Trump to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Toppling Decades of U.S. Policy; World-Wide Muslim Protests, Violence Expected to Result
Another day, another outrageous Trump stunt. News reports today say that Trump has finally decided to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the U.S. embassy there. This would have enormous complications both for the U.S., Israel and the Arab-Muslim world. It would topple decades of U.S. policy, which refused to recognize the contested city as the capital because the Palestinian portions of it are occupied by Israel in violation of international law.
Considering the budding bromance between Israel and Saudi Arabia, it’s unclear how the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would react to such a radical step. The Saudis consider themselves the keepers of the Muslim holy places and express a special connection to the Haram al Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam. Such an action by Trump would force bin Salman to choose between two starkly divergent options: Islam or an intra-Muslim quarrel with Iran. If he chooses to put his alliance with Israel ahead of his responsibility for Jerusalem, it will further erode his claims to be a leader of the Arab world. It will also strengthen Iran’s stature as a strong rival for Muslim leadership.
It is highly likely the move would profoundly upset the Palestinians and lead to prolonged unrest in the Holy City. In the past two years, Israel faced the “Knife Intifada” in which scores of Palestinians, aggrieved over Israeli suppression of their right to worship freely at the Haram al Sharif, attacked Israeli civilians, military and police targets. Scores of unarmed innocent Palestinians were also murdered by trigger happy Israeli security forces and settlers. Over 200 Palestinians died and Although it’s hard to know precisely how this will play out, odds are the coming violence will far overshadow the last Intifada. Arab anger will be deep and not easily assuaged.
The Lawfare Blog wrote this:
The worst case scenario would be if Trump makes a decision on short notice and announces the establishment of an embassy in Jerusalem without any diplomatic groundwork being laid. In this scenario, we are likely to see a high decibel reaction throughout the Arab world as both Arab leaders and their constituencies react to the United States’ surprise reversal on such a sensitive issue. Popular reactions…could result in widespread protests and even violence, and would likely put pressure on key Arab allies. Jordan, with its large Palestinian population, may face pressure to chill its relationship with Israel or face serious unrest. And Saudi Arabia may feel the need to back away from the close relationship it appears to be forging with the Trump Administration. At a minimum, Palestinians will almost certainly be outraged and any ongoing peace negotiations are likely to go on an extended hiatus.
Though no media outlets have reported this element of the policy change, it clearly is meant as a tit-for-tat statement against the Palestinian leadership, which has resisted the trumped-up peace plan proposed by Trump and his son-in-law consigliere, Jared Kushner. After being summoned to Riyadh for “talks,” Abbas clearly didn’t react favorably to the deal cooked up by the Saudis and Americans. When the U.S. notified the PA, again in retaliation for its intransigence, that we would close the PLO mission in Washington DC, the Palestinians again responded truculently and warned they would shut down all contacts with the Americans if that happened. A placating phone call from Kushner was refused by Abbas.
So the embassy move is clearly yet another petulant U.S. attempt to shame the Palestinians and tell them that if they don’t cave, the U.S. will pull the rug out from under them entirely. The problem is that the Palestinians have virtually nothing except their own honor. They don’t have wealth. They don’t have vast trade links. They don’t have military might. They don’t even control their own land. So what can you do to them? Can you erase them from the Middle East? Can you cancel their existence? Hardly.
So this is yet another totally ineffectual move by the Trump administration which will backfire. The only question is how badly it will fail and how many thousands of dead Israelis and Palestinians will result. Not to mention another little remarked result of such machinations. The Arab world knows who is stealing the Palestinian patrimony. They know who is aiding and abetting Israel in staining the Muslim holy places with Arab blood. U.S. diplomats and military personnel will inevitably become targets. Not to mention that the states in the region where we have a military presence will be targets for Islamist militants to attack U.S. forces. As a U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman once told a Congressional committee: the ongoing unrest between Israel and the Arab world causes blowback and inevitably the death of U.S. troops.
15 thoughts on “Trump to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Toppling Decades of U.S. Policy; World-Wide Muslim Protests, Violence Expected to Result – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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…..He’s been a doozy of a President, that’s for sure.
Jerusalam is Israel’s capital. The holy sites are Jewish.They will remain so forever. Christians and Muslims have access to their sites in Israel, and freedom of religion prevails in Israel. We are a Jewish state, with a democracy.
Jews and Muslims would not be allowed to control the Vatican.
Jews and Christians cannot even enter Mecca/Medina, leave alone ever control them.
Are you suggesting that we should not respect our holy sites and fight for them?
Please show a little Jewish pride, I mean pride in your heritage.
@ Shimla: No, other countries are entitled to recognize Israel & its capital. They have no obligation to do either. Most countries recognize Israel as a state, but almost none recognize Jerusalem as its capital. You can’t force another country to do what you want, much as you might like.
