Archives‎ > ‎

Trump's Jerusalem announcement, from Peter Myers

(1) Trump Jerusalem announcement leads to Diplomatic Isolation of US; disproves Chomsky thesis(2) UNSC votes 14-1 on Jerusalem; Trump exercises US veto; emergency special session of UNGA(3) Jerusalem move is a Jewish victory over Christianity - Israel Shamir(4) Mohammed bin Salman backs Trump's Jerusalem move; Saudi elite dumps Palestinians(5) Trump made his biggest blunder by his Jerusalem announcement - Mazin Qumsiyeh(6) Jerusalem move has damaged the reputation of US & the authority of UN - Richard Falk(7) Trump's decision on Jerusalem will cause many problems for US - John Mearsheimer(8) Jerusalem plan upsets MidEast Christians - Copts, Palestinians, Iraqis(9) Macron tries to fill Mid-East Diplomatic space vacated by Trump(10) & (11) China calls for East Jerusalem as Capital of Palestinian State(1) Trump Jerusalem announcement leads to Diplomatic Isolation of US; disproves Chomsky thesis- by Peter Myers, December 19, 2017Trump's Jerusalem announcement was a repayment to the Zionists who supported him, and a pitch for their continued backing. He may also draw over some 'Liberal' Jews who supported the Democrats.Evangelical Christians in the US back Israel and Trump's move, but Mid-East Christians are appalled. A Zionist takeover of Jerusalem adversely affects the headquarters of many Christian Churches.Moslem countries perceive that the US pretence of being a peacemaker or neutral arbiter is finished. Further Zionist incursions can be expected - seizure of Palestinian land, encroachment on East Jerusalem, and ultimately the destruction of Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, so that the Third Temple can be built in their place.Reaction in the Islamic world has been widespread but mainly non-violent. Perhaps Palestnians and Moslems are realizing that violent means - stones, rockets , suicide-bombers and terrorist attacks - are counter-productive. They kill innocent people, destroy infrastructure, and create fear and hostility to Islam.According to Victor Ostrovsky and Ari Ben Menashe - both former Israeli intelligence agents - Mossad and Shin Bet secretly participated in some of those violent attacks, to give Moslems a bad name. Time for Moslems to wake up to such secret helpers.But non-violent options are available, by which other countries can counter the Lobby. These options could exact a financial price, shrink the US Empire, and strengthen the opposition to the Lobby within the US:Financially- stop using the US $ for trade contracts; use other currencies instead, eg Euro, Ruble,Yen, Yuan, or a basket- award contracts (eg for mining or construction projects) to non-US companies instead of US ones- sell US $ bonds they hold- cease investing in the US; sell existing investments- bar US banks from their territories- not join US-organized trade blocs- not comply with US-imposed sanctions- use alternatives to the Swift payment systemMilitarily- cease buying US military equipment- expel US bases from their territoryDiplomatically- support Palestinian rights at the UN- downsize or expel US Embassies and ConsulatesCulturally- become independent of Hollywood and the US 'mainsteam media'- break away from US Academia, especially the Culture War and Political CorrectnessSuch measures could embolden non-Zionists within the US leadership to throw off the Zionist shackles.Now that the Islamic world has rejected the Jerusalem announcement, Noam Chomsky's claim that Israel is merely a regional sherrif, through which the US controls the Middle East, is seen as patently false.Chomsky is the leading Left-wing denier of the Jewish Lobby. Through his repudiation of the Mearsheimer-Walt thesis, he has facilitated the Lobby's ability to operate with little scrutiny or publicity.Chomsky appears to have made no statement about Trump's Jerusalem announcement. It's not only the end of the MidEast peace process, but the end of Chomsky's credibility.Chomsky depicts  Evangelical Christians as the real force behind Zionism, as if the Jewish Lobby is irrelevant. But although the Christian Right have a certain voting power, they do not own the media, and they are not the big donors like Shelson Adelson and George Soros.The US House of Representatives Calendar for 2017 lists 8 Jewish entries (start & end dates of Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah), but only 2 Christian entries (Easter Sunday, and Christmas). There is no entry for Good Friday: amounts to a Jewish triumph over Christianity. And shows that the Christian Right are not calling the shots, contrary to Chomsky.The means of this conquest was financial:  buying the media, buying the Congress, and buying the Presidential candidates.  He who pays the piper calls the tune.Obama is the only recent President who stood up to the Jewish Lobby: he got the NSA to monitor Netanyahu's phone calls to Congress. He was under no illusion that Netanyahu was a mere sherrif as Chomsky claims; rather, he knew that Netanyahu was attempting to control US foreign policy as a back-seat driver.Obama allowed UNSC Resolution 2334, condemning Israeli settlements in "Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East-Jerusalem", to pass 14-0, by not casting a veto; but that was on December 23, 2016, at the end of his presidency, when the Lobby could do him no further harm.One immediate effect of Trump's announcement, is that Saudi Arabia will find it difficult to gain support from  Arab countries for an attack on Syria or Iran. And any Israeli attack on those countries would only sharpen the standoff.In the longer term, the Jerusalem announcement could even lead to the fall of the House of Saud, and the end of the Petro-Dollar.With the US diplomatically isolated in the Islamic world, Russia, China and the EU see an opportunity to expand their influence. Putin has strengthened ties in Turkey and Egypt, and Macron is seeking to take the diplomatic space vacated by Trump.At long last, there could be some real opposition to the Lobby within the US.(2) UNSC votes 14-1 on Jerusalem; Trump exercises US veto; emergency special session of UNGA 19, 2017 / 2:46 AMU.S. vetoes U.N. call for withdrawal of Trump Jerusalem decisionMichelle NicholsUNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States was further isolated on Monday over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the declaration to be withdrawn.The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.""What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said after the vote, adding that it was the first veto cast by the United States in more than six years."The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council," Haley said.The U.N. draft resolution affirmed "that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council."Trump abruptly reversed decades of U.S. policy this month when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians and the Arab world and concern among Washington’s western allies. [...]Trump also plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The draft U.N. resolution had called upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. [...]Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.Following the U.S. veto, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said Arab states, which had agreed earlier this month to seek a Security Council resolution, would meet to evaluate the situation to determine what their next steps might be.Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the Palestinians would seek a rare emergency special session of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Trump’s decision. [...]Only 10 such sessions have been convened, and the last time the General Assembly met in such a session was in 2009 on Israeli actions in occupied Palestinian territories. Any outcome of such a session is non-binding, but carries political weight.Additional reporting by Arwa Gaballa in Cairo and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Editing by Will Dunham and James Dalgleish(3) Jerusalem move is a Jewish victory over Christianity - Israel ShamirSubject: [SOCIAL NETWORK] [shamireaders] Jerusalem: American Gestalt by Israel Shamir From: "israel shamir [shamireaders]"Paradoxically, the Trump declaration has had many good effects. The President refused to sustain the old mischievous pretence of the US being a neutral broker. He undermined the beastly MBS of Arabia. He brought Palestine back into the world agenda after long abeyance. He gave Europe a chance to regain its independence. He did a step in undoing the unsustainable American Empire, and this is also to be welcomed.Jerusalem in My HeartISRAEL SHAMIRDECEMBER 16, 2017 is first of all a symbol, and a potent one; the American recognition of Jewish sovereignty over the Holy City is a sign of the final Jewish victory over Christianity, and it is to be deeply regretted. Richard Coeur de Lion and Tancred would not understand this surrender of the city they fought for, but the times have changed. The Christians of yesteryear did not refer to Jews as their "elder brothers". What began with Americans saying "Season greetings" instead of ‘Merry Christmas,’ ended with this shameful act of Christ denial.The Palestinians won’t be able to save the city. The Third Intifada is not coming yet, despite the annoying in-your-face Trump declaration, and despite the Hamas call for a rising, and it is not likely to come anytime soon, unless Israelis will provoke it. Thousands of men and women protested during the week that passed; a few were shot by Israeli soldiers, among others, a double amputee in his wheel chair. However, Palestine did not explode in anger. For a regular reader of my articles, the muted Palestinian response to the American provocation does not come as a surprise. I wrote recently that it has never been so good, Palestine has now a run of modest prosperity, a building boom, a tourist boom, restaurants’ boom, and they are not likely to go and die for a statement, even for an annoying statement.The Palestinians of East Jerusalem have it better than other Palestinians: they have no citizenship, but they can move more-or-less freely about the whole of Palestine, including the "old Israel". They are pragmatic and patriotic. They consider themselves the guardians of their legacy, including the great shrines of al Aqsa and of the Holy Sepulchre. If and when the Jews touch the shrines, they respond in force, as it happened last August when Israel tried to limit the access to the Mosque.But President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state did not ignite them. Nobody in his right mind has had any doubts about American feelings. Americans are for Israel, it is a national obsession. So now they declared Jerusalem – a Jewish capital. And before, when they had sent their ambassadors, all Jews, all devout Zionists, all "Israel Firsters" – was it any different?Trump is not different from his predecessors. All American Presidents declared Jerusalem – the eternal united and indivisible capital of the Jewish state. Obama did it, and so did Bush. True, they said it while running for the office, and they avoided repeating the mantra while in the White House, but they never repudiated it, either.Ninety out of a hundred US Senators approved of Trump’s statement. Ten abstained, probably being unable to support Trump for any reason at all. Still, it was a most-approved step of the President. The American political establishment is thoroughly pro-Israel, both liberal and fundamentalist, Republican and Democrat, from Sanders to Bannon; we knew it, and now Trump allowed the people to read it loud and clear. He did what the people want. That is why you elected him: so he will do what you want, not what somebody else who claims to know better, tells you.Why do you Americans want it? America is working out its Gestalt as the Shining City on the Hill, the New Israel of Manifest Destiny. This great country does not yet want to become just another great country, it wants to lead mankind and to re-form the world after its own shape and image. America had been messianic for a long time, and this habit is hard to kick.Under the shell of a hard-nosed Yank, there is a fanatic Dispensationalist with The <> Scofield Reference Bible under his arm waiting for the Gog and Magog war against Israel. You can look at <> this site, just one of plethora of sites predicting the war between Israel on one side, Iran and Russia on the other side, with the US siding with Israel but staying away until being Raptured into Second Coming. This is insane, but such Gestalts run deep, and they explain insane behaviour (seeking war with Iran, bombing Babylon and supporting Israel) better than a calculation of profit and loss.Love, or rather obsession with Israel is a part of this Gestalt. Though Southern Baptists and Eastern Liberals appear different, they have the same original imprint cast by the Founding Fathers, by Puritans and Pilgrims. This Gestalt breaks out unexpectedly. The present <> fight against harassment is just another break-out of Puritan zeal, though the Fundamentalists will quote the Bible, and the Liberals will appeal to Woman whose rights should not be violated.This is the only plausible explanation to such <> complaints in the New York Times: "Samantha Holvey, a former contestant in the Miss USA pageant, said that Mr Trump ogled her and other women in the pageant’s hair and makeup room."For a sane person, it is apparent that a participant in the Miss USA pageant came there to be ogled and desired by multitudes of men. For a Puritan fanatic, "anyone who looks at a woman lustfully etc", just looking lustfully (=ogling) is a sin. A Boston zealot circa 1650 would approve of the very modern persecution of lusting and ogling men.The difference between enlightened de-Christianised American Democrats for Clinton in Vermont and a Fundamentalist Christian Republican for Trump in Mississippi is minor, in rationalisation of their feelings and actions. Both find ogling or flirting or courting – wrong, though they explain it differently. That is why so many American politicians commit suicide while being accused of some non-actionable non-offence, like lusting after a 17 year old girl some years ago.It is the same in foreign relations. The Eastern Liberal descendants of the Puritans want to go and kill people abroad to save black women from being ravished by black men in Afghanistan, the