Beyond the Cusp

January 16, 2018

President Trump and Middle East Peace


Seemingly forever, we have listened to what we are going to call Middle East poker. They have been playing five-card stud where you are dealt one card face-down and two face-up then bet, another face-up then bet and a final card face-up followed by final bets. This has been one of the slowest games of poker having started with the initial deal at the onset of the Oslo Accords. Apparently, according to Mahmoud Abbas, he has made his final bet and may be retiring from the table. For the sake of brevity, allow us to quickly review the dealt cards before discussing the final deal which apparently came recently. There are five hands at the table, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas, United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and Israel with the United States dealing the cards. We know very little about the down-card, as it is face-down, but the three face-up cards are as follows; the PA has two 2’s and a J; Hamas has an A, 7 and 5; the UN has three clubs with a 2, 5 and 10; the EU has three hearts with a 4, 9 and an A; and Israel has two K’s and a 10. As is obvious, it appears that it is anybody’s game to win all depending upon that last card. What we know but the others do not is that Israel has a K as their down-card giving them two pair and thus they can only possibly lose to the PA, UN or EU with Hamas holding the weak hand where a pair of A’s is their best possible hand. So, just as in reality, it comes down to the last card to be dealt except for Hamas who will likely fold taking their remainder of their chips, Gaza, and heading off to play their terror war a while longer.


Now would be a good time to also define some of the other realities surrounding this game. The EU and UN are playing such that should it appear that the Palestinians and the Arabs are not going to defeat Israel on their own, and they get the right last card, they will extend the game demanding a new hand. They can only extend the game to a new deal, they cannot actually dictate a solution as only the United States actually has that power along with Russia, but both the United States and Russia would need to agree for that to work and that is highly unlikely with a few choice exceptions which depend on the last card being dealt. The Oslo Accords were supposed to last only five years and bring a settlement or the effort was to be abandoned. That changed when the United States under President Clinton made a deal with Ehud Barak to extend the Oslo Accords framework indefinitely, or at least until all the cards have been dealt. Technically, if Israel were to demand that it is game over, the game would end right there, the final cards dealt and everybody would show their hands. Not even the United States could get away with that without Russian agreement. The game has been drawn out by the EU and the UN raising the pot by one chip when it was their bet so as to slow everything down at the request of the PA and Hamas. This is why without any real gains or change in the board there has been an unbelievable time between any significant changes as the only strong bets would come when a new card has been dealt, which appears to be once every three to four years which also tends to correspond with new talks.


What changed, you ask. President Trump entered as the new dealer when he was elected. He first took a walk around the casino and talked with the others assembled in the Muddle East Casino and gathered them all together in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a big dinner where they spoke frankly. The Donald, as he likes to be known, asked each at the table, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the others from the various Gulf States and across Northern Africa and around the Middle East what was the biggest problem for them, the Palestinian statehood or the Iranian threat. Well, Egypt and Saudi Arabia pretty much spoke for the majority and stated that Iran was the big deal and the Palestinians had long outlived any usefulness and were now a sideshow which they enjoyed as it sometimes made Israel squirm, but even that had lost its appeal as Israel could be of more assistance having the same worries about Iran. So the Arab leaders threw in the towel and said let the last card be played and we will live with the results. That was when The Donald informed them that it was up to them to inform Mahmoud Abbas that the last card was being dealt and that he would need to show his hand. At the same time The Donald with assistance from his staff informed the EU and UN that the final card was being played and that the smallest bet permitted would be either all-in or fold, one bet and that was it. Then, The Donald settled into the dealer’s chair and has dealt the final cards to the players.


The PA got their second J giving them a pair of 2’s and a pair of J’s. The UN got a diamond to go with their three clubs and folded while the EU also got a diamond to go with their three hearts and also folded. Hamas folded before receiving a final card realizing they should simply forget unity with the PA and keep what they had already won on a side bet with the PA, that being Gaza. Israel got a second 10 giving them two pair of K’s over 10’s. So that leaves the PA and Israel to bet with the PA to lead the betting. This was where Mahmoud Abbas started to sweat before stomping around the table screaming and throwing the EU’s and UN’s now empty chairs as they have retreated to the bar to watch. Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu sat quietly not even glancing one last time at his hold-card confident he remembers what it was. Some of what Mahmoud Abbas screamed is worth repeating as it has an aroma of total defeat and his knowing that, but it could be a rouse to draw Bibi in, there is that down-card and the PA might just have a full-house filling in their two pair. But first, some of the rant needs be told.


