“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” – President Donald J. Trump, 12/6/2017
The Los Angeles Times reports that
Fresh anger poured in from across the Muslim world Wednesday as President Trump said the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that Arab and European leaders have warned could spark violence and destroy any hopes of reviving the Mideast peace process.
Israel responded with satisfaction to the president’s announcement, in which Trump also said he was setting in motion the process of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv. In a show of appreciation, the Jerusalem municipality projected the American and Israeli flags onto the walls of the Old City, home to important Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites.
Yet even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the president’s declaration as “courageous and just,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas slammed the “destruction of all the efforts to achieve peace.”
Ahead of the announcement, U.S. allies in the Middle East and Europe had urged Trump to refrain from taking steps they fear could ignite unrest across the region.
Jerusalem’s status is one of the most sensitive and inflammatory issues fueling the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israel claims the city in entirety as its capital; Palestinians want the eastern sector to be the seat of government for a future state.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking from New York moments after the president finished his address, said Jerusalem’s status was an issue to be decided through negotiations.
“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear there is no alternative to the two-state solution,” he said, referring to a broad international consensus supporting side-by-side Israeli and Palestinian states.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis prayed that Jerusalem’s status quo would be preserved to avoid adding new tension to a world “already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.”
“Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims who venerate the holy places of their respective religions, and has a special vocation to peace,” Francis said at his weekly audience.
Leaders from Britain, France, Germany and Italy joined in the chorus of opprobrium for Trump’s decision. France’s President Emmanuel Macron called the U.S. move “regrettable.” British Prime Minister Theresa May said she intended to speak with Trump and express concerns.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meeting in the Turkish capital with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, said the U.S. president’s stance would provide a boost for terrorist groups. The leaders plan to convene extraordinary meetings of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League in the coming days to discuss the region’s response to the U.S. moves.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Arab League’s secretary-general, said he was surprised that the U.S. administration would “get involved in an unjustified provocation of the feelings of 360 million Arabs and 1.5 billion Muslims to please Israel.”
The status of Israel is one of the few issues that unites leaders in a part of the world riven by war and sectarian divides. Archrivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are engaged in deadly proxy conflicts in Yemen and Syria, have offered some of the harshest commentary about Trump’s plan in recent days.
The Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told a gathering of Iranian officials Wednesday that “without a doubt, the Islamic world will resist this conspiracy … and beloved Palestine will finally be freed,” the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.
Yet officials could not pass up the opportunity to take digs at their rivals.
“If half the funds spent by some rulers in the region to encourage terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and incitement against neighbors was spent on liberating Palestine, we wouldn’t be facing today this American egotism,” Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said in a tweet.
Palestinians, already discouraged over what they describe as a consistently pro-Israel stance by the United States, said Trump’s decision essentially killed any remaining peace hopes. Leaders called for three “days of rage” culminating after Friday prayers.
Although protests in the West Bank were muted Wednesday, in part because of the cold weather and rain, hundreds took to the streets in the Gaza Strip, chanting angry slogans against the U.S. and Israel, and burning the flags of both countries.
“Trump has just declared the end of the two-state solution,” said Tahrir Aloumor, 36, who joined a demonstration in the Jabaliya refugee camp. “Shame on you, Trump.”
As darkness fell, the walled Old City — focus of many outbreaks of violence — was largely quiet. A visiting Palestinian American, Jamal Abu Sneineh, 53, called Trump’s move “shortsighted” and said it would harm the already moribund peace process.
“It feels surreal to be back in Jerusalem during this time,” he said. “Look at the stones, and you can feel the history and the hands that built them.”
International backing for Trump’s plan was almost nonexistent, but Israeli media reports on Wednesday cited at least one leader who is on board with the president’s move: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is denounced by human rights groups and many Western governments for a deadly anti-drug campaign.Israel’s Channel One reported that Duterte expressed interest in moving his country’s embassy, as Trump plans to do, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Palestine…Palestine…Palestine…all this angst over a country which never existed.