Fundamentalists want to crush Babylon; in both cases they are motivated by messianic zeal and desire to transform the world.It would be the best for the Americans to forget for a while about the Middle East, about Babylon, Israel and Gog and Magog. Perhaps Trump will achieve even that, by fully accepting the people’s will. After all, he has some real reasons to do what he did. He is the Destroyer of Falsitude in his struggle against the Congress. The Congress forced the US President to certify Iran’s good behaviour every six months; Trump refused to do it, and the world did not come down. The Congress forced the US President to postpone the Tel Aviv Embassy move every six months; Trump refused that, and the world did not come down. Just another falsity of the Political Establishment had been destroyed.By his deed, he probably gained some time and postponed his impeachment. The Jews are not famous for their gratitude, as they accept every good deed as something they anyway deserved, but still, there is a chance they won’t dump him right away.Paradoxically, the Trump declaration has had many good effects. The US President can say, after Mephistopheles, "I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good." The President refused to sustain the old mischievous pretence of the US being a neutral broker. He revealed the true feelings of the US establishment towards the Middle East, their Muslims and their Christians, the feeling of total disdain. He undermined the beastly MBS of Arabia. He brought Palestine back into the world agenda after long abeyance. He gave Europe a chance to regain its independence. He did <> another step in undoing the unsustainable American Empire, and this is also to be welcomed.Trump resurrected the dying reconciliation agreement between the Fatah and Hamas. The agreement had been on the rocks: Fatah asked for more and more, and Hamas began to lose its patience. The biggest obstacle was the US aid: the Americans didn’t want to subsidise Hamas. As the aid is not coming anyway, this stopped being a hindrance. Trump’s declaration encouraged the sides to move their negotiations onto the fast track.Trump allowed the Europeans to say what they really feel about him, and with good reason. His declaration mobilised President Erdogan of Turkey and he called for a summit of Muslim states. Istanbul had been the seat of the Caliphate for six hundred years, from 1362 to 1924, and now Erdogan has a valid claim for this grand title. By denouncing the Israelis and their American stooges, the President of Turkey has gained a lot of authority and influence.One needs an Arab to betray Arabs, and this job has been taken by the Brat of Riyadh. MBS, when he does not torture his kin in a shake-down, has been involved in denying Palestine and Jerusalem. It is he who proposed and agreed with Jared Kushner to surrender Jerusalem in the so-called <> "the deal of the century". MBS tried to force the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to accept the deal or resign. Abbas flatly refused.The best Middle East journalist David Hearst (his book The Gun and the Olive Branch is an excellent primer for Palestine modern history) <> noted that in the heavily censored KSA, where a wrong tweet can send you to jail for years, denial of Palestine and Jerusalem had been encouraged.The Saudi novelist and writer Turki al-Hamad tweeted, ‘Palestine should no longer be regarded as the prime Arab cause. I have my own country’s cause of development, freedom and emancipation from the past. As for Palestine, the house (Palestine) has a Lord (God) who would protect it if abandoned by its inhabitants (Palestinians)." Hamzah Muhammad al-Salim, the writer and economic analyst, tweeted: "Once peace is concluded with Israel, it will become Saudi Arabia’s first tourist destination." The former director of al-Arabiyah TV channel, Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid, wrote: "It is about time to reconsider the concept of dealing with Palestine and Israel." Muhammad al-Sheikh said: "The issue of Palestine is not ours…"These sentiments have been promoted by MBS, and based on them, he proposed to Trump his "deal". Now, I think, the deal is dead, and MBS is likely to follow Anwar as-Sadat, the Egyptian president who made a deal with Israel and was assassinated. Already Saudi princes have begun a litany of speeches for Jerusalem and for Palestine.Trump’s declaration was a great gift to Iran. After the Saudis, the greatest enemies of Iran, have revealed their duplicity, the Arabs will have a new and positive view of Iran. Shia or Sunni, Iran proved its steadfast devotion to the cause of Jerusalem and Palestine, and it will be rewarded.President Putin has good reason to thank Trump for his declaration. Russia is an important player in the Middle East, and after the American betrayal of Palestine, it is likely to become a sought-after mediator in intra-Arab affairs. We may expect that future negotiations between Israel and Palestinians will be managed by the Russians, with UN assistance.It is possible, though it is not certain that Trump provided the coup de grâce to the Two-State paradigm, to the very idea of partition. Saeb Erekat, the leading Palestinian negotiator, <> said that now is the time to turn to One-State Solution, which is to be greatly preferred.The One State won’t be "Jewish", and this is fine with me. There is no French state for pure ethnic French, but France is the state for all its inhabitants; there is no Islamic State anymore, but Syria for all Syrians, whether Muslims, Christians or adherents of other faiths. There is no reason to have a Jewish state, either. Let it be Israel/Palestine for all its dwellers.If it will cure American fascination with Zion, and fantasies of Rapture, that would be the best contribution of President Trump to mankind.East or West?If the efforts to partition Palestine continue, however, what could be the future of Jerusalem?The Jews say all Jerusalem is theirs.The Americans agree with the Jews, as they always do.The Europeans disagree with the Americans and the Jews, and reserve their judgment.The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) says East Jerusalem should be Palestinian, while West Jerusalem may be Jewish.In April this year, the Russian Foreign Office declared that West Jerusalem is to be the capital of Israel, while East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine.This week, the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Istanbul, the last seat of the Caliphate and declared East Jerusalem the Capital of Palestine. The declaration had been approved by 54 nations comprising billions of Muslims.It sounds fair: West Jerusalem to the Jews, East Jerusalem to the Arabs. Or is it?I lived for a few years in Jerusalem, in a well-proportioned and solid two-store-high Arab mansion built of white Jerusalem stone sitting in a green garden. The masons of 1920s knew how to dress the stone: we did not need air condition even in the hottest summer days; the houses keep warmth in chilly mountain winters. The ceilings were high, the windows opened into the gardens with leafy loquat and lemon trees, the floors were tiled by Armenian multi-coloured ceramics and