NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s first National Security Strategy contradicts a major Palestinian propaganda talking point that claims the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root problem fueling violence across the Middle East.
The 56-page document outlines the Trump administration’s approach to international policy, with an introduction signed by Trump himself calling for an “America First” strategy. The White House will be engaged in “enforcing our borders, building trade relationships based on fairness and reciprocity, and defending America’s sovereignty without apology,” reads Trump’s introductory remarks.
A section on the Middle East relates:
For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region. Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats.
This reframing of the conflict contradicts the longtime Palestinian propaganda claim that the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the center of driving regional turmoil.
The phraseology also seems to at odds with statements made earlier this month by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Speaking at the Saban Forum in Washington, Kushner suggested the so-called Israeli Palestinian conflict is at the center of driving regional instability.
This reporter responded at the time:
This singular focus dangerously lets Iran off the hook for being arguably the greatest threat to regional stability. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict further has nothing to do with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels destabilizing Yemen or targeting Saudi Arabia. It is not a significant factor in the Shiite-Sunni divide that has been at the heart of Mideast violence. It is a footnote to Islamic State designs to create a Caliphate and subjugate non-Muslims in the Middle East and worldwide. The lack of a Palestinian state (the fault of the Palestinians alone for repeatedly rejecting statehood offers) is not driving the Syria civil war, nor is it behind Iran’s attempt to takeover Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.