finally ditched mimo
2017-12-07 10:08:03 UTC
he has announced that his administration will recognise Jerusalem
israel-capital-move-us-embassy-white-house)as Israel’s capital, reversing
nearly seven decades of American policy. This step will have multiple
negative ramifications, many impossible to predict.
Jerusalem is the most important of the so-called final status issues that
have been repeatedly deferred during the Israel-Palestine negotiations
because of their extreme sensitivity. Trump has ploughed into this imbroglio
like a bull in a china shop, zeroing in on the most complex and emotional
issue of all those connected to Palestine.
important-google-autocomplete)is undoubtedly the most important aspect of the
entire Palestine question. It has been central to the identity of Palestinian
Muslims and Christians as far back as the founding moments of both religions,
and has become even more so as the conflict over Palestine has become
The rivalry over this holy city is exacerbated by the fact that the same site
– the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims, the Temple Mount to Jews – is sacred to
both. Because of its explosive nature, this is an issue that no Palestinian
politician, and few Arab leaders, would dare to trifle with.
For someone such as me, whose family has lived in Jerusalem for hundreds of
years, Trump’s announcement does not just mean that the US has adopted the
Israeli position that Jerusalem belongs exclusively to Israel. He has also
retroactively legitimised Israel’s seizure and military occupation of Arab
East Jerusalem during the 1967 war, and its imposition of discriminatory laws
on hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living there. The damage he has done
will be permanent: the US cannot undo this recognition.
This act completely disqualifies the US from its longstanding role as broker,
a position that Washington has monopolised for itself. So much for the
pitiful “peace plan” that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was cooking
up and hoping to impose on the Palestinians.
Trump’s action signals disdain for the opinion of the whole Arab world.
Whatever Arab dictators and absolute monarchs may tell the Americans they
depend on, the Arab peoples are unanimous in supporting the Palestinian
position on Jerusalem. Their inevitable reactions to this move will impinge
on vital US interests all over the region. As secretary of defense James
Mattis noted in 2013: “I paid a military security price every day as a
commander of [Central Command] because the Americans were seen as biased in
support of Israel.”
This latest diplomatic fiasco is another instance of the administration
showing utter contempt for the views of the rest of the world. Not one
country recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. There is a global
consensus that until a settlement is achieved, it is illegitimate to prejudge
or predetermine the outcome of negotiations. The US formally assured the
Palestinians on this score in inviting them to the 1991 Madridpeace
Of course, there is a lengthy American track record of bias in favour of
Israel. No one should have expected fairness on this issue from them or from
It is now hard to see how a sustainable Palestinian-Israeli agreement is
possible. True to Trump form, this is an entirely self-inflicted wound that
will long echo in the annals of diplomacy. It will further diminish the
already reduced standing of the US, complicating relations with allies, with
Muslims and Arabs – and with people of common sense the world over.
Trump, who was warned against this step by Arab, Middle Eastern and European
leaders, has now made resolving the conflict over Palestine much harder, even
as he has brought joy to his friends, and to their dangerous, extremist
soulmates in Israel. Far from ushering in the “deal of the century”, as
he boasted, with this foolish move Trump may usher in the debacle of the
century. This is a sad day for international law, for Palestine, and for
everyone who cares about peace in the Middle East.