marble stubs.This area of Jerusalem has been created and populated by Palestinian Christians of Arab, Armenian, Greek, German origin. It is the prime real estate of the city declared by the US administration to be the eternal capital of 70-year old Jewish state. The area I described above is not East Jerusalem; it is West, the best part of the West. The residence of Israeli President is just around the corner.Nobody argues against its belonging to Israel. West Jerusalem is out of discussion, only East Jerusalem has been argued about. This is the greatest achievement of Israeli Jews and their American supporters, and as it is often true, the greatest achievements are unreported or under-reported because they appear so obviously trivial.But we may go beyond what you can read in the New York Times and learn the obfuscated truth. By right, Jerusalem should be internationalised.The whole of Jerusalem had been declared a corpus separatum, a separate body under international jurisdiction, by the same UN resolution (181 (II) 1/ of 29 November 1947) that called for creation of a Jewish and an Arab state in Palestine. The Jews did not care and took over West Jerusalem in 1948 and expelled its Christian and Muslim population. The UN refused to recognise the Jewish rule over West Jerusalem (303 (IV) of 9 December 1949). The city should be placed under a permanent international regime, ruled the UN.In 1967, the Jews took over East Jerusalem. This time, they did not expel its Christian and Muslim population, but they weren’t given Israeli citizenship. Since then, the people of East Jerusalem live as guests in their own city. They have residency rights, but if they travel abroad to study or work, they lose their residency and can’t come back.East and the West Jerusalem have one thing in common: both parts of Jerusalem are illegally occupied by the Jewish state. They differ in the fact that the original population of the West had been expelled, while the population of the East had been stripped of their rights. This difference does not turn West Jerusalem into a legitimate Israeli possession. Mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing should not be rewarded with international recognition. Trump actually took a good step by uniting the two illegally occupied parts of Jerusalem in one sentence.The Jews (with American support) have made us forget that West Jerusalem is also illegally occupied. (Noam Chomsky wrote about this feat at length. He described Israel and the US as the real "Rejection Front". They rejected the original UN resolutions dealing with 1948 conquest and expulsion, and tried to limit discussion to the 1967 conquest. They succeeded: even friends of Palestine discuss 1967 territories, while leaving 1948 as an old stuff.)But the Palestinians do know and do remember, how they were thrown out of their homes, and how the Jews moved in. Whatever is the political future of Jerusalem, this dispossession should be reversed. The Gentiles have returned to the Jews the properties they had lost during the turmoil in Europe; now it is the right time to return the stolen Gentile property to Arabs, Germans and Greeks of West Jerusalem.Israel Shamir can be reached at <> Mohammed bin Salman backs Trump's Jerusalem move; Saudi elite dumps Palestinians axis of Arab autocrats who are standing behind Donald TrumpWhatever domestic constituency he is appealing to, Trump could not, and would not, have made his announcement without regional backersDavid HearstThursday 7 December 2017 18:31 UTCSo Donald Trump revealed his hand on Jerusalem. In so doing, he tossed aside any lingering pretence of the US being able to broker a deal between Israel and Palestine. There can be no "neutrality" now. Without Jerusalem as its capital, no Palestinian state can exist. Without that it is only a matter of time before another uprising starts.Only a symbol as powerful as Jerusalem can unite Palestinians as viscerally opposed to each other as Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Only Jerusalem has the power to unite the inmates of all the prisons and places of exile Palestinians find themselves in - Israel's physical prisons and its metaphorical ones, the Palestinians in 1948, Gaza, West Bank, the refugee camps and the diaspora. Only Jerusalem speaks to billions of Muslims around the world.As Trump will soon learn, symbols are powerful. They have a habit of creating a reality all of their own.Trump, however, does not act alone. Whatever domestic constituency he thinks he is appealing to, and the evangelical Christians appear high on the list, Trump could not and would not have made his announcement unless he had regional backers.The support of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and religious nationalists from Jewish Home are a given, but they are wearily familiar. The exotic and temptingly alien support comes from a new generation of Gulf Arab superbrats - young, irreverent, dune-bashing, selfie-taking, in your face, and appearing in a coup near you.Under Trump they have formed an axis of Arab autocrats, whose geopolitical ambition is as large as their wallets. They really do think they have the power to impose their will not just on the shards of a Palestinian state, but on the region as a whole.Under construction, at least in their minds, is a network of modern police states, each wearing a lip gloss of Western liberalism. All see Likud as their natural partners, and Jared Kushner as their discreet interlocutor.Thought, reflection, cooperation, consultation, consensus do not appear in their lexicon. Democracy is to be postponed, free speech is there to be managed. And Arabs? They are there to be bought.This was why Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince and the kingdom's de facto ruler, thought he could browbeat Mahmoud Abbas, the ailing Palestinian president, into acquiescence. He told Abbas either to accept the terms - no Jerusalem, no right of return - or make way for someone who will, according to multiple sources quoted by the New York Times.Several of the officials said bin Salman had offered to sweeten the deal with direct payment to Abbas, which he refused.Normalising relations with IsraelBin Salman's threats have been orchestrated by a chorus of licensed Saudi writers and journalists all distancing themselves from the Palestinian cause and calling for normalisation of relations with Israel.Chief among these is the Saudi novelist and writer Turki al-Hamad. Why, he tweeted, should he bother supporting Palestine, if the Palestinians themselves had sold out? Palestine should no longer be regarded as the prime Arab cause.He wrote: "It was reported that I tweeted that Jerusalem is not the issue. This is not true. What I said was that Palestine is no longer the Arabs' first cause after its people sold it out."I have my own country's cause of development, freedom and emancipation from the past. As for Palestine, the house (Palestine) has a Lord (God) who would protect it if abandoned by its inhabitants (Palestinians)."He added: "Since 1948 we have been suffering in the name of Palestine. Coups were orchestrated in the name of Palestine… development was suspended in the name of Palestine... liberties were