Just who are the “Palestinians” and the “Palestinian Authority”?
According to Palestinian revisionism, the Palestinians lived from time immemorial in historic Palestine, which is portrayed as a veritable paradise of flourishing orchards and fertile vineyards, teeming with happy peasants. Then, according to the mythic narrative, the Zionists came and, with the support of the British, stole the Palestinians’ land, exiled the people, and initiated a reign of terror and ethnic cleansing that has not abated until this very day.
Since the Six Day War of 1967, the Arab world’s most powerful leaders — in Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Syria, and Iraq prior to Saddam Hussein’s demise — have waged a war of words against Israel. Having failed to defeat Israel by means of naked military aggression, these leaders and their advisors decided, sometime between the end of the war and the Khartoum Conference of August-September 1967, to bring about the destruction of Israel by means of a relentless terror war.
To justify to the world their ruthless murder of Israeli civilians and their undying hatred of the West, these leaders needed to invent a narrative depicting Israel as a racist, war-mongering, oppressive, apartheid state that was illegally occupying Arab land and carrying out the genocide of an indigenous people that had a stronger claim to the land of Israel than did Israel itself.
Thus the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), under the tutelage of the Soviet KGB, invented “The Palestinian People” who allegedly had been forced to wage a war of national liberation against imperialism.
To justify this notion, Yasser Arafat, shortly after taking over as leader of the PLO, sent his adjutant, Abu Jihad (later the leader of the PLO’s military operations), to North Vietnam to study the strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare in the hopes that the PLO could emulate Ho Chi Minh’s success with left-wing sympathizers in the United States and Europe. Ho’s chief strategist, General Giap, offered advice that changed the PLO’s identity and future:
“Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for human rights. Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand.”
Giap’s counsel was simple but profound: the PLO needed to work in a way that concealed its real goals, permitted strategic deception, and gave the appearance of moderation. And the key to all this was creating an image that would help Arafat manipulate the American and Western news media.
Arafat developed the images of the “illegal occupation” and “Palestinian national self-determination,” both of which lent his terrorism the mantle of a legitimate peoples’ resistance. After the Six Day War, Muhammad Yazid, who had been minister of information in two Algerian wartime governments (1958-1962), imparted to Arafat some wisdom that echoed the lessons he had learned in North Vietnam:
“Wipe out the argument that Israel is a small state whose existence is threatened by the Arab states, or the reduction of the Palestinian problem to a question of refugees; instead, present the Palestinian struggle as a struggle for liberation like the others. Wipe out the impression . . . that in the struggle between the Palestinians and the Zionists, the Zionist is the underdog. Now it is the Arab who is oppressed and victimized in his existence because he is not only facing the Zionists but also world imperialism.”
The term “Palestine” (Falastin in Arabic) was an ancient name for the general geographic region that is more or less today’s Israel. The name derives from the Philistines, who originated from the eastern Mediterranean, and invaded the region in the 11th and 12th centuries B.C. The Philistines were apparently either from Greece, Crete, the Aegean Islands, and/or Ionia. They seem to be related to the Bronze Age Greeks, and they spoke a language akin to Mycenaean Greek. Their descendents, still living on the shores of the Mediterranean, greeted Roman invaders a thousand years later. The Romans corrupted the name to “Palestina,” and the area under the sovereignty of their city-states became known as “Philistia.” Six-hundred years later, the Arab invaders called the region “Falastin.”
Throughout subsequent history, the name remained only a vague geographical entity. There was never a nation of “Palestine,” never a people known as the “Palestinians,” nor any notion of “historic Palestine.” The region never enjoyed any sovereign autonomy, remaining instead under successive foreign sovereign domains from the Umayyads and Abbasids to the Fatimids, Ottomans, and British.
