Thursday, December 07, 2017

From Ian:

John Podhoretz: Trump’s truth-telling on Jerusalem marks an all-new Middle East
‘This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality,” President Trump said in announcing America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Never have truer words been spoken, and they were delivered in the best speech Trump has ever given.

What Trump did was stunning. He could just have signed the waiver of the law passed in 1995 compelling the executive branch to move America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He did it six months ago, just like his three immediate predecessors did every six months since 1996. Or he could have not signed the waiver and simply said he was going to start the process of building the new embassy.

Instead, he called the international community’s seven-decade bluff and ended a delusion about the future that has prevented Palestinians from seeing the world and their own geopolitical situation clearly. It is a bold shift.

The idea that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital has been a global pretense for decades, including here in the United States. It’s a pretense because Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital from the moment the new country secured a future by winning a bloody war for independence waged against it by Arab nations after they rejected the UN partition of the old British mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state.

Under the plan, Jerusalem was to be an international city governed by the United Nations. But the Arab effort to push the Jews into the sea — an effort no other nation on earth intervened in to prevent — left a divided Jerusalem in the hands of the Jews in the West and Jordan in the East.

There would be no “international” Jerusalem because the Arabs made sure there could not be one.
Promise Keeper
Not only is President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy there one of the boldest moves of his presidency. It is one of the boldest moves any U.S. president has made since the beginning of the Oslo "peace process" in 1993. That process collapsed at Camp David in 2000 when Yasir Arafat rejected President Clinton's offer of a Palestinian state. And the process has been moribund ever since, despite multiple attempts to restart it.

That is why the warnings from Trump critics that his decision may wreck the peace process ring hollow. There is no peace process to wreck. The conflict is frozen. And the largest barriers to the resumption of negotiations are found not in U.S. or Israeli policy but in Palestinian autocracy, corruption, and incitement. Have the former Obama administration officials decrying Trump's announcement read a newspaper lately? From listening to them, you'd think it would be all roses and ponies in the Middle East but for Trump. In fact, the region is engulfed in war, terrorism, poverty, and despotism; Israel faces threats in the north and south; its sworn enemy, Iran, is growing in influence and reach; and the delegitimization of the Jewish State proceeds apace in international organizations and on college campuses. I forget how the Obama administration advanced the cause of peace by pressuring Israel while rewarding the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Maybe someone will remind me.

One of the reasons the Middle East persists in its decrepit condition is that it has been, for decades, a playground of magical thinking. Whether it is believing that poverty is the cause of terrorism or that the Ayatollah Khamenei is a good-faith partner, whether it is imagining that Assad will go just because we tell him to or that ISIS is akin to a terrorist "JV team," liberal internationalists have all too eagerly accepted an alternative picture of the Middle East that is much more flattering than the actuality. A similar form of doublethink is present in our discussions over Jerusalem. Every Israeli knows Jerusalem was, is, and will remain his capital. Every recent president has agreed with him. And the U.S. consensus has been bipartisan. The last four Democratic platforms have said the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. The Senate voted 90-0 only six months ago urging the embassy be moved to the ancient city. Were we to take seriously neither these platforms nor that vote? Was it all virtue-signaling, a bunch of empty gestures in the kabuki theater of U.S. diplomacy?
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: 20 reasons why every foreign embassy should move to Jerusalem
Arab and Muslim leaders and spokespersons have been trying to frighten the entire world in order to prevent other nations from recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital – Trump's declaration notwithstanding – and from relocating their embassies to Jerusalem. It's time to tell the world what it should have realized a long time ago.

1. Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people's state, is one of the most ancient capitals in the world. It became the capital of Israel's monarchy during the reign of King David – that is in 1003 B.C.E., 2030 years ago, when the capitals of the countries who refuse to recognize it were still boggy swamps, leafy forests or arid deserts. The history of the oldest nations of Europe, the Greeks and the Romans, proves without a doubt that Jerusalem was already the capital of the Jewish nation in ancient times.

2. The Jews are the only indigenous people of the land of Israel and lived in Jerusalem for 1613 years before the birth of Islam, which occurred in 610 C.E. Putting it bluntly, the Jews lived in Jerusalem when Islam's forefathers were still pagan nomads in the Arabian Peninsula, so what gives the Muslims of today the right to oppose Jerusalem's being recognized as the capital of the Jewish state?

3. Can anyone imagine Muslim threats of terror attacks, demonstrations or uncontrolled rioting having enough clout to limit or direct the political decisions made by world powers?

4. Is there any other country in the world that accepts the dictates of other states regarding the location of its capital city? (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Alan M. Dershowitz: Why Trump Is Right in Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a perfect response to President Obama's benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaism's holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a "flagrant violation under international law." It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult, by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace.

It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaism's holiest places to be illegally occupied. Obama's decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace. It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president.