repressed in the name of Palestine... eventually, even if Palestine were to return it would not be more than just a traditional Arab country... so let's stop the fraud."In South Africa, the young struggled before the old... has the Palestinian done so, despite all the support? No... I shall not support a cause whose people were the first to abandon it."There are many other Saudi voices saying the same thing.Hamzah Muhammad al-Salim, the writer and economic analyst, tweeted: "Once peace is concluded with Israel, it will become Saudi Arabia's first tourist destination."Sa'ud al-Fawzan wrote: "I am not a defender of the Jews, but name a single Jew who killed one Saudi and I'll give you the names of one thousand Saudis who killed their own countrymen with explosive belts."The former director of al-Arabiyah TV channel, Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid, wrote: "It is about time to reconsider the concept of dealing with Palestine and Israel."Muhammad al-Sheikh said: "The issue of Palestine is not ours... if an Islamist wearing make-up came to you calling for jihad, spit into his face."In a country where tweeting the wrong tweet can get you a three-year spell in prison, these are not spontaneous expressions. Rather they set the mood music for the announcement Trump made.Division of the regionThis then is the axis behind Trump - the crown princes and de facto rulers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Mohammed bin Salman, Mohammed bin Zayed, Abdel Fatah el Sisi are all personally dependent on Trump.Neither the blockade of Qatar, nor the attempt to force Saad Hariri to resign as prime minister of Lebanon, nor the break-up of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the formation of a military and economic alliance between Saudi and the Emiratis could have happened without Trump's green light.Trump has enabled bin Salman to smash the pillars of the Saudi state, rob his cousins of their wealth, and dress it all up in the name of modernisation and reform.But they, too, have allowed Trump to impose his Muslim ban and retweet the poison of British fascists about Muslims.The chaos created by this group has opened up a clear distance with another group of US allies, who are feeling the effects of these policies on themselves. King Abdullah of Jordan, and Mahmoud Abbas both tried to warn Washington of the dangers of what Trump was about to announce on Jerusalem. They see themselves as cornered and have lost the space to manoeuvre.Jordan is joined by Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cross-party support for suspending relations with Israel. Turkey is currently the leader of the 57 member-nation strong Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.Nationalists too are joining the hue and cry. The leader of Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli, warned the US was making an "historic mistake" with its decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Bahceli said: "The Jerusalem plot is a dagger which has been drawn out to strike all things we consider holy."The third group is Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah, who were presented yet another gift on a silver platter. Trump has now given Iran a huge opportunity to repair the damage done by the civil war in Syria with Sunni groups and nations, to say once more: " We are with you over Jerusalem." It's an invitation Tehran will eagerly accept.The fourth group is one Trump, Netanyahu, bin Salman, bin Zayed can never reach. They are the Palestinians themselves. Historically they are at their most powerful when they are at their most isolated. This was the power shown at the start of the first and second intifadas. It was what came to the fore when they forced Israel to take away the security barriers at the entrance to the old city.No Palestinian, be he or she nationalist, secular, Islamist, Christian can accept losing Jerusalem as their capital, and we will see exactly what this means in the days and weeks to come. There are 300,000 Jerusalemites who are residents, but not citizens of, the freshly declared Israeli capital and Trump has just thrown a grenade in their midst.Friday will be the 30th anniversary of the first intifada. Just watch the Palestinian reaction to the walls of the Old City, the only bit of "real estate" they had left, lighting up in the colours of Israeli and US flags.- David Hearst is editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He was chief foreign leader writer of The Guardian, former Associate Foreign Editor, European Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief, European Correspondent, and Ireland Correspondent. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.(5) Trump made his biggest blunder by his Jerusalem announcement - Mazin QumsiyehFrom: Mazin Qumsiyeh <> Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 18:45:49 +0200 Subject: [HumanRights] gamble?Good things and bad things happen daily here. Daily we get to meet great   visitors and work with great volunteers and staff that are making amazing  progress on the Palestine Museum of Natural History and the botanical  garden ( [...]The people of the world are waking up despite the fact that most mainstream media is now "managed" to give that Zionist message of danger from Iran, Hizballah etc while ignoring war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetuated daily by Israel and its puppets like Mohammad Bin Salman. What media is not managed, is blocked in most of the Arab world run by those dictators. The mainstream media is complicit in ensuring people are not aware of what is going on. Imagine if a Muslim sniper shot an American or a Jewish double amputee who lost his legs to another Muslim attack years earlier? How would the media have reacted. [...]Trump's illegal move on Jerusalem is backfiring. It exposed all the puppets paying the Zionist movement and bending over backward to please Zionist occupied Washington.It is forcing those who were close to selling it all to begin to back-track.  It also exposed what Trump called the deal of the century: profiting rich dictators and sacrificing tens of millions of Palestinians, Egyptians, Yemenis, Hijazis (I refuse to use the term derived from "Saudi Arabia") and other Arabs. To be precise the plan is sacrificing the interests of 350 million Arabs and 1.6 billion Muslims for the  short term interests sake of a handful of billionaire Zionists and the Jews who foolishly follow them to the edge of the cliff. Short term, the Trump plan is to consolidate Israel's control over Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank, settle refugees in Jordan and Sinai and strengthen Israel's hand. The resistance forces stretching from Lebanon to Iran and Yemen must be weakened to pass this horrible scheme. That is why these resistance forces had to be defeated especially now that Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq won over the US/Israel created and funded "Islamist" militias including the so called "Islamic State". Yet, the colonial idea of divide and conquer is falling apart as resistance is coming from Shi'a and Sunnis and Chrristians and Kurds and Druse and Yezidis and many others.Trump made his biggest