TEL AVIV – Prominent Evangelist leader Pastor John Hagee has called on the Trump administration to keep its word and allow Israel to go ahead with its plans to apply Israeli law to parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
In an op-ed in the dovish Haaretz news site, Hagee writes, “Washington assured Jerusalem that Palestinian inflexibility would not derail the peace proposal. America’s leaders need to keep their word.”
Hagee denounces the notion of Israel as an occupying force, writing that “from a Biblical, historical and legal perspective” the Jewish state owns the territory in question.
“[S]ince its founding, Israel has repeatedly offered to make painful compromises in pursuit of peace with its neighbors to no avail,” Hagee says.
According to Hagee, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and its eight million members “support the Trump Peace Proposal in its entirety [including] Israel’s exercising its sovereignty over portions” of the West Bank as well as offering the Palestinians “an opportunity to have a prosperous and independent existence.”
“Pragmatism must reign, and the Trump plan is the most realistic effort ever offered by an American administration to end hostilities in the region,” he writes.
It is now up to the Palestinians to make a decision. They are unquestionably the masters of their own destiny. Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn was right when he wrote that to delay a unilateral Israeli move, “All [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] needs to do is call, text or email the White House to request a meeting with President Donald Trump at which he announces his willingness to resume peace talks with Israel on the basis of the ‘deal of the century.’
Hagee goes on to berate the Palestinian leader for failing to talk about peace and instead focuses all his efforts in “talking about the supposed evils of the Jewish state.”
Israel’s neighbor and ostensible partner-in-peace, Jordan, has warned of a “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds with the plan, raising concerns the Hashemite Kingdom may even cancel its peace treaty with the Jewish state.
According to Hagee, “Jordan’s threat obliterates any notion that Israel can rely upon that peace treaty to ensure defensible borders.”
As such, he says, it is perhaps the most pragmatic argument for the necessity in extending sovereignty.
Supporters of the government’s annexation plans say that safeguarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank is essential to the security of the center of the country which they straddle and applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley is key if Israel hopes to have a minimally defensible eastern border.
Hagee notes the international community and past American leaders have pressured Israel — and not the Palestinian leadership — to make concessions because “asking anything of Jerusalem is far easier than asking anything of Ramallah.”
“But that is unfair, inappropriate and has not seen results. The Trump Peace Proposal offered a new course: enable the Palestinians to be masters of their own destiny while not allowing Israel to be held hostage by Palestinian rejectionism,” the pastor writes.
“[I]t is time for America to boldly stand with its greatest ally and go forward with the Trump Peace Proposal, without delay,” Hagee concludes.