|Architectural drawings for "US Consulate Annex" in Jerusalem, 2003|
After weeks of shouting in the wind, the PLO finally managed to get some Arab threats going against a possible move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, Azzam al-Ahmad of Fatah's Central Committee said that the PLO has a 21-point plan on how to respond to such a move. He didn't elaborate, but part of it is clearly to recruit whatever Arabs they can to justify the threat that Muslims worldwide will want to go to war over this.
In other words, since no one has made a big deal over this so far, the Palestinians must resort to ever-increasing incitement among Arab masses who are, frankly, too stupid to know the difference between moving an embassy into an area that the the entire world recognizes as Israeli and a "declaration of war against Islam."
After all, the entire issue is symbolic, and the Palestinians want a monopoly on symbolism. Losing this would be a severe blow to their own sense of honor.
This is a confrontation with the whole world and a declaration of war against it - against the Palestinians, against the Arabs, against the Muslims, against the Christians, and against UN resolutions....I hope we build a strategy to muster all these forces. In Jerusalem there are places that are sacred to 2.5 billion Muslims and Christians. What gives him the right to hand it over to the 13 million Jews in the world half here and half abroad?! Why does he think that he has the right to give them the keys to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher?!
Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath said also on Tuesday, "We will not allow Trump to achieve peace through his support of Israel and the settlement process."
Hamas happily jumped on the threat train, saying Tuesday that Palestinians do not accept Israeli rule over a single inch of "Palestine," and that an embassy move would inaugurate a new phase of the conflict with Israel that the US administration would be responsible for.
And the Palestinians received a boost from Iraqi militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who said, "Transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem would be a public and more explicit than ever declaration of war against Islam."
That's funny - those were almost the exact same words that Mahmoud Abbas' aide Mahmoud Habash used earlier this month.
As I mentioned, the entire issue is symbolic. The best description of why Palestinians are risking everything on this can be seen from an interview with an Egyptian General Mahmoud Abdel-Latif , who explained the symbolism: "He who owns Jerusalem owns Palestine."