Dec 11,2017 – JORDAN TIMES –
After the unsurprising announcement of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, of his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and issue an executive order to start procedures to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Arab and Muslim worlds were dumbfounded.
To add insult to injury, the news surfaced that President Mahmoud Abbas was told by President Trump that he should expect a pleasant surprise in the first part of 2018 on “the deal of the century”.
As if that had not been enough, Secretary of State Rex Tillersen stated that the embassy relocation to Jerusalem would take about two years. The logical question which should be raised on these mellow pain-soothing pronouncements is why could not the decision to admit Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the embassy wait until you declare that deal of the century. What purpose does this decision preceding the deal actually serve?
Ah… Mr Trump made it abundantly clear that this acknowledgement step which moved Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to tears on television will save the peace process? Let us indulge President Trump and ask how does his decision serve peace?
The probable but not credible explanation would run like this: Let us reassure the Israelis that Jerusalem would be their coveted capital and in return they would show softer position on other final status negotiation issues.
What a foolish thought that would be! Netanyahu added some adjectives to Mr Trump’s announcement which went unchallenged by him or by his staff.
Netanyahu’s Jerusalem is the undivided and eternal capital of Israel, and obviously as Jerusalem is defined and delineated by Israel. Excuse us Mr Trump for believing Mr Netanyahu’s statement. The American position on Palestinian rights has been going on a gliding path in favour of Israeli expansionist outlook. You never stood your ground on any issue so far and your decision last Wednesday stands as a water-proof testimonial.
The immediate outcome of that signature which Mr Trump flashed to TV cameras was the killing of four Palestinians and the injuring of more than thousands of Palestinians in three days.
President Trump has built his decision on the negative Arab reality. Some Arab states are rumoured to have indirectly nudged him to take that decision. Netanyahu’s statements on Israel, not being the enemy but Iran, have made him believe that he can take his move with little or any resistance. You are wrong sir.
You still have time either to rescind that decision or to immediately declare that the Jerusalem you meant was the pre-1967 West Jerusalem and that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory subject to international law and internationally agreed UN Security Council resolutions.
Sovereignty of the West Bank is not yours to give. Jerusalem’s importance and the reaction to your decision are not to be measured in the few days ahead. It will have different short, medium and long cycles of tremors in the Islamic world. Nothing you could have done would have awakened the spirit and soul of Arabs and Muslims as much your miscalculated step has done.
Mr Trump may be in deep trouble at home, and the people that he thinks he is serving in Israel may soon be making arrangements for his impeachment once he has served his purpose, becoming a burden they can do without.