It was also designed improperly to tie the hands of President-elect Trump. President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution.

So if there is any change to the status quo, let the blame lie where it should be: at the hands of President Obama for his cowardly decision to wait until he was a lame-duck president to get even with Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Trump deserves praise for restoring balance in negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians. It was President Obama who made peace more difficult. It was President Trump who made it more feasible again.

The outrageously one-sided Security Council Resolution declared that "any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem," have "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law." This means, among other things, that Israel's decision to build a plaza for prayer at the Western Wall — Judaism's holiest site — constitutes a "flagrant violation of international law." This resolution was, therefore, not limited to settlements in the West Bank, as the Obama administration later claimed in a bait-and-switch. The resolution applied equally to the very heart of Israel.
Eli Lake: Trump's Move Frees Palestinians to Focus on Peace, Not Jerusalem
A year ago, when Donald Trump's transition team first said they intended to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, I was skeptical. Like most of the foreign policy establishment, not to mention America's Arab and European allies, I thought such a move was too risky.

You will see that argument a lot today. Israel needs U.S. help in strengthening its blossoming relationships with Arab states that were once its foes. Why risk straining those ties with a largely symbolic move?

I have since changed my mind. There are a few reasons. To start, that column came out right before the outgoing administration broke precedent and abstained from a U.N. Security Council resolution that said all of East Jerusalem was effectively occupied territory. This would mean any Israeli construction within the disputed territory was a violation of international law. Barack Obama's parting gift to the Palestinians made U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital more urgent.

But what really changed my mind was this summer's metal detector uprising. Here's what happened: Israeli Arabs began a rampage near the mosque that sits atop the Temple Mount, an area that contains the remains of the outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple at its base and al-Aqsa Mosque on top. The gunmen then fled into the esplanade around the mosque and began firing back at Israeli police officers from within the holy compound.

What happened next was both tragic and cynical. While Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas condemned the terrorists, his political party, Fatah, also called for "days of rage." Was this in response to the gunmen at al-Aqsa? No, it was because Israeli authorities sought to place metal detectors at al-Aqsa compound following a horrific shooting. This was after Israeli police found weapons stored in the mosque compound.

The traditional way to understand this episode is that it proves how much of a tinderbox the Jerusalem issue is. Don't pour gasoline on burning embers. Already Palestinians in Gaza have begun "days of rage" in protest of Trump's decision. The Organization of the Islamic Conference called Trump's plan to recognize Jerusalem an act of "naked aggression." The State Department has warned recognition will bring violence.

But official American neutrality on Jerusalem has not stopped Palestinian leaders from exercising a riot veto before. Indeed, neutrality has created a moral hazard.
Sohrab Ahmari: Trump Has a Capital Idea on Jerusalem
The journalistic class is apoplectic over President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But conservatives, including those skeptical of this president, should add it to the list of Trump-administration foreign policies that deserve praise. The case for recognizing Jerusalem, and relocating the U.S. Embassy there, is formidable. Talk of the move throwing the region into chaos is overwrought and out of touch with Mideast reality.

For starters, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is in line with the democratic will of the American people. Congress in 1995 enacted a law requiring the State Department to make the relocation, but since then successive administrations of both parties have taken advantage of a waiver to delay it. The waiver process was written into the law. Even so, more than two decades of executive resistance amounts to defiance of Congress. Even die-hard Never Trumpers must admit: There is something refreshing about this administration’s willingness to carry out the law rather than sidestep it.

Yet professional peace-processors don’t care much for the foreign-policy preferences of the American people. They contend that Trump’s capital idea (pun intended) will scuttle any chances for a negotiated settlement to the seven-decade-long conflict. In this, they echo the Palestinian president-for-life, Mahmoud Abbas, who on Wednesday characterized the move as America’s “declaration of withdrawal” from the peace process.

Here’s the problem with this line of argument: What peace process?

Evelyn Gordon: Reform Movement Backs Palestinians against Israel on Jerusalem
That Arab and European leaders are protesting President Trump’s intent to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is no surprise. Nor is it any surprise that groups like J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace joined them. I was, however, genuinely shocked that the leader of America’s largest Jewish denomination also joined the denunciations. Until recently, any mainstream American Jewish leader would have been embarrassed to oppose U.S. recognition of Jerusalem publicly.

And yet, it’s of a piece with recent decisions by non-Orthodox Hillel directors to bar mainstream Israelis from speaking on campus, and with the fact that Birthright Israel recently dropped the Union for Reform Judaism as a trip organizer because it was recruiting too few students. Taken together, all these facts paint a worrying picture.

I’ve always objected when I hear people on the right term the Reform Movement anti-Israel because of its stance on the peace process. After all, its views aren’t far from those of Israel’s mainstream center-left, and any mainstream view ought to be legitimate within the pro-Israel camp.