plunder by his Jerusalem announcement. The Sunni and Shia leaders who gathered in Istanbul included heavy weights like Turkish leader Erdogan and Iranian leader Rouhani. Despite heavy pressure and blackmail from the "Saudi" puppets, Mahmoud Abbas and King Hussain also attended. Much will now happen but Trump and his Zionist son-in-law have only a few more cards they think they can play (but they will be equally catastrophic blunders). Conflict and suffering will ensue but there are no winners in 21st century wars. Spoiled teenage Israel might be the biggest loser of the Zionist gamble. They and their sponsors like Trump think they can manage to continue to exploit and go against the will of the majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims and 2.5 billion Christians (and some 3 million anti-Zionist and post-Zionist Jews). Sorry folks: Jerusalem will not be a "Jewish capital" and not even a capital of apartheid Israel. But the price of arrogance can be high. [...]meanwhile stay human and come visit usMazin QumsiyehA Bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at homeProfessor and (volunteer) DirectorPalestine Museum of Natural HistoryPalestine Institute of Biodiversity and SustainabilityBethlehem UniversityOccupied Palestinehttp://qumsiyeh.orghttp://palestinenature.orgJoin me on facebook Jerusalem move has damaged the reputation of US & the authority of UN - Richard Falk Is (Is Not) the Capital of IsraelBy Richard FalkDecember 11, 2017[Prefatory Note: This post is a slightly modified version of an article published in the global edition of the Italian newspaper, Il Manifesto, on December 8, 2017.]Those who speak on behalf of Israel like to defend Donald Trump’s provocative decision of December 6th to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with this contention: "Israel is the only state in the world that is not allowed to locate its capital in a national city of its choice." It seems like an innocent enough proclamation, and even accurate pushback against global double standards, until one considers the political, moral, and legal dimensions of the actual situation.With the benefit of just a moment’s reflection, a more thoughtful formulation of the issue would be: "Israel is the only state in the world whose government dares to locate its capital in a city located beyond its sovereign borders and subject to superior competing claims." Granted, Israel has declined to date to define its borders for purposes of international law, presumably to leave room for its own further territorial expansion until the whole of the promised land as understood to comprise biblical Israel is effectively made subject to Israeli sovereign control. At stake, in particular, is the West Bank, which is known within Israel by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, signifying Israel’s outlier belief that the ethnic and religious heritage of the Jewish people takes precedence over modern international law.Further reflection casts additional doubt on this Trump/Netanyahu approach to the status of Jerusalem. It is helpful to go back at least 70 years to the controversial UN partition proposals set forth in General Assembly Resolution 181. Israel over the years has often congratulated itself on its acceptance of 181, which it contrasts with the Palestinian rejection. Palestinians suffered massive dispossession and expulsion in the war that ensued in 1947, known as the Nakba among Palestinians. Israel has argued over the years that its acceptance of 181 overrides the grievances attributable to the Nakba, including the denial to Palestinians of any right to return to their homes or place of habitation however deep and authentic their connections with the land and regardless of how persuasive their claims of Palestinian identity happen to be. What Israelis want the world to forget in the present setting is the UN treatment of Jerusalem that was integral to the 181 approach. Instead, Israel has sold the false story to the world that 181 was exclusively about the division of territory, and thus the bits about Jerusalem contained in the resolution can be ignored without comment, and deserve to be long forgotten.What the UN actually proposed in GA Res. 181, and what Israel ‘accepted’ in 1947 was that the city of Jerusalem, in deference to its connections with Palestinians and Jewish national identity, should not be under the sovereign control of either people, but internationalized and subject to UN administration. Beyond the difficulty of reconciling Jewish and Palestinian claims to the city, the symbolic and religious significance of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions provided a parallel strong rationale for internationalization that has, if anything, further vindicated with the passage of time.It can be argued by proponents of Trump’s recognition that even the Palestinians and the Arab World (by virtue of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative) have silently replaced the internationalization of Jerusalem with the so-called ‘two-state solution’ in which the common assumption of both sides is that Jerusalem would be shared in ways that allowed both Israel and Palestine to establish their respective capital within the city limits. Most two-state plans called for the Palestinian capital to be located in East Jerusalem, which Israel has occupied for the past 50 years, that is, ever since the 1967 War. The clarity of this conviction is what explains the view that the thorny question of the relationship of both Israel and Palestine to the disposition of Jerusalem should be addressed at the last stage of peace negotiations. But suppose that the prospect of genuine peace negotiations is postponed indefinitely, then what? The geopolitical effort to fill this vacuum is undertaken at the expense of UN authority, as well as international law and international morality.Here again we encounter an awkward split between what Israel claims (as reinforced by U.S. foreign policy) and what international law allows. Israel after the war ended in 1967 immediately asserted that the whole of Jerusalem was ‘the eternal capital’ of the Jewish people. Tel Aviv went even further. It expanded by Israeli legal decree the area encompassed by the city of Jerusalem, almost doubling its size and incorporating a series of Palestinian communities in the process. Israel acted unilaterally and unlawfully, against unified opposition within the UN, in defiance of world public opinion, and even in the face of rebuke by such a widely respected moral authority figure as Pope Francis.East Jerusalem, at least, is ‘Occupied Territory’ according to international humanitarian law, and as such is subject to the Geneva Conventions. The Fourth Geneva Convention governs ‘belligerent occupation,’ and rests on the basic legal norm that an Occupying Power should take no steps, other than those justified by imperative security considerations, to diminish the rights and prospects of a civilian population living under occupation. In this regard, it is hardly surprising that Israel’s actions designed to obliterate East Jerusalem as a distinct ‘occupied’ territory have met with universal legal and political condemnation within the UN. For