Posted tagged ‘U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem’

They just can’t help themselves: Predictably outrageous international reactions to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

December 12, 2017

They just can’t help themselves: Predictably outrageous international reactions to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration | Anne’s Opinions, 11th December 2017

 

The Israeli flag flies over the Old City of Jerusalem

Just like the Palestinians and their supporters simply can’t help themselves but resort to violence whenever a political decision is not anti-Israel enough, similarly the UN, the EU, and many other countries, whether civilised or not, feel it incumbent upon them to condemn Israel or the US or both if an action or statement is undertaken from which Israel benefits.

The case of Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration was no exception. We could have written the script ourselves.

The UN convened an emergency discussion to “debate”, i.e. to condemn, Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

Washington’s move left it isolated as one after another fellow UN Security Council members — Russia, France, the UK, China, Egypt, Jordan and a host of others — condemned the announcement.

The debate unfolded at a largely symbolic emergency meeting of the council — no vote on a resolution was planned, as the US has veto power — two days after Trump reversed two decades of US policy on the holy city.

The meeting was convened by eight of the 14 non-US members of the council. It seemed a vivid show of the discord triggered by Trump’s announcement, which included plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Asked what he expected to come from the UN meeting, one diplomat said: “Nothing.” Another said the session would show US “isolation” on the issue.

That very attitude is the essence of what is wrong with the UN. They are all about empty declarations on the one hand, or about rejectionism – opposing the US and Israel almost automatically. This time it is the US in the hot seat, being isolated for its views. More often it is Israel in this position.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour spoke of the “global consensus” against Washington’s recognition and said Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ultimately move the US embassy there should be reconsidered and rescinded.

Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017 (United Nations)

“There can be no just and lasting solution to the Palestine question without a just solution” to Jerusalem, he said, calling the city “the heart of Palestine.”

This is a flat-out lie. When Jerusalem was in the hands of “Palestine”, aka Jordan, during the years 1949-1967, the Jordanian Arabs (or Palestinians or whatever they want to call themselves) did absolutely zilch for Jerusalem besides emptying it of Jews in a horrific act of ethnic-cleansing never acknowledged by the world. They destroyed 58 synagogues and turned the Western Wall into a rubbish dump. They severely damaged and partially destroyed the ancient, 3,000 year old Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, using some gravestones for latrines. THIS is called “being the heart of Palestine”??? I hate to think what their brain looks like. Their mendaciousness is beneath contempt.

Even before the UN debate, individual countries also chided him for his recognition of reality. Sweden led the charge with the demand for the UN debate:

Replies came thick and fast, for example:

Turkey accused Trump of “putting the region in a ring of fire”. The only “ring of fire” is the one of their own making. Again: violence is a choice. The Turks don’t HAVE to whip up their streets into a frenzy. They could also call for calm and restraint. But pigs could also fly.

Erdogan had earlier threatened to sever diplomatic ties with Israel if the president recognized Jerusalem as the capital.

To be honest I did not realise that Turkey and Israel had renewed relations at all. Would it be such a great loss if Erdogan carried through on his threat? He is forever trying to hold Israel hostage to his tantrums. Maybe it’s time to call his bluff.

Theresa May at the debate in the Commons about Trump’s declaration

Britain said Trump’s declaration was “unhelpful”. The British would know all about being unhelpful in the Middle East, particularly during the infamous White Paper years of 1939-1948 when the doors of Palestine were shut to the fleeing Jews of Europe. Prime Minister Theresa May said:

‘Our position on the status of Jerusalem has been clear and long-standing: it should be determined in negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.

As Arlene Kushner below remarks, the two parts of the above paragraph contradict each other. Either Jerusalem’s status should be determined in negotiations, or it should ultimately be a shared capital. But there is no point in negotiations if the “ultimate” solution is pre-determined. And if if it is OK to determine that the capital should be shared, it can equally be acceptable to pre-determine that it is the Israeli capital.

France’s Emanuel Macron urged Trump to desist from his declaration – to no avail evidently.

Even the US State Department itself has not caught up with the statements of its President, and is still not listing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital!

The United States still will not formally recognize Jerusalem as being located in Israel on official documents, maps, and passports, despite President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this week that America is formally recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital, according to State Department officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about the matter.

Despite Trump’s declaration, which was formally codified on Wednesday into U.S. policy, the State Department is taking a more nuanced position on the matter, drawing some ire in Congress among pro-Israel lawmakers who accuse the State Department of undermining Trump’s efforts.

State Department officials this week had difficulty stating as fact that Jerusalem is located within Israel, instead trying to parse the issue as still subject to diplomatic negotiations.

State Department officials who spoke to the Free Beacon about the situation said that while it supports Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, it is not yet at the point where it will list Jerusalem as part of Israel on passports, maps, and official documents. This means that official documents, such as passports, will not, at this point, list “Jerusalem, Israel” as a place that exists.

The State Department’s careful parsing of the issue has already drawn outrage on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers are describing this as part of an effort to undermine the Trump White House’s clear-cut declaration on the matter.

Arlene Kushner sums up the situation excellently when she writes that the world is crazy:, making note of the pretzel-logic needed to explain the EU’s position: (last emphases are mine):

But look at the line-up that includes: France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the UK, as well as the EU, Russia, etc. etc.