But in its opposition to recognizing Jerusalem, the URJ has zero support from Israel’s Zionist center-left. The chairman of the Labor Party, currently Israel’s largest opposition party, praised Trump’s expected decision. Yair Lapid, head of the other main opposition party (which is currently outpolling Labor), demanded that the rest of the world follow suit.

Indeed, only two Israeli parties shared the Reform Movement’s reservations: the Arab community’s Joint List and the far-left Meretz, which used to be a Zionist party but no longer is. Its platform doesn’t define it as Zionist, its official spokeswoman defines it as “a non-Zionist Israeli party,” and key backers of its current chairwoman are busy floating the idea of an official merger with the anti-Zionist Joint List. Thus, in opposing U.S. recognition of Jerusalem, the Reform Movement has aligned itself with the country’s anti-Zionists against the entire spectrum of Israeli Zionist opinion.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: Looks like there are some new sheriffs in town
I remember when the United Nations voted to give the Jews our own state. By then, I was an eight-year old member of Hashomer Ha-Tzair. We listened to the vote on the radio and we all went a little crazy. I will never forget that moment either.

And so now, after nearly seventy years of Israel’s being militarily attacked by Arab armies and by Arab terrorists and defamed by the world at large; now, after more than 40 years of the United Nations legalizing Jew hatred and passing one false resolution after the other against the Jewish state; now, after UNESCO’s every bizarre and brazen attempt to de-Judaize Jerusalem—I have again lived to share the moment when an American President has actually begun the process of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem—to signal that this city is Israel’s one and only eternal
The Thought Police will spin this as Jewish arrogance recklessly provoking a 'justifiable' Arab wave of human homicide bombs, car ramming, and stabbing.

The Thought Police will spin this as Jewish arrogance recklessly provoking a 'justifiable' Arab wave of human homicide bombs, car ramming, and stabbing.

Except now, there are also some new Sheriff’s in town: Saudi Arabia and India for starters, countries that are well aware of the mounting dangers of both Shiite and Sunni terrorism.

Except now, the West finally perceives, however dimly, that Israel has long been on the front line of Islamic terrorism and imperialism—that Islam, not Israel, has been the colonialist power. Such sudden insight is entirely due to the increase in terrorist attacks against Western capital cities.
Saying it with flowersNorthern Israeli city to name new park after Trump
The northern Israeli city of Kiryat Yam will name a new park after US President Donald Trump in honor of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Mayor David Even Tzur announced Thursday.

“The president of the United States took a brave and unprecedented step that none of his predecessors were willing to take and we must honor him for it,” Tzur said in a statement heralding the decision to establish “Donald Trump Park.”

He added, “Jerusalem is a dream that is present in every Jew’s heart and Trump’s decision gives this dream clear international recognition.”

Tzur said the park, in which the municipality is investing NIS 4 million ($1.14 million), will stretch over seven dunams (1.7 acres) and border an existing science park in the center of the city.

Tzur added that he is looking into the possibility of inviting Trump to the opening of the facility, slated for April 2018.
Gerald Steinberg: Trump's Jerusalem proclamation is long overdue
Ignoring the new reality, diplomats and world politicians clung to the myth of “corpus separatum,” setting up embassies in Tel Aviv and, on official documents, never referring to “Jerusalem, Israel.” After the 1967 war, when Israel responded to another Arab attack by expelling the Jordanians from Jerusalem and reuniting the city, making all parts accessible, the old slogans in Washington, London and Paris still did not change, and now — 50 years later — the absurdity continues.

Birth certificates for our children and passports for U.S. citizens living in Jerusalem do not refer to “Israel.” And during President Obama’s trip in October 2016 for the funeral of Shimon Peres, the White House accidently circulated a statement from “Jerusalem, Israel,” and then re-issued the document, conspicuously deleting “Israel.”

Jerusalem, including the half located in Israel since 1948, was still not recognized as part of our country.

Over the years and multiple administrations — Republican and Democratic — two standard excuses were given, without much thought. The first was to tie the status of Jerusalem to an imagined peace agreement. Therefore, the best way for the Palestinians to prevent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was simply to avoid negotiations. Indeed, at the failed 2000 Camp David Summit, Arafat told Clinton that Jews have no historic rights in Jerusalem; this was and remains standard Palestinian propaganda.

The other excuse is that if a change in the status of Jerusalem is made without a broad agreement, the Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim allies around the world will respond with terror and rage. In the past day, threats of violence have been heard from PLO head Mahmoud Abbas to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In the past, these threats have deterred leaders, including President George W. Bush, from doing the right thing in Jerusalem.

On this as on other issues, President Trump is not showing signs of backing away. Jerusalemites, Israelis and Jews around the world have waited 70 years for this moment. And we will gladly take more gridlock and other inconveniences in return.
Trump's watershed moment
In August 1962, U.S.-Israeli relations changed dramatically after President John F. Kennedy decided to provide Israel with Hawk surface-to-air missiles, abandoning the longstanding U.S. opposition to such a move. His hope was that Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion would show flexibility over the Palestinian refugee issue.

