Waiting for a pledge from Palestinians

Israelis understand that, at least under President Donald Trump’s administration, they have a staunch, valuable ally. Now it is time to make it clear to the Palestinian people that Washington wants to help them, too.

Many enemies in the Middle East desire to wipe Israel off the map. The Jewish nation’s foes here in the United States prefer not to acknowledge that fact.

A large part of the rationale for enmity toward Israel is alleged injustices toward the Palestinian people. That is far from the only reason why attacks on the Jewish state persist, of course. Religious and social hatreds have much to do with the problem. So does the desire by surrounding states to acquire territory occupied now by Israel.

But helping to solve “the Palestinian problem” may be the most important action the United States can take to bring peace to the Middle East. To that end, the Trump administration has spent two years crafting an initiative to improve the economic outlook for the Palestinians. It is to be unveiled next month during a conference in Bahrain.

Improving both the infrastructure and job opportunities in the Palestinian territories is said to be the foundation of the plan. Details of how the White House hopes to accomplish that remain to be revealed to the public. So does the cost to American taxpayers.

Doing anything worthwhile will not be inexpensive, of course. But from the standpoints of compassion toward the Palestinians and eliminating one reason for violence in the Middle East, the strategy could prove to be an excellent investment.

Something in return should be expected. That is for Palestinian leaders to pull away from supporting and sometimes facilitating violence directed at Israel. How long should the United States be patient in waiting for results from any pledge to do that? That decision is made best in Washington. But pouring money into Palestinian communities would not be acceptable if they continue pouring rockets — and worse — into Israel.


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