Incredibly, EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini declared that the Trump declaration “has the potential to send us backward to even darker times than the ones we are already living in.”

….

There is an inherent lack of logic in the position routinely embraced by these nations and the EU: They insist that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is premature because this issue must be resolved via negotiations. And besides, they insist, Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.

That is to say, they have no trouble prematurely advancing a scenario that has not been determined via negotiations, as long as it is their scenario.

Thank goodness for the breath of fresh air that is US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. She launched a blistering attack on the UN that was condemning the President, accusing it of causing more damage to Middle East peace than advancing it.

UN Watch brings us the full text of her speech:

“Thank you, Mr. President. The Jewish people are a patient people. Throughout three thousand years of civilization, foreign conquest, exile, and return, Jerusalem has remained their spiritual home. For nearly 70 years, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel, despite many attempts by others to deny that reality.

The American people are less patient. In 1948, the United States was the first nation to recognize the independent state of Israel. In 1995, the U.S. Congress declared that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel, and that the U.S. Embassy should be located in Jerusalem.

Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all agreed with that position, but they did not act. They delayed, in the hopes that a peace process would produce results – results that never came.

For 22 years, the American people have overwhelmingly supported that position, and they have waited . . . and waited. This week, President Trump finally made the decision to no longer deny the will of the American people…

Israel, like all nations, has the right to determine its capital city. Jerusalem is the home of Israel’s parliament, president, prime minister, Supreme Court, and many of its ministries.

It is simple common sense that foreign embassies be located there. In virtually every country in the world, U.S. embassies are located in the host country’s capital city. Israel should be no different.

The United States took this step in full knowledge that it will raise questions and concerns. Our actions are intended to help advance the cause of peace. We must recognize that peace is advanced, not set back, when all parties are honest with each other. Our actions reflected an honest assessment of reality.

I understand the concern members have in calling this session. Change is hard. But we should never doubt what the truth can do. We should never doubt that when we face the truth, believe in the human spirit, and encourage each other, that peace can happen.

To those who have good faith concerns about the future of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, let me again assure you that the President and this administration remain committed to the peace process.

To those who do not act in good faith – to any person, leader, country, or terrorist group that uses this week’s decision as a pretext for violence – you are only showing yourselves to be unfit partners of peace.
Finally, I will not let this moment pass without a comment about the United Nations itself. Over many years, the United Nations has outrageously been of the world’s foremost centers of hostility towards Israel.

The U.N. has done much more to damage the prospects for Middle East peace than to advance them. We will not be a party to that. The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations. And the United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly.”

Once again, kol hakavod to Nikki Haley who is not afraid to speak truth to power and put the UN in its place. Let’s hope her words start to sink in and begin to have an effect.

Binyamin Netanyahu, on a trip to Paris, was not backwards in coming forward to counter French Prime Minister Emanuel Macron’s pleas to Trump to refrain from his declaration:

Prime Minister Netanyahu ridiculed continued opposition to President Trump’s declaration, and the ongoing refusal of most of the international community to acknowledge the reality that Jerusalem is and has been the Jewish capital city.

“There is an effort, continually, in UN forums – UNESCO, and elsewhere – to deny the millennial connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. And that’s absurd.”

“You can read it in a very fine book – it’s called the Bible,” Netanyahu said. “You can read it after the Bible. You can hear it in the history of Jewish communities throughout our diaspora – ‘Next year in Jerusalem’,” continued Netanyahu, referencing a phrase from the Passover Seder.

“Where else is the capital of Israel, but in Jerusalem? Where is our Knesset – our parliament? Where is our supreme court? The seat of our government? The Prime Minister’s Office? The President’s Office? It’s not in Beer Sheva, it’s not in Ashdod – these are wonderful cities, but its in Jerusalem.”

And there has been other positive fallout from Trump’s declaration. A few countries have expressed their interest in moving their embassies to Jerusaelm too:

The Phillipines sent a message to Israel:

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sent a message to Israel that he wanted to move his country’s embassy to the capital, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported Wednesday.

The Czech Republic too, always a good friend of Israel, is similarly weighing up an embassy move, and Hungary joined in:

The Czech Republic and Hungary have broken ranks with the European Union on President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the EuObserver reported this week. Czech president Milos Zeman on Thursday announced: “[Trump’s decision] makes me truly happy […] We may, sooner or later, follow the United States.”

Both countries refused to endorse the EU’s statement that was going to express “serious concern” on the part of the entire organization of states. As a result, the statement was issued only by the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

Just imagine a day in the not too distant future when it will be simply a matter of course for countries to have their embassies in Jerusalem. They should be brave like the Czechs and Phillipines, and give it a go. I’m sure the sky will not fall in.

They just can’t help themselves: Predictably violent reactions to Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

December 12, 2017

They just can’t help themselves: Predictably violent reactions to Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration | Anne’s Opinions, 10th December 2017

(This post was accurate as at the time of writing. Events have since overtaken us, with more rockets, stonings and shootings, thankfully with no more serious injuries.– anneinpt)

The reactions to Donald Trump’s historic speech recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel were as predictable as they were outrageous and violent. In this post I will record only the civilian protests and anti-Israel violence:

Inside Israel:

The Palestinians of course did what comes naturally to them:

They rioted – in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Gaza and elsewhere. Disgracefully, Arab members of the Knesset took part in a protest in Umm El Fahm (an Arab town within Israel) against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem. So much for “loyal” members of the opposition. An Israeli journalist reported that he was almost lynched in Wadi Ara.

