The Big News Of the Day…

…comes from Saudi Arabia. Shiite rebels in Yemen fired an Iranian-manufactured missile at the royal palace in Riyadh. It was intercepted, reportedly, just seconds before it reached its target. This follows a similar attack last month, where Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for a missile that was aimed at Riyadh’s airport but was also shot down.

These incidents highlight the fact that the Gulf’s Sunni countries no longer care much about Israel. They fear Iran, and are willing to make common cause with Israel against the mullahs. This is one reason why the State Department’s assumption that relations between Israel and the Palestinians is the key to peace in the region is woefully out of date.

The New York Times, similarly, hasn’t gotten the message. It features a long story that depicts Palestinian “refugees” in Lebanon as part of the Democrats’ resistance to President Trump: “Lebanon’s Palestinian Refugees Resist from the Sidelines.”

[I]t was the evening of President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The move, which Mr. Trump called “a long overdue step to advance the peace process,” has set off a wave of rage throughout the Palestinian community, and the wider Arab and Muslim world.

In the Times’s view, all news is about Donald Trump. If it doesn’t reflect badly on the administration, why bother to print it? This is a newspaper with a mission!

The protesters moved into Shatila, past sewage and jumbles of tangled, exposed electrical wire.

The Shatila “refugee camp” is now 68 years old. People have been born, lived and died there. Why? In particular, why do people continue to live among open sewage and “jumbles of tangled, exposed electrical wire”?Arabs in Israel do not live in such conditions.

“I wish we never had to hear about America,” said Mr. Eid as he tamped an espresso. “I don’t understand why America has so much say in our affairs.”

Even in Lebanon, it’s all about Donald Trump! Of course, America has little or nothing to do with the “affairs” of those who live in a camp in Beirut.

More than 450,000 of five million registered Palestinian refugees worldwide live in exile in Lebanon, 69 years after they were driven from what is now Israel during the war over its founding.

It was Israel then, too, and the “war over [Israel’s] founding” was begun by Arab countries that wanted to slaughter all the Jews who lived there. To their surprise, they lost the war. Somehow, 69 years later, the New York Times and the “refugees” in Lebanon believe that this gives them a grievance against Israel.

Palestinians generally see Mr. Trump’s announcement as the final breath of a long-stagnant peace process — and a threat to any future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But for refugees, it also means compromising their right of return to their families’ original homes in the West Bank, Gaza or Israel.

There is, obviously, no “right of return.” There never has been. President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has little or nothing to do with that reality, but if it causes a light bulb to go on in the minds of Palestinians, that is one more fact in its favor.

Despite nearly 70 years of presence in Lebanon, the stateless refugees live under harsh conditions.

They do not have the rights afforded to Lebanese citizens. They are barred from over 30 professions, including white-collar jobs in fields like medicine, law, engineering and education. They cannot own property or attend public schools, and they are not protected by labor laws.

All Israel’s fault, apparently. Or possibly President Trump’s.

The reality is that after three wars between Israel and its Arab enemies, the Middle East has moved on. Other than the fact that it puts the Arab countries’ backwardness to shame, Israel’s existence impacts them hardly at all. They fear not Israel, but Iran. The Trump administration understands this, but a few left-wing enclaves like the State Department and the New York Times evidently still haven’t caught on.

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