It’s charity. And it’s charity that’s been abused and misused. Part of the reason America cut aid to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency was because Palestinians were siphoning the money to family members of convicted and suspected Islamic terrorists who had been jailed by Israeli forces or killed on the job, so to speak — meaning, while committing acts of terror.

Why should America fund Islamic terror?

Pence, much as the left, the Muslim apologists of the world and the mainstream media would like it believed, is not destroying relations with the Arab world by speaking in strong, favorable terms to Israel and about Israel. He’s simply carrying on a relationship that was promised by both Trump and Pence on the campaign trail — a return to warmer times with Israel, a key U.S. ally and long-time political partner.

No surprises there, in other words.

But it’s a message much of the Arab world doesn’t want to accept.

Abbas, who had been scheduled weeks ago to meet with Pence, instead snubbed the vice president and jettisoned off to Brussels to hang with Europeans — a safe perch from which he could cry on shoulders and win renewed EU backing to locate a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

“I want to reassure President Abbas of the firm commitment of the European Union to the two-state solution with Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two states,” said Federica Mogherini, the European high representative for foreign affairs, during a joint public appearance with Abbas, Reuters reported.

Well and good.

No doubt the media, the left and the Muslim apologists of the world will once again unite and rally around Mogherini’s remarks to show how enlightened the European Union is compared to the Trump administration, and how very, very peace-loving Abbas and the Palestinians are — and how very, very obstinate, defiant and downright dangerous are the isolationist Israelis. But it’s all a lie.

The two-state solution is a no-winner for Israel, and always has been, mostly because it’s predicated on a Palestinian insistence that all Jews must die. And that insistence has come because of a very strict Islamic teaching that those outside the Muslim faith — including Americans — are heretics who must convert to Islam, pay a jizya or tax to Islam leaders in order to live, or die.

Pence’s Israel trip is not the death knell to a two-state peace deal. That train had already left the station. And no matter how shocked and awed and devastated the left would like to act over Pence, fact is, the vice president’s reach-out was simply the culmination of campaign promises. If those of the left, the media and many in the Arab world want to profess otherwise, let them. Their cries seem to be falling on deaf ears — and frankly, it’s about time.

Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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