The Trump administration marked the eve of 9/11 and the celebration of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) by sending a clear message that the days of coddling and pandering to the Palestinian Authority (PA) are over.
You might call it the Clint Eastwood: "Dirty Harry," "Make My Day" school of diplomacy.
In his first major speech as national security adviser, John Bolton said the United States was shutting down the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington, D.C.,— a move prompted by the PA’s unwillingness to engage in peace negotiations with Israel.
In an address to the Federalist Society, this past Monday, Bolton highlighted the special relationship between the U.S. and the Jewish state.
"The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel," Bolton said. "And, today, reflecting congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an ICC [International Criminal Court] investigation of Israel, the State Department will announce the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office here in Washington, D.C."
Bolton also took on the International Criminal Court, which he characterized as an unaccountable, "illegitimate" body running in opposition to the U.S. Constitution.
"Today, on the eve of Sept. 11th, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the president of the United States," Bolton said. "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court."
The national security adviser said that henceforth, the U.S. will no longer assist the ICC in any manner whatsoever. "We will not cooperate with the ICC,"Bolton said. "We will provide no assistance to the ICC. And we certainly will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."
Both the ICC and the United Nations have been highly critical of Israel in recent years, while siding with the Palestinian Authority. Although Hamas, a PA-based terrorist organization headquartered in Gaza, has initiated repeated rocket attacks into Israel, the PA has repeatedly lodged war crime accusations against Israel to the ICC and the UN.
And on that note, it was almost as though this move was predicted by The Daily Wire editor in chief Ben Shapiro. On Sunday, the first day the 3-day Rosh Hashanah celebration, he wrote a message — the last half of which could have been directed at Hamas:
"Happy Rosh Hashana, and may you be inscribed in the book of life!" Shapiro tweeted. "(Unless you’re a terrorist. In that case, you’re on your own.)"
President Donald Trump has successfully employed the "Dirty Harry" approach when dealing with rogue regimes most notably North Korea and Syria.
When former President Barack Obama drew a red line on Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called Obama’s bluff and crossed it. Obama did nothing.
The next time Assad used chemical weapons on his own people was a new administration was in power, and Trump didn’t bother rattling swords or making speeches — he ordered a missile strike.
Al-Assad made Trump’s day.
But he didn’t get the message, so in April when Assad again crossed that line, he was faced with a combined French, British, and U.S. airstrike.
He seemed to get the message that time.
It also sent a clear message to North Korea that Trump wouldn’t hesitate using military force whenever the circumstances call for it. Its leader, Kim Jong Un, has been cooperative and open to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
The president has used the "Dirty Harry" approach in trade relations with some success. When Trump announced a readiness to tack heavy tariffs on foreign goods, countries have suddenly shown a willingness to lower their own tariffs on U.S. goods.
China, for example, lowered its tariffs on American automobiles; Germany said its open to doing the same. Most recently, the European Union announced it wants to ease trade restrictions by November.
Now the president’s sights are on the Palestinian Authority, which has balked at peace negotiations. In response, Trump cut more than $200 million in aid to the PA last month. This month he’s making it disappear from the D.C. landscape altogether.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat delivered a statement protested the action.
“These people have decided to stand on the wrong side of history by protecting war criminals and destroying the two state solution,” he said. “I told them if you are worried about courts, you should stop aiding and abetting crimes."
Go ahead. Make my day.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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