Some 55 years later, President Donald Trump reached another watershed moment. In his daring and uplifting speech on Wednesday, he decided to discard a longstanding U.S. position and recognize the irrefutable fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. He also launched preparations to begin the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to the city.

U.S. presidents have long insisted that the final status of the city would be determined through a negotiated peace deal. This policy remained in place even after the failed Camp David summit proved there was no way to realize this vision because then-Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat refused to take the far-reaching proposal Israel offered.

In light of the unbridgeable gaps between the U.S. policy and the situation on the ground, the fact that Trump was the one who crossed the Rubicon should not be surprising. The 45th president has already shown his capacity to think outside the box and in defiance of the bureaucrats in Washington.
David Horovitz: While endorsing Israeli Jerusalem, Trump doesn’t rule out any of Abbas’s demands
The most important question ahead of US President Donald Trump’s landmark speech on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was what exactly — or, rather, where exactly — he would mean when he said “Jerusalem.” Would he specify “West Jerusalem?” No great achievement for Israel in that; even the Russians have done so. Would he speak of a “united Jerusalem” or a “unified Jerusalem,” as most of the Israeli leadership would wish? Or would he be constructively vague?

In fact, he found a fourth option. He declared America’s recognition of Jerusalem while subtly but clearly indicating that, for now, he was speaking about the ostensibly non-disputed Israeli areas of the city.

It was a simple fact that, for 70 years, modern Israel has made its capital in Jerusalem, Trump said. Indeed it has, but not in the entire city; East Jerusalem was captured 50 years ago, and Israeli sovereignty extended to that part of the city more than a decade later still.

Jerusalem, he went on, is the heart of Israel’s successful democracy — the location of the Knesset, the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s Office and the President’s Residence, he further stressed. Absolutely the case. And none of those capital landmarks is situated in that part of the city captured in 1967.

For decades, American presidents and other representatives have met with their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, he noted. Quite so. In pre-1967 Jerusalem, that is.

Trump’s announcement was a warm endorsement of sovereign Israel’s prerogative to choose its own capital, and constituted decisive backing for Israel’s right to have done so in Jerusalem — “the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.” He ridiculed the fact that, to date, America had “declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all” (complete with an unbecoming dig at his predecessors who ostensibly “lacked courage” to do so). As the only president to have prayed at the Western Wall while in office, the speech reflected his support for Israel. But it did not serve as a presidential endorsement of Israel’s claims to all of Jerusalem.
'US not demanding concessions from Israel for J'lm recognition'
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Trump administration did not view the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a gift to the Israelis, and would not seek concessions in exchange for the move.

Speaking with Fox News Wednesday night after President Trump announced that the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and ordered the State Department to being planning the relocation of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Haley rejected the idea that the US would use the moves to extract concessions from Israel.

When asked whether the US had pressured Israel to soften its position in exchange for the recognition of Jerusalem, Haley replied “Absolutely not.”

“This is following members of Congress, this is doing what the American people said. But we are also taking Jerusalem out of the discussion, because the two sides have to come together on how they’re going to see Jerusalem, what they’re going to see as their capital.”

While the president stated that the US now recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a manifest fact, he said, the US would not rule on the boundaries of Israel’s capital city, and would leave the delineation of Jerusalem’s borders to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to decide in a final status agreement.

“We are not doing anything about the final status. That is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
Trump peace team believes it can ride out wave of Arab anger over Jerusalem
In quiet deliberations over whether to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv, or both, President Donald Trump and his Middle East peace team determined that the Palestinian Authority needs the United States too much to walk away from it– and that the US plan to revive negotiations toward the ultimate deal could survive what they expect will be a temporary burst of anger across the Arab world.

White House officials told The Jerusalem Post that Trump's decision was made separately from a deliberative ten-month effort to restart direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians led by Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations​.​ Both men served in consultative roles in the Jerusalem debate alongside the president's national security council and his political supporters.

But Trump's dramatic action on Wednesday was ultimately driven by the president himself.

"This was not designed," one White House official said. "This was a separate decision from the [peace] process. But as you can see from the president's speech, we remain incredibly committed."

Trump's historic address broke from 70 years of US policy on Jerusalem consistent with international standards, which have long left the fate of the ancient city up for Israelis and Palestinians to decide. Virtually every government in the world opposed the move, warning it could destabilize the region and make forging Israeli-Palestinian peace even harder than it was before.
NY Post Editorial: Democratic nay-sayers on Trump’s Jerusalem move are outright hypocrites
Most of the reaction to President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was predictable. But criticism from some Democrats was flat-out hypocritical.

That’s because many of those now bashing the move, which includes relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv, enthusiastically supported it when they felt sure it wouldn’t actually happen.