They threw stones – injuring three people on a bus in Wadi Ara (near the above Umm el Fahm).

A 9 year old girl was injured this morning in Gush Etzion by rocks thrown at the family car:

Car damaged by rocks thrown by Palestinians

Elsewhere they used ambulances as cover for throwing stones – contravening all human rights and Geneva Conventions

Stone thrower using an ambulance as cover to throw stones

They launched rockets at Sderot – one of which hit a kindergarten – and which only by a miracle did not kill or maim anyone.

Damage to a Sderot kindergarten from rocket fired from Gaza

The Israeli Air Force hit back – and of course the press got it all backwards. See Peter Lerner’s tweets:

An Israeli bus came under fire between Ofra and Bet El but thank G-d there were no injuries.

Worst of all, earlier today, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and severely wounded a security guard at Jerusalem’s central bus station:

A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a security guard in the chest, seriously wounding him, at the entrance to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station on Sunday, before being tackled by police and a passerby, officials said,

Graphic video footage from the scene showed the terrorist slowly handing his belongings to the security guard, who was checking travelers at the door to the station, before suddenly taking out a knife and plunging it into the guard’s chest.

The terrorist then tried to flee the scene, but a police officer and civilians chased after him and tackled him to the ground. Police denied media reports that the terrorist had been shot or killed. He was taken into custody for further questioning.

The victim, 46, was taken to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment where doctors were battling to stabilize his condition and save his life, said Dr. Ofer Merrin, the head of trauma center.

“The knife, unfortunately, hit his heart. His condition has stabilized, but I cannot say that there’s not threat to his life because, like I said, he’s in serious condition,” the doctor said, adding that he was unconscious and connected to a respirator.

Update:

Outside Israel:

Antisemites – yes, common-or-garden Jew-haters, not “pro-Palestinian” or merely “anti-Zionist” activists – attacked the central shul in Gothenberg, Sweden where students were holding a party.

Gothenberg synagogue attacked by firebombs

Yes! A synagogue! Why not at the Israeli Embassy which would make more sense (though equally unacceptable)? Because despite all claims to the contrary, all those “pro-Palestinian” anti-Israel “activists” are at heart raving antisemites.

The Swedish government itself is not much better:

The kosher restaurant in Amsterdam attacked by a Muslim

A kosher restaurant in Amsterdam was attacked by a Muslim – not because of Jerusalem but because of “the miserable situation in Palestine” according to the attacker. As if attacking a Jewish restaurant is going to improve the situation in the Middle East. Again, as above, it would have made more sense to attack the Israeli embassy (not that I am recommending this). The reactions of Dutch MK’s and the Dutch police are significant for their contrasting attitudes:

But police sources told daily Het Parool Friday that during questioning the man did not mention the US declaration. He also denied having any anti-Semitic sentiments, saying he vandalized the kosher restaurant, which is owned by Dutch Jews, to protest “the miserable reality in Palestine.”

If he is so not antisemitic, why attack a Jewish restaurant?

… On Thursday, a dozen-odd lawmakers, including Han Ten Broeke of the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, patronized the restaurant as a sign of solidarity and condemned it as an anti-Semitic incident.

The Palestinian is suspected of vandalism, which he admitted to in his investigation. Prosecutors did not say yet whether they will recommend prosecuting him and if so, whether they will indict him for a hate crime.

If this is not a hate crime I don’t know what is.

In London, there were outright calls to murder Jews at a shameful demonstration protesting Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. David Collier brings us the report:

The event itself was full of religious incitement and anti-Jewish hatred. The crowds were chanting anti-Jewish (not anti-Zionist) statements in Arabic. Calling for a war to free Al Aqsa, and reciting the phrase ”Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud’ ( Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, The Army of Muhammad Will Return ) – in reference to the attack by Muslim soldiers on native Jews in Khaybar in 628ad. There were also cries of death to America and Israel. You can see a short clip of the footage here:

… Within the crowd, comments about ‘bloodsuckers’ could be heard, also ‘believe me we’ll eat your blood’, along with other antisemitic statements. These groups, all of them, need to be held to account for aligning with blatant anti-Jewish activity in London.

Establishment inaction

In the name of Free Speech, cries of ‘death to America’ ‘death to Israel’ and calls for an Islamic war against Jews go unanswered on our streets. The Jews of the UK look around and ask themselves when somebody, anybody, will take any notice. Our Government and police operate a strategy of containment. Let them get on with it, they think, because again, the alternative is to face the hate down – the last thing that any Western government really wants to do.

One day it will have to act, because this type of hate, will eventually force the issue. In the meantime, for as long as only ‘Jews’ are the target – it is far more convenient for everyone to pretend that the toothache will go away all by itself.

Protestors in Vienna, Austria, too, also used that same kind of antisemitic cry:

Earlier that day in Vienna, hundreds of participants in a rally shouted in Arabic, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” The cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, located in modern-day Saudi Arabia.