Among his openers was his reference to the White House peace ‘deal of the century’ as the “slap of the century,” promising to slap the United States back. This came about the same time as this outburst, “I am saying that Oslo, there is no Oslo.” He added for insult, “Israel ended Oslo.” He screamed about, “Jerusalem is Mecca. Jerusalem is Mecca,” comparing Jerusalem to Islam’s holiest site elevating Jerusalem from third holiest behind Mecca and Medina, definitely a sign of apparent desperation in an attempt to make the result of the deal void by such a declaration. Many will dismiss this as pure rhetoric and unimportant except that it does depict a reality about the importance of Jerusalem in Islam, a completely false exclamation as anybody serious about the truth knows. Abbas slammed two outspoken US officials, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, referring to them as, “These two personalities are an insult for a self-respecting administration.” The Donald raised one eyebrow giving Abbas a sideways glaring glance.


Point Made and Point Rejected

Point Made and Point Rejected


These were but a few of the outbursts scattered between the other temper tantrums and then he kind of trailed off mumbling where only some of what he muttered was discernible. One such phrase was, “We are an authority without any power and under an occupation without any cost. We will not accept it remaining like this.” That was soon followed by the middle of a sentence being just slightly louder so we hear, “popular and peaceful resistance,” pause “resistance,” which he called “stronger and more effective than any other,” some heavy huffing and puffing and then he said, “is our path to force out the occupation from our land.” Then referring to Ramallah’s policy of paying salaries to Palestinian security prisoners, he let out loudly that he, “completely rejects,” any attempt to change the policy as it is rightful to pay these holy fighters, by which he refers to what most of the world recognize as terrorists. Of the United States’ offer to the Palestinians of the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis as the capital of a future Palestinian state he fumed and cursed and stated the most significant but likely overlooked declaration pointing directly at The Donald yelling, “May God demolish your house.”


What became obvious during the ranting by Mahmoud Abbas was that when he was ordered to meet with the Saudi Royal Family in Riyadh, the message sent from Saudi Arabia about the “deal of the century” being drawn up by the Trump administration and that he need accept the deal or resign as they would no longer support the Palestinians. President Trump had likely reached a deal which the Saudis agreed to back completely and that they would convey that message to Abbas. He may actually have heeded that and this may be the end of his tenure as he also told the assembled that this may be the final time they see him speaking as their leader. Some have commented this sounded like a summation and a resignation speech. This was also a declaration of war as we pointed out yesterday with his insistence on continued peaceful resistance, code words for terrorist attacks.


Perhaps now for the explanation of the meaning of the Arab curse delivered by Abbas on President Donald Trump of, “May God demolish your house.” Perhaps it would be easiest to simply quote Dr. Mordechai Kedar from his article “The speech in which Abbas Dug His Own Grave.” Here is what he told us about this curse.

This imprecation does not merely relate to someone’s present home, but to all the members of his family being thrown into the street to lead lives of destitution, humiliation and shame.

His entire article is really well worth reading as it spends time covering some of the history and other events which we did not cover here having done so over the years. Now back to the card game.


We already know that even should the PA have their full-house, their best hand would be three J’s over a pair of 2’s and Israel has a full-house of three K’s over a pair of 10’s thus Israel holds the winning hand and Bibi likely knows this. This means that the PA’s bet only matters if they fold and try to salvage some position and a way to deal with President Trump who is determined to end this charade. He stated in his campaign that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the embassy, which has now been done and is in motion and he also stated he intended to make the deal of the century in the Middle East and bring the Arab Israeli conflict to a close, and it looks like he meant every word of that as well. He stated he would give it his best deal-making ability and if that did not work then there was likely no solution. By that, he obviously meant that he would have the United States wash their hands of the whole thing and leave it to the PA and Israel to hash out alone. He has ended the idea of Jerusalem being up for grabs, granted Israel, and he terminated UNRWA’s funding which will likely not be picked up by Saudi Arabia, as we would bet that was also discussed and if they desire assistance with Iran, then they will toe the line they had drawn for them. The EU and UN cannot afford to take up the slack as the EU is almost broke and the UN would be risking all United States funding if they did so as President Trump has intimated. So, UNWRA is all but finished as President Trump may even instruct the UN to close it down or face a complete lack of funding from the United States which would be the death knell for the UN and they know this. Apparently, the people holding all the cards are Israel in the Middle East and The Donald worldwide.


In the end, he started to trail off a bit murmuring, “We do not take instructions from anyone, and say ‘no’ to anyone if it is about our destiny, our cause, our country and our people… 1,000 times no,” In one true statement there he unknowingly summed up the entirety of the Palestinian position since the beginning when he had stated, “No, a thousand times no!” We hope he either eventually sits and makes his bet or folds and walks away, either way; Israel will win. Apparently, this game is over, deals made and the only thing left is for the shouting, and Abbas is definitely doing much of that.


Beyond the Cusp


1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


    Comment by OyiaBrown — March 4, 2018 @ 7:30 AM | Reply

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