Such self-professed friends of Israel as Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.) all criticized Trump’s decision.

Yet DiFi and Durbin voted for the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, which mandates the embassy’s move to Israel’s “undivided capital” and passed, 93-5. And all three voted for its unanimous Senate reaffirmation this past June.

(Another critic, New Jersey’s Sen. Cory Booker, co-sponsored this year’s measure, while failing to actually vote on it. Then again, he has abandoned Israel regularly of late.)

For two decades, nearly every presidential nominee of either party has declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s undivided capital and supported moving the embassy. Some even attacked rival candidates for balking, only to do so themselves after taking office.

So credit Trump with calling everyone’s bluff by being the first to keep that promise, leaving Democrats to ignore reality and instead pander to their party’s increasingly anti-Israel, hard-left base.
The president just called the world’s bluff on Jerusalem
The region, we’re told, will explode over President Trump’s supposedly rash Jerusalem decision, so brace yourselves for turmoil and violence. (As if the Mideast is a paragon of serenity, peace and stability now.)

And right there, in the eye of the storm, Palestinian leaders declared three days of rage. (Is there any other kind?)

But such declarations are pro forma. In truth, West Bank Palestinians are better off than in past years. They’re largely more critical currently of their own leaders than of Israel or America. The predicted Trump-induced outrage, therefore, is likely to be shallow and short-lived.

As for the rest of the Arab world: Its despots can no longer change the subject from poverty, bad governance and hopelessness in their own lands to anger on the Palestinians’ behalf.

Sure, there’s still much hatred of Israel across the region. But the old guard of Israel-haters is aging out of the picture, and Mideast violence is now largely based on Sunni-Shiite rivalry and other sectarian enmities. The haves will fight the have-nots. The poor will rage against the corrupt.
Abbas, King Abdullah meet to discuss Trump decisions
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday met with Jordanian King Abdullah to discuss US President Donald Trump’s changes to American policy on Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, in a speech at the White House, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated a process to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with decades of American policy on the city.

However, the American president stated he was not taking a position on the final status of Jerusalem, which he said Israel and the Palestinians would decide in future peace talks.

“[Abbas] informed the Jordanian monarch of the latest developments regarding Jerusalem, the dangers facing it…the future mechanism to protect the holy city and support our people there,” the official PA news site Wafa said in a report, without elaborating.

On Wednesday evening, Abbas condemned Trump’s decisions in televised remarks, saying that they “embody a declaration of the United States’s withdrawal from undertaking the role” of an interlocutor in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Palestinians riot in West Bank, Gaza as tempers flare over Jerusalem
Protests erupted across the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip on Thursday, as Palestinians raged against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a speech the previous day.

At various locations around the West Bank and Gaza hundreds of Palestinians held demonstrations against the move, setting fires, chanting and clashing with troops.

Demonstrators also burned posters of US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Israeli and American flags.

Dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were reported injured, mostly from tear gas inhalation and Israeli rubber bullets, but also some from live rounds.
Palestinian protesters burn pictures of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City, on December 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)

On Thursday, Hamas terror group leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising. The Palestinian Authority canceled classes for its West Bank school system for Thursday, in an apparent attempt to get more young Palestinians to clash with Israeli troops. Shops were shuttered to begin three “days of rage” over Trump’s decision.

In light of a “situational assessment by the IDF General Staff,” that army said it “decided that a number of battalions will reinforce the area of [the West Bank], as well as combat intelligence and territorial defense units.”
Man holding Palestinian flag smashes windows of kosher restaurant in Amsterdam
Police are investigating the smashing of the windows of a kosher restaurant in a heavily-Jewish part of the Dutch capital by a man wearing a Palestinian flag.

The incident at HaCarmel restaurant occurred Thursday morning, hours after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The AT5 television station showed a video of the incident, in which a man holding a large stick while holding a Palestinian flag and wearing a Palestinian keffiyah, or shal, on his head proceeds to smash the window and kick down the restaurant’s doors as passersby and two police officers look on. The officers wait until he breaks into the restaurant. They pause as he returns out to the street from the restaurant’s interior holding an Israeli flag that he took from there. He throws it at their feet. They then overpower the man and arrest him.

Contacted by JTA, an employee at HaCarmel declined to comment on the circumstances of the incident, which the Federative Jewish Netherlands group reported online with a pictures of a Dutch police officer kneeling in front of a shattered glass window, with a Star of David hanging on the restaurant’s wall in the background.

Herman Loonstein, who heads Federative Jewish Netherlands, said the incident at HaCarmel happened when no patrons were inside the restaurant and ended without injury. “But it is nonetheless an attack, a terrorist attack, carried out by a man whose behavior was that of a terrorist,” he told JTA.
Hamas leader Haniyeh calls for Intifada against Israel over Jerusalem status
“Tomorrow, December 8, 2017, should be a day of rage and the beginning of a major effort to rise up, which I will name the intifada of Jerusalem and the West Bank’s freedom,” Haniyeh said in a televised speech. “As we liberated Gaza, we are able…to free Jerusalem and the West Bank by the way of this popular struggle.”