Again – just to remind you all, when these haters claim to be “only” anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, they are in fact out and out antisemites. Judge them by their actions not by their words, as Avi Mayer remarks:

As for the culprit in chief leading the charge against Israel – I am speaking of the UN here, in typical form they held an emergency session to discuss Donald Trump’s declaration. It would be funny were it no so dangerous to consider how ridiculous the UN looks, calling an emergency debate to discuss a statement which actually changes nothing on the ground, while that same UN cannot get its act together to bring some kind of end to the real conflicts raging right now in the Middle East: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, ISIS in Sinai and more.

I would call them pathetic but they are much worse than that. They are criminally insane cowards.

More on the UN, as well as all the rest of the hypocritical international community, in my next post.

UN Security Council Bashes Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

December 11, 2017

UN Security Council Bashes Trump’s Jerusalem Decision, FrontPage MagazineJoseph Klein, December 11, 2017

(Please see also, Defiant Haley chides fuming Security Council members: ‘Change is hard. — DM)

Whichever provisions of Resolution 2334 are legally binding on Israel and all other UN member states, President Trump’s December 6th decision does not have any bearing on the sensitive issue of Israeli settlements or on Israel’s claims to sovereignty over “East Jerusalem.” Thus, invoking this infamous anti-Israeli resolution in the context of President Trump’s decision is a red herring.

“Over many years,” Ambassador Haley said in her remarks to the Security Council, the United Nations has been one of the world’s “foremost centers of hostility towards Israel.”  The Security Council became a kangaroo court on Friday, turning a perverted version of “international law” against the Trump administration for its just defense of the Jewish state of Israel and Israel’s right to choose its own capital as every other member state has the right to do.

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On December 6th, President Trump announced his decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to instruct the State Department to begin the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Two days later, at a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council, the other 14 members of the Council, including U.S. allies such as France, the United Kingdom and Italy, ganged up on the United States to condemn President Trump’s decision. Allies and adversaries of the U.S., one after the other, claimed that President Trump’s decision had defied international consensus on how to achieve a viable two-state solution, violated international law and risked destabilizing the region as well as imperiling the peace process. Bolivia’s ambassador was the most strident, demanding that the Security Council take action against President Trump’s decision if it wanted to avoid becoming “an occupied territory.

To add insult to injury, the UN ambassadors from five member states of the European Union – the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Sweden and Germany – further criticized President Trump’s decision in a joint statement they read following the adjournment of the Security Council meeting. They claimed the decision “is not in line with Security Council resolutions and is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, stood her ground in her remarks to the Security Council. She chastised those “countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly.” All President Trump had done, she explained, was to formally acknowledge the reality that for nearly 70 years “the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel, despite many attempts by others to deny that reality. Jerusalem is the home of Israel’s parliament, president, prime minister, Supreme Court, and many of its ministries. It is simple common sense that foreign embassies be located there.”

President Trump’s change in American policy to reflect this reality does not mean that the United States has taken a position on the specific boundaries or borders within Jerusalem as a whole. “The specific dimensions of sovereignty over Jerusalem are still to be decided by the Israelis and the Palestinians in negotiations,” Ambassador Haley said.

Notably, President Trump’s announcement specifically called for maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. There is not even the slightest hint that the U.S. would be moving its embassy to the Old City or to any part of “East Jerusalem.” However, the critics of President Trump’s decision refuse to allow for the possibility of a U.S. embassy located anywhere at all in the entire city of Jerusalem – even in what is now referred to as “West Jerusalem,” which is an undisputed section of Jerusalem.

“Israel, like all nations, has the right to determine its capital city,” Ambassador Haley said. “In virtually every country in the world, U.S. embassies are located in the host country’s capital city. Israel should be no different.”

The principal objections to President Trump’s decision are that it sets back the chances for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution, it is apt to destabilize and trigger violence in the region and beyond, and it violates international law.

The first two objections can be given short shrift. For seventy years, there has been no peace because the Palestinians have consistently pursued an absolutist policy rejecting the idea of a Jewish state living side by side with an Arab state. The Palestinians and their Arab state neighbors rejected the partition recommended in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947. The Palestinians did not declare an independent state of their own when they had the chance. They embarked instead on a campaign of violence. Hamas, Palestinian President Abbas’s coalition partner, still calls for Israel’s destruction. Abbas, who has incited sectarian violence and rewards terrorists, spurned a peace offer from Israel in 2008 that would have resulted in Israel’s withdrawal from virtually all of the West Bank and the relinquishment of Israeli control of Jerusalem’s Old City in favor of placing it under international control. Abbas has refused to this day to agree to direct unconditional negotiations with Israel, a position which long preceded President Trump’s decision.

As for the violence that critics of President Trump’s decision seek to lay at his feet, violence has indeed erupted, not only in the Middle East but elsewhere including Europe. However, President Trump’s decision is being used as a pretext for such behavior that Palestinians and Islamists throughout the world have displayed time and again. We have seen excuses for violence ranging from cartoons and an obscure anti-Muslim video to the installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount (despite the presence of metal detectors at mosques in other countries). Foreign policy and national security decisions cannot be held hostage to mob rule. Giving in to threats of a violent reaction will only encourage the increased use of such threats to thwart other controversial decisions.

Turning to the objection to President Trump’s decision based on “international law,” the critics have claimed that his declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem violate a whole host of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. Sovereignty over Jerusalem, they have argued, is a “final status” issue to be negotiated between the parties themselves. They have argued this position while also holding on to the characterization of “East Jerusalem” as part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” in the various UN resolutions they cite. In short, the Israel bashers have no problem exploiting UN resolutions to pre-determine the final status of “East Jerusalem,” which contains the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as belonging to the Palestinians.

Moreover, the UN resolutions that the critics of President Trump’s decision rely upon to support their objections on “legal” grounds do little to help their case. As a matter of international law, there is nothing in the United Nations Charter that grants the General Assembly any power that would render its resolutions, declarations, or recommendations legally binding or enforceable. In any case, the Palestinians and their Arab state neighbors, including Jordan, which illegally seized and annexed the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948, completely rejected the original UN two-state partition resolution, Resolution 181. Their attempt to invoke that resolution or subsequent General Assembly resolutions now to rationalize their position on international law grounds is specious at best.

President Trump’s critics also point for support of their position to UN Security Council resolutions stating that East Jerusalem is part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” declaring Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem to be illegal, concluding that Israel’s assertion of sovereignty over a unified Jerusalem is null and void, and calling upon member states to withdraw their embassies from the Holy City of Jerusalem.  These resolutions were not explicitly adopted in the exercise of the Security Council’s Chapter VII enforcement powers, which is significant in determining whether they are legally binding unless they are expressly framed as “decisions” of the Council or, at the very least, use such words as “demand” in the applicable provisions. Words and phrases such as “calls upon,” “urges,” “reaffirms,” “underlines,” and “stresses” are deemed insufficient by legal experts in the field to reflect an intention on the part of the Security Council to create a legally binding obligation on any of the member states of the UN.

Many of the ambassadors speaking at Friday’s Security Council meeting invoked Security Council Resolution 478 as a principal basis for declaring President Trump’s decision to be in violation of international law. However, Resolution 478 used the word “decides” only in the context of refusing to recognize Israel’s “Basic Law” declaring Israeli sovereignty over the “Holy City of Jerusalem” and “such other actions by Israel that, as a result of this law, seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem.” Resolution 478 then “calls upon” (not demands) the member states “to accept this decision,” which means it is up to each member state to agree or not. Moreover, Resolution 478 only “calls upon” the member states “that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City.” Again, this does not constitute a legally binding obligation. Moreover, it would not appear to apply explicitly to the western sector of Jerusalem, outside of the Old City where the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are located.

President Trump’s decision in no way is inconsistent with Resolution 478. To the contrary, as discussed above, President Trump specifically called for maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem and left it to Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate the final status of the boundary lines within Jerusalem as a whole. President Trump’s announcement of the intent to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, particularly if relocated outside of the boundaries of the Old City as it most certainly will be, would not be enjoined by Resolution 478’s express provisions, which are not legally binding in any event. Moreover, it is way too premature to consider the legality of such a move since it is likely to take three years or more to occur.

The critics also have referred to Security Council Resolution 2334, passed at the end of last year after the Obama administration decided to abstain rather than exercise its veto power. Resolution 2334 principally addresses Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, which, as in previous resolutions, are said to include “East Jerusalem.” It states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” Although most of the resolution’s operative paragraphs use non-binding words and phrases such as “calls upon,” the resolution does once refer to the Security Council’s “demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.” (Emphasis added)

Whichever provisions of Resolution 2334 are legally binding on Israel and all other UN member states, President Trump’s December 6th decision does not have any bearing on the sensitive issue of Israeli settlements or on Israel’s claims to sovereignty over “East Jerusalem.” Thus, invoking this infamous anti-Israeli resolution in the context of President Trump’s decision is a red herring.

“Over many years,” Ambassador Haley said in her remarks to the Security Council, the United Nations has been one of the world’s “foremost centers of hostility towards Israel.”  The Security Council became a kangaroo court on Friday, turning a perverted version of “international law” against the Trump administration for its just defense of the Jewish state of Israel and Israel’s right to choose its own capital as every other member state has the right to do.

US must include “sovereignty” in Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act.

December 11, 2017

US must include “sovereignty” in Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act., Israel National News, David Bedein, December 10, 2017

(Please see also, U.S. Still Won’t List Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital on Official Docs, Passports, Maps. — DM)

The time is opportune to amend the US Embassy Relocation Act, so as to clarify the permanent legal status of Israel in Jerusalem to be in tune with what President Trump said when declaring Jerusalem the official capital of Israel.

The real challenge will be whether the U.S. will do so.

Such a policy change remains much more significant than the move of the U.S. embassy.

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President Trump did Israel a favor when he delayed the US embassy move to Jerusalem.  

Current wording of the US Embassy Relocation Act would move the embassy to Jerusalem, yet deprive Israel of sovereignty in Jerusalem. 

The U.S. Embassy Relocation Act does not officially recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel. The wording of Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act in 1995, as passed into law, reads as follows:

(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.

(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel.

