Jihadists, the tip of the sharia-supremacist spear, rationalize mass murder by denying the humanity of their enemies: Their doctrine teaches that non-Muslims are less than fully human and that their existence while refusing to accept Allah’s law is offensive. In the same way, Islamists, the broader population of sharia supremacists, rationalize the destruction of their perceived enemies, Israel in particular, by denying the reality of their legitimate existence.
This is what Edward Said referred to as the “psychological barrier.” It is what President Trump is trying to break by doing what he promised as a candidate to do: recognize the blunt reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
The objective was to preserve Said’s “psychological barrier.” This is the mindset that prevents Muslims from accepting Israel’s right to exist. Even if relations are frosty, people who open lines of communication cross a threshold. They may never agree, but implicitly they concede that the other side has human dignity, is worth hearing out, and may even be guided by everyday concerns rooted more in security than hostility. Even worse from the Islamist perspective, if the two sides interrelate often enough, they may find areas of agreement — common ground that suggests compromise is preferable to bloodshed. Leave them together long enough and they might become cordial — even, Allah forbid, friendly.
Islamists thus labor to fortify the psychological barrier against peaceful coexistence by denying existence itself. Key to this is depicting Israel as not a normal country — an international outlaw that “occupies” but does not legitimately exist, without…