During the centuries of Ottoman rule, no Arabs under Turkish rule made any attempt to formulate an ideology of national identity, least of all the impoverished Arab peasantry in the region today known as Israel.
The term “Palestinian,” ironically, was used during the British Mandate period (1922-1948) to identify the Jews of British Mandatory Palestine. The Arabs of the area were known as “Arabs,” and their own designation of the region was balad esh-Sham (the province of Damascus). While some Arab nationalist writers, and coffee-shop intellectuals in Cairo or Beirut, developed the concept of Arab nationalism in large part as a response to Zionism, the terms “Palestine” and “Palestinian” were used in their traditional sense as geographic designations, not as national identities.
In early 1947, in fact, when the UN was exploring the possibility of the partition of British Mandatory Palestine into two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs, various Arab political and academic spokespersons spoke out vociferously against such a division because, they argued, the region was really a part of southern Syria, no such people or nation as “Palestinians” had ever existed, and it would be an injustice to Syria to create a state ex nihilo at the expense of Syrian sovereign territory.
During the 19 years from Israel’s victory in 1948 to Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War, all that remained of the UN’s partitioned territory to the “Arabs” of British Mandatory Palestine were the West Bank, under illegal Jordanian sovereignty, and the Gaza Strip, under Egyptian rule. Never during these 19 years did any Arab leader anywhere in the world argue for the right of national self-determination for the Arabs of these territories. A “Palestinian” nation and “Palestinian” people had not yet been invented.
Article 24 of the PLO’s original founding document, the PLO Covenant, states: “This Organization (the PLO) does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the Gaza Strip or the Himmah area.” For Arafat before the Six-Day War, Palestine was Israel. It was not the West Bank or the Gaza Strip — because the West Bank and the Gaza Strip belonged to other Arab states, and the inhabitants of these areas were not numbered among the Palestinians whose “homeland” Arafat sought to “liberate.” The only “homeland” for the PLO in 1964 was the State of Israel. However, in response to the Six Day War, the PLO revised its Covenant on July 17, 1968, to remove the operative language of Article 24, thereby newly asserting a “Palestinian” claim of sovereignty to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This ploy was revealed, perhaps inadvertently, to the West in a public interview with Zahir Muhse’in, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, in a March 31, 1977, interview with the Amsterdam-based newspaper Trouw:
“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”
Arafat himself said the same thing, on many occasions. In his authorized biography (Terrorist or Peace Maker, by Alan Hart), he is quoted saying: “[T]he Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.”
But such admissions did not stem the enthusiasm with which these fictions were greeted by Western leaders. Within a few years, the USSR’s invention of the fictitious narrative of Palestinian national aspirations and rights of self-determination created the facade of morality and legitimacy that the terrorists needed in order to curry favor with the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
As you can see by the reaction of the United Nations and those nations who despise Israel for being the strong Jewish Nation that they are, liked the advantage that they gained under the weak and vacillating Foreign Policy of Barack Hussein Obama.
And, they certainly do not want a President who will honor both his campaign promises and our nation’s friendship with our ally, Israel.
President Barack Hussein Obama placed us in untenable position with his weak and vacillating Smart Power Foreign Policy.
Those who used to cringe in their desert tents, while calling us the Great Satan, laughed in our faces as they walked across our southern borders with the rest of the illegal immigrants.
That is, if Obama simply did not invite them to the White House and meet with them, as he did with the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was far more lucrative for the UN and the enemies of both Israel and America, when the United States “negotiated from a position of weakness”, when we had a vacillating dhimmi in the White House.
To survive as a Sovereign Nation, America must have a president who will man up and negotiate from a position of strength with both our friends and our enemies.
In Donald J. Trump, these nations now have to negotiate with an American President who has mastered “The Art of the Deal”.
…one who places America and her best interests, first.
Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem was the right move for both America and Israel.
In business parlance, it is a “WIN-WIN” Situation.
Isn’t that refreshing?
Until He Comes,