Trump to depart from this international consensus is not only striking heavy blows against the U.S. role as intermediary in any future peace process, but also mindlessly scrapping the two-state approach as the agreed basis of peace without offering an alternative, leaving the impression that whatever reality Israel imposes the United States will accept, giving scant attention to international concerns or Palestinian rights.Returning to the burning question as to why Israel should be denied the right to locate its capital wherever it wishes, as other states do, it is clarifying to reformulate the Israeli claim: "Does any state have the right to establish its capital in a city that is ‘occupied’ rather than under the exclusive sovereign authority of the territorial government?" This is especially relevant in this instance, given the general agreement within the international community that the Palestinian right of self-determination includes the right to have its national capital both within its territory and in Jerusalem.Trump’s initiative tries to ease the pain by the confusing accompanying assertion that the final disposition of Jerusalem’s borders is something for the parties to decide as part of final status negotiations, that is, at the end of the diplomatic endgame. Aside from Israel’s belief that it need not make further concessions for the sake of peace, a geopolitical assertion of support for Israel’s approach to Jerusalem, especially without the backing of the Arab League, the UN, and the European Union is worse than an empty gesture. It uses an iron fist on behalf of the stronger party, where a minimal respect for law, morality, and justice would counsel giving support for the well-grounded claims of the weaker side, or at least staying neutral.The harm done by the Trump initiative on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and declared intention to start the process of moving the embassy is impossible to assess fully at this time. Whether there will be an upsurge in resistance violence, political extremism, anti-American terrorism, and wider warfare is now essentially unknowable, although the stage has been recklessly arranged so that these developments seem more likely to occur than earlier, and if they do, will be treated as outcomes of Trump’s faulty diplomacy.What is already evident on the basis of the decision itself is the severe damage done to the global and regional leadership reputation of the United States. As well, the authority of the United Nations has been shown to be no match for geopolitical resolve, and international law and world public opinion have been pushed aside. For the Trump presidency the special relationship with Israel has been enlarged beyond previous outer limits and the part of the Trump base that wanted these policies has been appeased for the moment. Prospects for a diplomacy based on the equality of rights of Palestinians and Israelis have been reduced to zero, and thus no just end of the Palestinian ordeal can be foreseen. Overall, it is not a pleasant balance sheet of gains and losses if evaluated from the perspective of American grand strategy in the Middle East, and if the wider regional setting of Iran’s spreading influence is taken into account, the situation looks even worse.(7) Trump's decision on Jerusalem will cause many problems for US - John Mearsheimer, December 18, 2017 10:12Trump's decision on Holy Quds fundamental mistake: US expertTehran, Dec 12, IRNA –The decision by the US President Donald Trump to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Holy Quds was a major mistake that cannot be explained from any strategic point of view, an American politcal theoretician said.John Mearsheimer said that it was a 'fundamental mistake' for Trump to declare that he was going to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Holy Quds city to recognize it as the capital of Zionist regime of Israel.Palestinians say Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, is the capital of a Palestinian state.Trump's decision prompted strong criticism by the international community, including the US allies in Europe. World leaders have denounced it as a move in violation of UN resolutions and international laws.'It was a major mistake and huge numbers of foreign policy experts in the United States think that he made a major mistake,' said the American expert speaking at the University of Tehran on Monday.'And I think around the world almost everyone thinks that it was a major mistake.'There is no way that it can be explained by Realpolitik or realism, and it was not a move that makes strategic sense for the United States, the American political theoretician said.'It will cause the United states all sorts of problems around the world now and in the future,' he warned Washington of the decision's ramification.Mearsheimer, the Professor of R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, is the co-author of a book titled 'The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy'. The book made the New York Times bestsellers and has been translated into nineteen languages.He believes that the recent controversial decision by Trump 'was largely a function of domestic politics'.Hardline supporters of Israel in the United States who opposed President Trump have been putting enormous pressure on him to move the embassy and to recognize HolyQuds as the capital of Israel, Mearsheimer said.'And he caved in to those supporters,' he saidThis is not surprising, he said, because Trump has less support in the United States than any previous president at this point of his presidency.'He was looking to shore up his support among people by making this decision,' he said, adding that the move does not make any sense from the strategic point of view.With such a move, a Zionist regime that claims control all of occupied territories will be, if it is not already, an 'apartheid' regime like 'white South Africa', he said.'And the question is whether or not Israel can sustain itself over the long term as an apartheid state; that is the big question regarding Israel's future,' he said.The founder of Offensive Realism theory also expressed his doubt on the survival of the Zionist regime as an apartheid regime by raising the question 'Will it be able to do what white South Africa was not able to do?'