Posted tagged ‘US Embassy’

Trump to announce recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

December 6, 2017

Trump to announce recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital | Anne’s Opinions, 6th December 2017

After holding our collective breath over the last couple of days, it emerged – without much fanfare from the American side – that Donald Trump has not quite refused to sign the waiver permitting the US to retain its embassy in Tel Aviv (the whole issue is terribly vague. Maybe the waters are being muddied on purpose) but he is going to make an announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Plus, he will be instructing the State Department to examine the practicalities of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump will announce in a speech on Wednesday that he is formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while asking the State Department to formulate a plan for moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, White House officials confirmed Tuesday evening.

The recognition of Jerusalem, widely expected to anger the Arab world and cast a shadow over US-led peace efforts, will also be accompanied by Trump committing to support a two-state solution should both Israel and the Palestinians back it, the officials said, in a likely bid by the administration to balance the announcement seen as heavily favoring Israel.

The US Consulate in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood, adjoining a possible site for the US Embassy (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Trump’s administration is certainly a reality-based one, as opposed to the Obama administration which was based on wishful thinking at best, and on an anti-Israel bias at worst:

The White House repeatedly referred to the recognition and embassy move, which will likely take years, as “acknowledging a reality,” noting the city’s role as the seat of Israel’s government but disregarding Palestinian claims there.

“He views this as a recognition of reality, both historic reality and modern reality,” one official said.

“While President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly sensitive issue, he does not think it will be resolved by ignoring the truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, it’s Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s residence, and as such, it is the capital of Israel,” one of the officials said.

The US now officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – and the world has gone into meltdown.

Reality-based diplomacy

US officials warned Trump not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The reason is less ideological, more capitulation to threats of violence from the Arabs:

If Trump made such a move, it could spark demonstrations or violence by Palestinians or by Muslims around the world, in part because of the sensitivity of the Jerusalem site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.

The site includes the al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, and the golden Dome of the Rock. It was also the site of an ancient Jewish temple, the holiest place in Judaism.

The Arab threats of mayhem and violence (as any good mafiosi would do) came thick and fast, with clashes expected in Judea and Samaria after Friday prayers – or incitement – in the mosques.

But best of all was Turkey’s threat to cut ties with Jerusalem (or was that a promise?):

ANKARA – President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey could go as far as breaking off diplomatic ties with Israel if the United States formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move he said would be a “red line” for Muslims.

Erdogan is the latest in a string of regional leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Hussein to warn of negative implications of the move.

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett was quick to respond.

“Unfortunately, Erdogan does not miss an opportunity to attack Israel. Israel must advance its goals, including the recognition of United Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel,” Bennett said in a statement. “There will always be those who criticize, but at the end of the day it is better to have a united Jerusalem than Erdogan’s sympathy.”

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said that Israel “does not take directives or threats from Turkey.”

Israel is a “sovereign state, and Jerusalem is its capital,” Katz said. “There is nothing more historically just or right than to recognize Jerusalem, which has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years, as the capital of the State of Israel. The days of the Sultan and the Ottoman Empire are over.”

Caroline Glick cheekily tweeted:

The Europeans, in their own weaselly way, also warned against American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said on Tuesday that “any action that would undermine” peace efforts to create two separate states for the Israelis and the Palestinians “must absolutely be avoided”.

Palestinian President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas is leading the Arab charge against recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

Trump is expected on Wednesday to declare US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to order the start of work to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, White House officials confirmed Tuesday. US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is legitimate, almost banal; the same goes for moving the embassy there. But the warnings coming from even moderate Arab states show how sensitive the Jerusalem issue is and how problematic it can be to deal with even for them.

While the embassy move is expected to take months if not years, merely the prospect of it, as well as the recognition of Jerusalem, have inspired a blizzard of warnings of possible violence in the West Bank and elsewhere.

In a series of phone calls Tuesday, Trump made clear to Arab leaders his plans to move the embassy and recognize the city as Israel’s capital. He spoke about it with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Saudi King Salman. The leaders of all of the Sunni Arab states considered to be “moderate,” even those that have covert security ties with Israel, warned of the grave consequences of the move and of an escalation in violence because of the disregard for Muslim sensitivities around the world.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the Arab League, and the top Islamic body al-Azhar also all emphasized that moving the embassy could have serious consequences.

Leading the chorus, rather than being led this time, is Abbas. He has spoken in recent days with every Arab and European leader he could and warned them that an action like this could lead to violence on the ground.

Should there be an actual increase in violence, it won’t stem from attacks by “lone wolves” or smaller Palestinian factions; rather, the descent into chaos will have been orchestrated from above, by the chairman himself, just like in the bad old days of Yasser Arafat.

Last July, amid the crisis over metal detectors at the Temple Mount, he made the unprecedented move of freezing security coordination with Israel, and now he is practically ordering his men to escalate violence. His Fatah faction published on Tuesday an official announcement calling for “days of rage” on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and for mass protests.

But in the end, does any of this matter in the end? Will anything change on the ground for Israel and Jerusalem? (Besides the expected Palestinian violence of course).

Kay Wilson wrote an excellent post on Facebook, succinctly summarising the issue. I wish I wrote this myself:

Times of Israel reporter Haviv Rettig Gur also sums up the issue in an eloquent nutshell:

Here is a series of tweets demonstrating the absurdity of the situation until now, and the implications of American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

Here is a witty but true observation about the Muslims’ attitude towards Jerusalem:

Let’s finish off on a positive note:

Thank you President Trump

 

US embassy issued warning on impending attack in Ankara 2 days before Sunday blast

March 14, 2016

US embassy issued warning on impending attack in Ankara 2 days before Sunday blast

Published time: 14 Mar, 2016 09:09 Edited time: 14 Mar, 2016 09:26

Source: US embassy issued warning on impending attack in Ankara 2 days before Sunday blast — RT News

Emergency workers work at the explosion site in Ankara, Turkey March 13, 2016 © Stringer
The US embassy in Turkey issued a security warning to American citizens two days before a blast caused by a suicide car bomb hit the center of Ankara on Sunday evening. At least 37 people were killed and 125 injured in the explosion.

The American embassy had warned on its website about a “potential plot to attack Turkish government buildings and housing in the Bahcelievler neighborhood,” in Çankaya District, where the Turkish National Library is located among other landmarks. “US citizens should avoid this area,” the embassy stated.

“We advise US citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings and local events, monitor local news stations for updates, and follow local authority instructions,” it added on Friday.

The Sunday blast, the second attack in the administrative heart of the city in under a month, occurred near Guven Park and Kizilay Square, several kilometers from Bahcelievler. The site of the explosion is close to the Justice and Interior Ministries, a top courthouse, and the former office of the country’s prime minister. The blast, which could be heard several kilometres away, appears to have been triggered by a car exploding near a bus stop, Turkish broadcaster TRT reported, adding that the site is a major transportation hub.

“It’s a car bomb, [it happened] in the heart of Ankara… and today is Sunday, many people may be outside,” Turkish journalist Onur Burcak Belli told RT by phone, adding that the scene of the blast is “very close to a shopping mall.”

While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, two senior security officials told Reuters that the initial findings suggested that members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or an affiliated group were responsible. The PKK has been waging an armed struggle for Kurdish autonomy since 1984.

On Friday, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said that new military operations against PKK members could be expected in several mostly Kurdish-populated towns in the east of the country. The Turkish military operation against PKK militants in the southeast was launched in July 2015, breaking a ceasefire agreement that had held for two years. The Turkish crackdown against the Kurds has been criticized by human rights groups. Amnesty International reported in January that at least 150 civilians, women and children among them, have been killed in the Turkish military operation, saying that some 200,000 people had been put at risk and were being denied access to services due to strict curfews.

READ MORE: Turkey keeps shelling Kurds, backing terrorist groups in Syria – Russian MoD

In February, 28 people were killed and 61 injured in a blast in Ankara, when a car bomb, reportedly targeting military personnel, went off close to the parliament building. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu immediately blamed a Syrian Kurdish militia fighter for the attack, which further proved that the YPG was a terrorist organization, the PM said. “Yesterday’s attack was directly targeting Turkey and the perpetrator is the YPG and the divisive terrorist organization the PKK. All necessary measures will be taken against them,” Davutoglu said in a televised speech. Within hours, Turkish warplanes bombed PKK bases in northern Iraq, and shelled YPG positions in northern Syria, a security source told Reuters.

US Embassy in Libya Captured

August 31, 2014

US Embassy in Libya Captured, The Jewish Press, August 31, 2014

(We aren’t really using it, so why not? — DM)

US-EMbassy-in-LibyaThe pool at the residential annex of the US Embassy in Libya. Photo Credit: YouTube

Islamic militants from a group named “Fajar” (Dawn of Libya) appear to have taken over the US Embassy in Tripoli, Libya. The group claims to have occupied the compound last week.

In the video below, the Islamic militants are taking advantage of the pool in the Embassy’s residential annex.

US personnel were evacuated from the embassy a month ago.