On Wednesday in a speech at the White House, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated a process to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, the American president stated he was not taking a position on the final status of Jerusalem, which he said Israel and the Palestinians would decide in future peace talks. Haniyeh also said that Palestinian militants should be “empowered to operate” in the West Bank to respond to Trump’s decisions. Since Hamas forcibly ousted the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority from Gaza in 2007, the Palestinian Authority security forces have cracked down on Hamas and other groups’ military infrastructure in the West Bank and undermined their sources of funding.

Meanwhile, the IDF has also targeted militant groups’ activities in the West Bank and arrested Hamas members allegedly planning attacks against Israelis.

In his speech, Haniyeh added that the Palestinian people needs to overcome its differences and unite for the sake of Jerusalem. “We are a people in one boat. The time has come for us to be strong in this boat, hold onto each other, push each other forward, unite, and stand together…We need to quickly overcome all the issues and details in order to turn our attention to Jerusalem and al-Aksa.”
Honest Reporting: Trump’s Embassy Move: Behind the Hysteria
Where do we stand now?

President Trump has signed two documents: the first is a proclamation that as a matter of U.S. policy America recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the President is directing the State Department to begin preparations to build a new embassy, and the second is another six month waiver of the Act.

The waiver is necessary in this case because the logistics of building an embassy take time, and without the waiver the 1995 Act would cut off needed funding from the State Department as of the next fiscal year.

Only time will show us how this week’s events will affect Israel’s standing in the world, the decisions of other countries regarding Israel’s capital, and the role of the United States as a “broker” in a potential peace process. The basic elements of dispute over borders, the future of Palestinian statehood, and the safety of Israelis from terrorism, all remain.

Yet as the current media hysteria begins to quiet down, we will be left with a new reality: that President Trump’s recognition of the Israeli capital is now the official policy of the United States of America. And regardless of one’s opinion on this policy, it has a firm basis in logic, law and history.
Netanyahu: More countries plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Israel is talking with more countries about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

His announcement comes as the UN Security Council in New York prepares to hold a meeting in New York to discuss US President Donald Trump’s decision Wednesday to officially recognize Jerusalem and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I would like to announce that we are already in contact with other countries which will issue a similar recognition," Netanyahu said at the Foreign Ministry’s Digital Diplomacy Conference in Jerusalem.

He lauded Trump’s decision explaining that he had earned himself “an eternal role” in Jerusalem’s history and the annals of the Jewish people.

“Yesterday was a momentous day, an important one,” Netanyahu said. “Jerusalem has an extraordinary history and over the millennium, you can cite a few significant milestones, yesterday’s statement by President Trump is such a milestone.”

Netanyahu added he had no doubt that once the US embassy is relocated to Jerusalem and even before, other countries would follow suit.
Following US, Czechs recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital
The Czech Republic on Wednesday followed in the footsteps of U.S. President Donald Trump and declared that it, too, recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Prague officials, however, said the country will consider moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only after consultations with its regional partners.

"The Czech Republic currently, before the peace between Israel and Palestine is signed, recognizes Jerusalem to be in fact the capital of Israel in the borders of the demarcation line from 1967," the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry then qualified the move, saying, "The Czech Republic, together with other EU member states, following the EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions, considers Jerusalem to be the future capital of both states, meaning the State of Israel and the future state of Palestine. The ministry will consider moving the Czech Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only based on results of negotiations with key partners in the region and in the world."

The Czech Republic is one of Israel's closest allies. Its predecessor state, Czechoslovakia, was one of 33 countries to vote in favor of the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan that supported the establishment of a Jewish state and was among the first countries to recognize the State of Israel.
UN Security Council to hold emergency session on Jerusalem
The UN Security Council will meet on Friday in an emergency session to discuss the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the council’s leadership announced Wednesday.

The talks — requested by eight nations — will begin at 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), but there are other items on the agenda, so the Jerusalem issue may not come up until the late morning, said Japan, which holds the council’s rotating presidency.

Bolivia, Britain, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay requested the talks. They have also asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to open the meeting with remarks.

After Trump’s announcement, Guterres said Jerusalem’s final status could only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Guterres added that he had “consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures.”

Bolivian Ambassador to the UN Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump’s move “a reckless and a dangerous decision which goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council.”
Trump’s Recognition Of Jerusalem Makes ‘Peace’ More Likely
Later today Donald Trump is expected to make a largely symbolic but important gesture, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — not as an international capital or shared capital or capital in flux or as any of the other fantasies anti-Israel types have harbored since 1967. The most consequential long-term benefit of the move is that it begins to undercut a myth that’s stood for years.