(8) Jerusalem plan upsets MidEast Christians - Copts, Palestinians, Iraqis plan to move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem angers Middle East ChristiansBy Loveday MorrisDecember 13JERUSALEM — Some of the festive cheer was missing last weekend at a public Christmas tree lighting near the site where Christians believe an angel proclaimed Christ’s birth to local shepherds."Our oppressors have decided to deprive us from the joy of Christmas," Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the former archbishop and Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, told the crowd in the town of Beit Sahour in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "Mr. Trump told us clearly Jerusalem is not yours."The Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there has provoked widespread opposition among Christians across the Middle East. When Vice President Pence arrives next week on a trip touted as a chance to check on the region’s persecuted Christians, he will be facing an awkward backlash.The pope of the Egyptian Coptic Church, who leads the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East, has called off a scheduled meeting with Pence in Cairo. The Chaldean Church in Iraq warned this week that the White House move on Jerusalem risks sparking regional violence and extremism and demanded that the Trump administration respect U.N. resolutions on the city.In the West Bank city of Bethlehem, which is about 12 percent Christian and is a scheduled stop on Pence’s tour, religious leaders turned off the city’s Christmas tree lights last week to protest the White House announcement.On Sunday, demonstrators staged a sit-in outside the Church of the Nativity, built on the site thought to be the birthplace of Jesus. "We will not receive Mr. Pence here," said Saleh Bandak, a Bethlehem-born Christian politician who attended Sunday’s protest.While the news has been badly received among Christian communities in the Middle East, the move was in part a political gesture aimed at Christians: white evangelical voters, who backed Trump overwhelmingly in last year’s presidential election. American evangelical Christians — who believe that the right of the Jews to Jerusalem is enshrined in the Bible and that their presence there will usher in Judgment Day — were a powerful lobbying force behind the decision.Palestinian Christians complain that Christian evangelicals’ support of Israel doesn’t take into consideration the rights and needs of Christians in the homeland of their religion."This is where it all started," said the Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor in Bethlehem. "The Bible originated in Palestine, not in the Bible Belt, but people in the Bible Belt read the Bible in a way that really makes our lives difficult."The White House recognition of Jerusalem went ahead despite warnings from Pope Francis; the archbishop of Canterbury, who heads the Church of England and is a leader for Anglicans worldwide; and the heads and patriarchs of various churches in Jerusalem. Egypt’s Coptic Church said the decision had disregarded the feelings of millions of Arabs.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled his meeting with the vice president following the decision, making it unclear whether Pence will still visit Bethlehem on a tour that was meant to include Jerusalem, the West Bank and Egypt. A spokeswoman for Pence said she could not share details of changes to his schedule at this time.The White House has repeatedly said it is seeking to better protect Christians in the Middle East. Christians are estimated to make up less than 2 percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, a shrinking but influential minority. Most are Greek Orthodox, but they also include Catholics, Lutherans and Anglicans. The evangelical community is a tiny minority."When they talk about Christian minorities in danger, they talk about Iraq and other regions where ISIS is the threat," Raheb said, referring to Islamic State militants. "They never, ever address the issue of Palestinian Christians under Israeli occupation."Pence has been a longtime proponent of the embassy move and hinted at Trump’s decision in a speech the week before the announcement. In a video message to Republicans in Israel in October, Pence described Jerusalem as "the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people." [...](9) Macron tries to fill Mid-East Diplomatic space vacated by Trump embraces Mideast role as US retreatsOne measure of the depth of the US withdrawal is that even in countries that Trump views as friendly, like Saudi Arabia, there is no ambassador in placeDecember 16, 2017 Gulf NewsPARIS: A year ago, no one would have envisioned President Emmanuel Macron of France as the public face of Western diplomacy in the Middle East. But that is not the case anymore.US President Donald Trump’s decision past week to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, his anti-Muslim tweets and his State Department staffing cuts have signalled to many a retreat of US diplomacy.That has made room for those who want to expand their presence on the world stage, Macron among them. He has quickly embraced a more visible role in the Middle East, especially as Britain and Germany have become more deeply preoccupied with domestic politics.Macron called Trump two days before the US president’s recognition of occupied Jerusalem to tell him that France was "troubled" by the move. He personally intervened in November to stabilise Lebanon when the country’s prime minister resigned. He weighed in with a plan to halt sub-Saharan migrants before they could reach Libya. Now, Macron is positioning France to help shape the postwar policy in Syria. [...]Indeed, France’s deep involvement in North Africa and the Middle East is not new. It ruled Algeria as a colony for more than 130 years, until it was pushed out in a brutal war in the early 1960s. After First World War, France and Britain divided the Ottoman Empire. France received a mandate for governing Syria and Lebanon, forging lasting ties with the latter. [...]Macron, who came to the job with few Middle East connections, put in place a team that knows the region intimately. [...](10) China calls for East Jerusalem as Capital of Palestinian State (2016) President Calls for East Jerusalem as Capital of Palestinian StateXi Jinping addresses Arab League in Cairo before planned visit to Iran, announces millions in aid to Palestinians.January 21, 2016Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for establishing a Palestinian state within the pre-1967-war borders amid efforts by Beijing to assert its economic and political clout in the Middle East. ...(11) China calls for independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital 15, 2017China has officially stated that it supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine based on pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital."China understands the concerns of Islamic countries on the status of Jerusalem, supports the resolution of the status of Jerusalem in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and international consensus," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said.He made the remarks during his regular press briefing in Beijing while responding to a question about the adoption of a joint statement by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) calling on the international community to recognise East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital.He said he hoped the negotiations between Palestine and Israel would resume at an early date so as to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine issue.United States President Donald Trump's decision to shift US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has sparked a strong response from within Palestine as well as Muslim countries.The OIC on Wednesday declared East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine and invited all countries to recognise the state of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its capital.-- Peter Myerswebsite: