US Vice President Pence 'unwelcome in Palestine' - Fatah official

Ammar Awad  Reuters
A view of Jerusalem's Old City and the Dome of the Rock. Jerusalem's many holy sites are claimed by Jews Muslims and Christians

Ammar Awad Reuters A view of Jerusalem's Old City and the Dome of the Rock. Jerusalem's many holy sites are claimed by Jews Muslims and Christians

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and previously the Palestinians' chief negotiator with Israel, said that Mr Trump had "disqualified his country from any possible role in the peace process".

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity pending Trump's announcement, said the decision was merely an acknowledgment of "historical and current reality" rather than a political statement and said the city's physical and political borders will not be compromised.

A commentator in the pro-Hamas biweekly Al-Risalah echoes this: "We should reject the US and Israeli pressure, and move to enhance Palestinian national reconciliation until we achieve national unity".

The article then noted that Donald Trump had promised this change during his campaign for the presidency, while omitting the fact that the same campaign promise was made by Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and, yes indeed, President Obama. His move "will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division", they said. None of them knew anything about the others' values, morals and ideals, which created a vacuum filled by biases and prejudgments. Israel has no intention of fully granting the Palestinians the sovereignty they demand in East Jerusalem, but were an Israeli government to do so, such an agreement would not stand in conflict with Trump's declaration.

Wadie Abunassar, chairman of media relations for the Christian leaders, said the status of Jerusalem is not only an issue for Israelis and Palestinians, but also for other Muslim countries as well.

"Let December 8 be the first day of the intifada against the occupier", he said.

The move of the embassy could in theory be stalled by a future president, though that is unlikely. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the "whole world is against" Trump's move, and the supreme leader of Iran, Israel's staunchest enemy, condemned Trump. What do you do when it his Wakf that wantonly has dug up and destroyed thousands of years of Jewish archeological treasures on the Temple Mount, and the world has stood by without protest? No great achievement for Israel in that; even the Russians have done so. And it is highly unlikely to bring Abbas running to the negotiating table.

Surely it would be more interesting to read about the good being done and how globally we are a true light unto the nations? You pray for new leaders in the US who will right the wrongs; who will defy the rotten and callous consensus; who will be willing to introduce a dose of realism and truth-telling to the Arab-Israeli dynamic; who will be brave enough to say, at least, that Jews have profound rights in Jerusalem and that the US recognizes the indisputable fact that Jerusalem functions as Israel's capital, justifiably so. Another survey released on Monday demonstrated that younger evangelicals are much less supportive of Israel than their older counterparts despite their belief in the bible, and many believe Christians should be more considerate of Palestinians. There was no immediate response from other regional terror groups, such as Islamic State.

At Abbas's express urging, UNESCO has adopted insane and nonsensical resolutions declaring Jerusalem an exclusively Muslim heritage city, and criminalizing Israel's custodianship of the holy city. It makes bold moves.

Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. The Sunni Arab states are less concerned about Palestine than about Iran's growing influence, and finding ways to contain it (see article). Pence is scheduled to travel to Israel later this month.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.