Palestinian leadership might have deluded their own people for decades, but there is no conceivable peace deal that includes a truly divided Jerusalem. Like the Right of Return, the notion that a part of Jerusalem proper will be handed over to an antagonistic government, much less the remnants of the PLO and their on-and-off political partners Hamas, is a fantasy. This is not a radical Likud position, it’s one of the few issues that all major political parties, left and right, agree on in Israel.

Jerusalem, after all, is not some concocted modern capital. The place itself is the affirmation of the Jewish claim on Israel. Consequently, the coming protests over Trump’s move are not merely about a city, they are about challenging the right of Israel to exist — a self-destructive position that most Palestinians still embrace. This isn’t new. There has been a destructive effort within the Muslim world — although it has been taken up by others, including the United Nations — to deny the religious and historic connection between the city and the Jews. Moving the embassy, even if it entails nothing more than hanging a sign on a new building, is a pushback against attack on an ally.

That is, if you still view Israel as a close ally. Most do. Over the past 30 years, in fact, politicians keep telling voters that an undivided Jerusalem is the capital of Israel then doing nothing about it once they’re elected — and not some of them, but virtually all of them.
The Middle East ‘Peace Process’ Meme: WHAT Peace Process?
Now that he formally has announced that the United States of America fully recognizes Jerusalem as the undisputed capital of the country of Israel, President Donald Trump once again has proven that he is the first American President since Ronald Reagan who actually fulfills campaign promises he made to the American people who elected him. He promised to nominate to the United States Supreme Court a brilliant conservative judicial intellect in the tradition of the late Justice Antonin Scalia — and he named Neil Gorsuch to the High Court. He promised to continue naming impeccable conservative judges to the federal courts, and he continually has been doing so. He promised to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. To tighten the southern border and to begin the process of building a wall to choke off the opioids supply while addressing a broken and corrupted immigration policy.

He promised to roll back taxes to make American businesses competitive with those around the world, while ramping up the economy and laying the foundation for the creation of more jobs. He promised to address the regulatory stranglehold that has choked American energy and commerce. He walked away from the European climate conference and the Trans-Pacific boondoggle. He has confronted NAFTA and ended the nonsense of other multi-lateral global trade plans that always leave America subject to being cheated with little recourse. He is attempting to cut federal funds from Secessionist (“Sanctuary”) cities and “Resistance” states that defy the government of the United States. He has taken demonstrable steps to improve medical care for veterans. Hydraulic fracturing, oil exploration, clean coal development, and the entire gamut of all forms of energy harnessing now are back on the table, as he fulfills his promise to make America more energy-independent and thus less hostage to the fickle designs of tyrannical oil sheikdoms and two-bit dictatorships. He does not bow down to sheiks nor salsa with tyrants.

And now he has fulfilled his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the country of Israel.
Rallying Cry of Jerusalem May Have Lost Force in Arab World
While Arab leaders have continued to pay lip service to the Palestinian cause, it has slipped in importance, displaced by the Arab Spring uprisings, the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the threat of the Islamic State, and the contest between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional dominance. Persian Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, more concerned about their rivalry with Iran, have found their interests increasingly overlapping with those of Israel.

Arab leaders have often counted on declarations of support for the Palestinian cause as a reliable way to appeal to their people, and sometimes as a distraction from domestic problems, including lack of political freedoms and economic opportunities.

But while the passion for the Palestinian cause among many Arabs was genuine, those in power often exploited it for their own aims.

When Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia and political party formed to fight Israel, sent fighters to help save President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, claimed in a speech that “the road to Jerusalem” went through a list of Syrian cities, including Aleppo.

Critics posted maps on social media showing that that was only true if you took a particularly circuitous route.
Aaron Klein: Six Palestinian Lies About Trump’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared that “it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” calling the move “a long overdue step to advance the peace process.”

In response to the move, the Palestinian Authority and numerous Arab nations have launched a propaganda offensive based on lies and misinformation. Most of the dishonest talking points have not been countered by the news media. Below, in no particular order, are six of those lies that must be called out.

1 – The embassy move does not impact the PA’s ability to create a state.
Contrary to the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda claim that Trump’s move negates their ability to form a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem, the U.S. moving its embassy to the city does no such thing. It is illogical to argue that the presence of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem impacts the PA’s statehood plans in any way.

2 – Abbas claims that Trump withdrew from the so-called peace process when he did no such thing.
Abbas dishonestly claimed that Trump’s decision was a “declaration of the withdrawal of the United States” from the so-called peace process.

Perhaps Abbas didn’t catch Trump’s actual speech, in which he explained the move was meant to further the so-called peace process.