As a journalist, I cover ed events in the US capitol when Congress passed the “US Embassy Jerusalem and Recognition Act” in October 1995

There was speculation at the time that the US would abandon its policy from 1948 that all of Jerusalem must be a “corpus separatum”– an international zone apart from Israel.

Yet the final wording of the US Embassy Jerusalem and Recognition Act removed references to Jerusalem as part of Israel and gave no assurance that Jerusalem would remain the exclusive capital of Israel.

Instead, the US Embassy Relocation Act reinforced two archaic rules of US policy which date from 1948: Not to recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, and to define Jerusalem as an “international zone”.

The assassination of the UN envoy to Jerusalem in September 1948 suspended negotiations over the status of Jerusalem. However, nothing canceled these US policies.

The implications of the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act are not lost on American citizens whose children were born in Jerusalem and whose children’s U.S. passports said “Jerusalem”, with no country listed, as their place of birth. For that reason, American citizens in Jerusalem initiated a class action lawsuit which reached the U.S. Supreme Court last year, with a demand to stamp Jerusalem, Israel on their passports.

The family of Ben Blutstein, an American student murdered by a terror bomb in July 2002 while having lunch in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria at the Hebrew University, still cannot get the US State Department to allow his US death certificate to read “Jerusalem, Israel.”

Spokespeople of the US State Department made it clear that under current law, even if the US embassy moves to Jerusalem, US birth and death certificates will still be stamped ” Jerusalem”, with no country.

If the US embassy moves to Jerusalem under current law, that would establish a “de jure” precedent that the embassy could move – yet with no Israel sovereignty in Jerusalem.

If the US still does not recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, the next time Israel objects to an Arab education curriculum in Jerusalem, and the next time Israel objects to a given policy at the  Temple Mount , the US can repeat the mantra  that “Jerusalem does not belong to you.”

Why, then, the vocal Arab resentment and the overwhelming Jewish enthusiasm over the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act?
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It is doubtful whether either side has read the wording of the legislation.

The time is opportune to amend the US Embassy Relocation Act, so as to clarify the permanent legal status of Israel in Jerusalem to be in tune with what President Trump said when declaring Jerusalem the official capital of Israel..

The real challenge will be whether the U.S. will do so.

Such a policy change remains much more significant than the move of the U.S. embassy.

Defiant Haley chides fuming Security Council members: ‘Change is hard’

December 9, 2017

Defiant Haley chides fuming Security Council members: ‘Change is hard’, Times of Israel, December 8, 2017

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers a speech during a United Nations Security Council meeting on December 8, 2017 in New York City (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP)

In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

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At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said President Donald Trump knew his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would raise “questions and concerns,” but that he took it to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I understand the concerns that members have in calling this session,” Haley said. “Change is hard.”

Washington’s move left it isolated as one after another fellow UN Security Council members — Russia, France, the UK, China, Egypt, Jordan and a host of others — condemned the announcement.

The debate unfolded at a largely symbolic emergency meeting of the council — no vote on a resolution was planned, as the US has veto power — two days after Trump reversed two decades of US policy on the holy city.

The meeting was convened by eight of the 14 non-US members of the council. It seemed a vivid show of the discord triggered by Trump’s announcement, which included plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Asked what he expected to come from the UN meeting, one diplomat said: “Nothing.” Another said the session would show US “isolation” on the issue.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks with Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon before a United Nations Security Council on December 8, 2017 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP)

Haley said Washington was more committed to peace “than we’ve ever been before — and we believe we might be closer to that goal than ever before.”

Haley said anyone who used Washington’s actions as a pretext for violence was “only showing” they were not partners for peace.

She noted that past Israeli-Palestinian agreements have been signed on the White House lawn, and that if there is a new agreement, there is “a good likelihood” it will be signed there as well, “because the United States has credibility of both sides.”

At the meeting, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process warned Security Council members of a risk of “violent escalation.”

Nickolay Mladenov warned that if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t resolved, “it risks being engulfed in the vortex of religious radicalism throughout the Middle East.”

A Palestinian protestor uses a sling shot to throw stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes after the Friday prayers in the city center of the West Bank town of Hebron on December 8, 2017. (AFP/Hazem Bader)

Mladenov spoke of “a serious risk” of “a chain of unilateral actions” that would push the goal of peace further away. He pointed to the latest clashesbetween Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces and some calls for a new intifada, or uprising.

Mladenov also reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s words that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved through direct negotiations and that “there is no Plan B to the two-state solution.”

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour spoke of the “global consensus” against Washington’s recognition and said Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ultimately move the US embassy there should be reconsidered and rescinded.

Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017 (United Nations)

“There can be no just and lasting solution to the Palestine question without a just solution” to Jerusalem, he said, calling the city “the heart of Palestine.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the council the Trump declaration was “a positive step.”

He called on council members to “send a clear message there is never an excuse for violence. Violence must never be used as a threat.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon holds up an ancient coin from Jerusalem during his address to the UN Security Council debate on Jerusalem, December 8, 2017 (UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeIsrael)

Danon said the recognition of Jerusalem “should serve as a reality check for the Palestinians and for the nations of the world” that “recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a critical and necessary step for peace.”

Danon held up an ancient coin from Jerusalem during his speech, and said that King David made Jerusalem his capital 3,000 years ago.

The British ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said flat out that Britain disagreed with Trump’s move.

“These decisions are unhelpful for the prospects for peace in the region,” Rycroft said.

He urged Trump to now come up with detailed proposals for an Israel-Palestinian peace accord, a goal which has eluded the US and the international community for decades.

In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration amid dire warnings of mayhem and violence

December 7, 2017

Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration amid dire warnings of mayhem and violence | Anne’s Opinions, 7th December 2017

 

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017 as US Vice President Mike Pence looks on. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

After days of speculation and rumour-mongering, Donald Trump delivered the speech of a lifetime – at least in the lifetime of the Jewish People.

I never thought he would have it in him, but I give Trump full credit. The speech was excellent. He hit all the right notes without committing any great diplomatic faux pas. He declared America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – “recognizing reality” as he accurately called it. He simply reaffirmed the blindingly obvious – that Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel and that it’s about time America recognized that fact

He walked a diplomatic tightrope by not going into the details of exactly where the US Embassy will be located or how long it will take to get it ready. In this way he satisfied the Israelis, and if the Palestinians were so inclined, they could be satisfied too, since the issue of the Embassy was left open-ended.

He also didn’t mention the dreaded two-state solution – which by now should be recognized by all as a non-starter. He simply reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to peace and to settling the Arab-Israeli conflict, calling on all sides for restraint.

In fact the speech was startling for the lack of any great new insights. It was the very fact that every point was obvious, and has always been evident for anyone who cared to look, that was so unusual – because when it comes to Middle East Peace-processing, wishful thinking is the name of the game. This speech was almost an “Emperor has no clothes” moment, except that here Donald Trump was playing the part of the naive child who states the reality for all the world to see.

I will post below the video of Trump’s speech and the full text, but before that I just want to make a couple of points:

The Arabs, the Palestinians in particular, are threatening “days of rage” in response to Trump’s declaration. But did they ever declare “days of peace” when countless UN resolutions were passed in their favour? How about that miserable UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which declared all of Judea and Samaria as Palestinian territory, and calling all the settlements illegal, which was passed with the aid, abetting and active assistance of the United States under President Barack Obama? Did we get peace talks and normalization, or offers of land-swaps? We did not. We simply got more of the same old violence: stabbings, car-rammings, shootings and more. So please, give us Israelis one reason why we should take any more notice of these latest threats of days of rage than any other days of rage that are routinely declared on the slightest of pretexts.

The Palestinians assert that America is no longer an honest broker in the peace talks. My question is “what peace talks?”. And was America an honest broker when those UN resolutions were going your way?

Similarly with other countries who have strongly objected to Trump’s declaration. Britain’s Theresa May is going to express her concern to Trump, saying (wrongly) that Jerusalem is intended to be a shared capital between Israel and the Palestinians.

The UN, the EU and even the Pope criticized Trump for his move. All expressed their “concern for peace”. But where were they when Israel’s streets were exploding? When “lone-wolf” stabbers ran rampant. When car-rammings took place on a nearly daily basis? And all this while Jerusalem was NOT recognized as Israel’s capital, and while “peace talks” were ostensibly taking place!

So why should Israel, or Donald Trump for that matter, take the slightest notice of their ignorant opinion? Why do they think their dire warnings will resonate when they never paid more than lip service to the violence committed daily against Israeli civilians.

Where was their pressure on the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table? Where was their pressure on the Palestinians to stop the violence, stop the incitement?

Only the Trump Administration has had the courage to shake up the playing board and restate the facts as they are, rather than as anyone would wish them to be. In perfect timing, maybe not coincidentally, the Taylor Force act was just passed in Congress, targeting moneys passed from the Palestinian Authority to terrorists in payment for their terrorist acts.

None of this though is to derogate from the fact that Trump did not deny any Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, nor did he rule out the possibility of a Palestinian state. All they need to do for that is come to the table.

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And now to the main event. Watch the video of Trump’s speech:

And here is the full text:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city — and so importantly — is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the US embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.

I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.

It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem — the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state, and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.

Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.

That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers, and planners, so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.

In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.

Above all, our greatest hope is for peace, the universal yearning in every human soul. With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region.

There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation.

This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity, lifting our sights to what it is possible; not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable. Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach.

So today, we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts.

I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud, and diverse, vibrant and strong. But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance, and terror.

Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.

t is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst. It is time for all civilized nations, and people, to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate –- not violence.

And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region — political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim — to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.

(The proclamation is signed.)

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Israel expressed its gratitude to America by lighting up Jerusalem in red, white and blue:

And here is Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu giving due thanks to Donald Trump for recognizing our capital, Jerusalem:

The Real Palestinian Response to Trump’s Jerusalem Speech

December 7, 2017

The Real Palestinian Response to Trump’s Jerusalem Speech, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, December 7, 2017

Recently, more than 300 Muslim worshipers were massacred by Muslim terrorists while praying in a mosque in Sinai, Egypt. That tragedy was probably covered by fewer journalists than the orchestrated Trump-poster episode in Bethlehem. Where was the outcry in the Arab and Islamic world? Now, Arabs and Muslims are talking about “days of rage” in protest against Trump. Why were there no “days of rage” in the Arab and Islamic countries when more than 300 worshipers, many of them children, were massacred during Friday prayers?

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By misrepresenting the poster burning “ceremony” as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump’s policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

When we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these “events” are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night?

It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West?

The “rivers of blood” we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another’s throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region?

A short three hours after US President Donald Trump phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to inform him of his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian photojournalists received a phone call from Bethlehem.

The callers were Palestinian “activists,” who invited the photographers to come to the city to document an “important event.” When the photographers arrived, they discovered that the “important event” was a handful of Palestinian “activists” who wanted to burn posters of Trump in front of the cameras.

The “activists” waited patiently as the photojournalists and cameramen set up their equipment to get the “important event” on film. Shortly thereafter, the media was abuzz with reports about “angry Palestinian protesters taking to the streets to protest” Trump’s intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem and his recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. The handful of Palestinians who were filmed burning the Trump pictures were made to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities.

The handful of Palestinians in Bethlehem who were filmed burning pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump on December 6 were made by the media to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities. (Image source: CBS News video screenshot)

The incident represents yet another example of the collusion between the Palestinians and the media, whose representatives are always more than happy to serve as mouthpieces for the Palestinian propaganda machine and provide an open platform for broadcasting Palestinian threats against Israel and the US.

Had the photographers and cameramen not shown up to the erstwhile “spontaneous” poster-burning event, the Palestinian activists would have been forced to quietly slink back to one of Bethlehem’s fine coffee shops.

Yet, there was no worry on that score: the Palestinian activists are well aware that local and foreign reporters are starving for sensationalism — and what better fits the bill than posters of Trump going up in flames in the middle of the birthplace of Jesus, on the eve of Christmas and as thousands of Christian pilgrims and tourists are converging on the city?

By misrepresenting the poster burning “ceremony” as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump’s policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. Palestinian leaders and spokesmen strive to create the impression that Trump’s policy regarding Jerusalem will bring the region down in flames. They also seek to send a message to the American people that their president’s policies endanger their lives. In effect, the media has volunteered to serve the Palestinian campaign of intimidation. And the media convergence on the poster-burning farce in Bethlehem is just the beginning.

Now that the Palestinians have managed, with the help of the media, to burn these images into the minds of millions of Americans, they are planning more staged protests. The goal: to terrify the American public and force Trump to rescind his decision regarding the status of Jerusalem. This tactic of intimidation through the media is not new. In fact, it is something that has been happening for decades, largely thanks to the buy-in of the mainstream media in the West.

Now, Palestinian and Western journalists have been invited to cover a series of protests planned by the Palestinians in the coming days and weeks in response to Trump’s policies. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The journalists have been promised more scenes of burning photos of Trump and US flags. Some of the journalists have even received tips as to the locations where “clashes” are supposed to take place between Palestinian rioters and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. In other words, the journalists have been told precisely where they need to be in order to document Palestinians throwing stones at the soldiers — and the predicted the IDF response.

Here is the funny part. If, for whatever reason, the cameras are a no-show, the “activists” are likely to be as well. In the Palestinian world, it is all about manipulating the media and recruiting it in favor of the cause. And the cause is always bashing Israel — with bashing Trump not far behind.

Yes, the Palestinians will protest in the coming days against Trump. Yes, they will take to the streets and throw stones at IDF soldiers. Yes, they will burn pictures of Trump and US flags. And yes, they will try to carry out terror attacks against Israelis.

But when we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these “events” are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night? And, why are the journalists exaggerating and compounding the Palestinian threats for violence and anarchy?

First, many of the journalists want to appease their readers and editors by offering them stories that reflect negatively on Israel. Second, some of the journalists believe that writing anti-Israel stories paves the way for them to win awards from assorted professed “virtue-signaling” organizations. Third, many journalists believe that writing anti-Israel reports give them access to so-called “liberals” and a supposedly “enlightened” coterie who romanticize being “on the right side of history.” They do not want to see that 21 Muslim states have been trying for many decades to destroy one Jewish state; instead, they appear to think that if journalists are “liberal” and “open-minded,” they need to support the “underdog,” who they believe are “the Palestinians.” Fourth, many of the journalists see the conflict as being between bad guys (supposedly the Israelis) and good guys (supposedly the Palestinians) and that it is their duty to stand with the “good guys,” even if the “good guys” are engaged in violence and terrorism.

Recently, more than 300 Muslim worshipers were massacred by Muslim terrorists while praying in a mosque in Sinai, Egypt. That tragedy was probably covered by fewer journalists than the orchestrated Trump-poster episode in Bethlehem. Where was the outcry in the Arab and Islamic world? Now, Arabs and Muslims are talking about “days of rage” in protest against Trump. Why were there no “days of rage” in the Arab and Islamic countries when more than 300 worshipers, many of them children, were massacred during Friday prayers?

It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West?

Journalists are actively colluding with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to create the false impression that World War III will erupt if the US embassy is moved to Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians have been massacred since the beginning of the “Arab Spring” more than six years ago. They were killed by Muslim terrorists and other Arabs. The bloodshed continues to this day in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

So, make no mistake about it: the “rivers of blood” we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another’s throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region?

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.