The holy sites are not ‘Jewish,’ they aren’t even Israeli. It’s outrageous that you grant the sacred sites of Islam and Christianity in Israel to Judaism, a religion that until the 20th century had no physical holy sites. That’s disgusting. Judaism doesn’t want to own any other religions holy sites. Israel may wish to do so. But Israel is not a religion. At least not yet.
Christians and Muslims in particular do NOT have full access to their sites. And your claim is a lie. THere is no freedom of religion in Israel except for Jews. Your claim is another lie. There is no democracy in Israel either. THat is a third lie.
As for the Vatican, if the Solomon’s Temple was under the Vatican you bet Jews would have something to say about & not permit the Vatican to have full control of the site. If the Vatican was on top of the Kabaa then you bet Muslims would have something to say about that as well.
I am suggesting that the Temple Mount is in the same exact location as Al Aqsa mosque. So you’d better figure out a way to share them. YOu can’t own them. No one can own a sacred site. In fact, if anyone owns them God does. And he looks unfavorably on knuckleheads like you who arrogate to themselves the rights of the divine.
I have Jewish pride. But not Jewish racialist arrogance, which is what you display.
If you publish another comment here you MUST follow the comment rules. That includes stating views that are supported by facts. If you make such claims which are false or lies you will lose your comment privileges. COnsider yourself warned.
The Arabs are so divided and weak that most likely nothing is going to happen. Business with the US will continue as usual.
Nope; Mr. Silverstein is on the money and there will be a ragesplosion across the Islamic world….all because President Cheetodust does whatever his sphinxlike First Lady and his nebbish son-in-law tell him to do concerning Israel “because they are Jewish and know better.”
This is an Administration lost at sea is a ship with a broken rudder, a dead engine, no compass, no radio, and no gear to rig a sail.
@ Ron T: I do do love the hasba-cynics who are so free with their predictions and evaluations based on little more than their own Arabophobic prejudices.
Never understood what is the issue with moving the embassy to the western side of the city which recognized as part of Israel.
@ Ginger: If you don’t understand the issue then you’re either a hasbarist or a numbskull. The issue isn’t where the embassy is located in Jerusalem. The issue is that it is placed anywhere in Jerusalem because it signifies that the U.S. recognizes this city, whose conquest is recognized by no foreign state, as Israel’s capital.
But once again, why???
If it is inside the recognized 67’ borders, what exactly is the problem?
Sorry, lady. You’re too dimwitted to be worth engaging. And please stop reasking questions already answered. Just because you can’t or don’t want to understand the answer doesn’t mean you get to repeat the same inane questions. Do this again & you’ll be moderated. Stop wasting my time & space in the comment threads.
You’re so off the mark Richard. I fully support Palestinians but I also have nothing but contempt for Arab leaders and the Arab world in general, that is occupied with in-fighting along sectarian lines and is therefore weak and divided. That’s why Israel is free to act in Syria and in the occupied territories. The Arabs will roll out the red carpet for Trump anyway, even after he posted anti-Muslim hate videos and if he moves the embassy to Jerusalem. That’s how they are and I can’t see how anyone can have anything but contempt for them.
With increased violence from such an act tourism will suffer.This certainly makes me even more fearful of visiting again, even loved ones within the 1967 lines ( some folks will keep going regardless because of such ties and strong sentiments).
The formal status of Jerusalem, even though the west part has been very developed, and the east is being encroached more and more,has been left to a final agreement heretofore. Once we abandon that principle we are no longer an honest broker or in any place to make a peace deal, if we ever were. We have been decidedly on the Israeli side in peace negotiations.
The Palestinians, sadly, have been abandoned by the Arabs it seems. I agree with Richard that they have nothing left but their dignity and resistance to the bitter end… taking a lesson perhaps from Masada.
I read (wikipedia on it’s Jerusalem entry) “In April 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced it viewed Western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the context of UN-approved principles which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.”
see also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Embassy_Act
I am planning a killing spree of muslims.
@ death: I report all terrorist threats whether legitimate or not to relevant authorities. In this case, since you’re located in Victoria, Australia I’ve reported this to Australian counter-terror authorities.
It’s possible this idiot is using an IP proxy server and thus hiding his identity. But at least I want to give the police the information I can.
It is such a pleasant surprise to discover your blog, Mr. Silverstein, As an original Jordanian, not Palestenian Jordanian, I believe the Islamic world is been self destructed, and I believe the root of the problem is Islam, and what is sad about it the more trouble they have, the stronger they grab into that religion that is now becoming a cult.
So Mr. Kushner can do what ever he wants, with minimal reaction, especially that the Saodies are on his side….What is so sad for the Muslims is that the most corrupt country in the world, the Saodis, are now their leaders. As a young Jordanian, we despised them as a bunch of corrupt, liars, worthless people.