3 – PA warnings about violence are really threats against the U.S.
The PA and numerous Arab countries have been warning that Trump’s Jerusalem decision could lead to an escalation of violence. These “warnings” seem not only to justify a violent reaction but to almost encourage violence in response to Trump’s announcement. The statements serve as implied threats against U.S. interests and should not be tolerated. The warnings only serve to expose the radicalism of those who annunciate such barely veiled threats.

4 – The embassy move will not isolate the U.S.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett correctly pointed out in a statement emailed to Breitbart News:

On May 15, 1948, the United States, led by President Truman, was the first nation to recognize the newly declared State of Israel. The rest of the world quickly followed. The President did so despite the huge pressures from within.

Today, Trump showed real leadership and I fully expect allies of Israel to eventually follow the president’s example. Already, the speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Job Ndugai, stated of Trump’s decision, “I believe it will be followed suit by several African countries, Tanzania included, to move said quarters from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

5 – The Palestinians claim Trump’s decision to recognize Israel’s capital will change facts on the ground. This while hypocritically constructing illegal housing units on Jewish-owned property that have already changed facts on the ground by grabbing land in Jerusalem.

While Trump’s decision does not impede the Palestinians’ statehood bid (see #1 above), the Palestinians have been busy constructing illegally on Jewish-owned property in Jerusalem.

6 – The Al Aqsa Mosque is not threatened by Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.

The Palestinians have been making this ludicrous claim in their protests against the U.S. policy pronouncement. They don’t explain how an embassy move – in a few years from now, and to an unknown location as of today – threatens the mosque located on the Temple Mount.

The only threat to the Mosque complex are the Palestinians themselves, at least as far as freedom of worship. Israel allows the Jordanian and Palestinian-controlled Waqf to serve as custodians of the Temple Mount and grants Muslim worshipers access to the Mount 24 hours per day, seven days a week with the exception of rare instances of security threats.
Mark Langfan: Religious terrorism
We are repeatedly scolded for not agreeing to the opinion that “Islam is a peaceful religion,” that “the Islamic Radical Terrorists don’t represent true Islam” and so on and so forth. Except when it comes to Israel, Islam proves it is not a religion of peace, but a religion of pure unadulterated terrorism. Take, for instance, the Islamic reactions to President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Virtually every Islamic or Arab leader’s reaction is laced with threats of extreme violence against anything and everybody. The Islamic reaction to President Trump’s “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital” declaration exposes the true face of Islam as a religion of extreme violent terrorism.

Arutz Sheva reported that “Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the supreme Islamic institution of Sunni Muslims, on Tuesday warned that “the gates of hell” will open if the United States goes through with plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.” So, here you have the “Grand Imam” of the “supreme Islamic institution of the Sunni Muslims” proclaiming a clear grotesquely violent terroristic threat against everyone and everybody if Jerusalem is declared Israel’s capital. This is the Grand Imam of Egypt, a country that is supposedly at peace with Israel!

One would think the Grand Imam would have been more concerned about the hundreds of Sufi Muslims who were just murdered in the name of Sunni Islam in the northern Sinai a week or so ago. One would have thought the Grand Imam would have wanted to use this Trump Jerusalem Declaration moment to show how peaceful and non-violent Islam was so as to set a good example for all Muslims. But no, the Grand Imam shows he is just as much a bloodthirsty Muslim terrorist as the Muslim terrorists that murdered over 300 praying Muslims in a mosque.

Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t represent mainstream Islam?

Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t directly represent Islam itself?

Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t really understand Islam or the Koran?
HR's Daniel Pomerantz on i24 News Special Edition: The facts, the law, and special insights into a little known trend in the Arab world.

The Real Palestinian Response to Trump's Jerusalem Speech
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?
EU trashes Trump announcement
United States President Donald Trump's announcement that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital “has the potential to send us backward to even darker times than the ones we are already living in,” European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Thursday.

Mogherini, in the second sharp statement against the Trump decision in as many days, said in Brussels that Trump's announcement has a “very worrying potential impact.”

The EU, she said, “has a clear and united position: we believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two States, and with Jerusalem as the capital of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.”

Mogherini, who will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to Brussels on Monday to address the 28 EU foreign ministers, said that she and all the EU foreign ministers articulated their opposition to the move when they met on Tuesday with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Mogherini is scheduled to meet Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Friday. She noted that Jordan has “a very special role when it comes to the Holy Places,” and characterized King Abdullah II as “a very wise” man.

"He deserves and needs all our support in this difficult time and I believe we should all listen to him very carefully,” she said. “Because what we truly need in these difficult times is wisdom, and to listen to the wise voices calling for peace and for peaceful reactions.”
PA calls school strike, urges students to march against Jerusalem recognition
The Palestinian education ministry announced a general strike Thursday in protest of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The ministry called on teachers and students to take part in expected mass demonstrations and marches in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Israeli security forces are preparing for the possibility of large-scale riots in the wake of Trump’s announcement, as well the danger of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, as have happened in the past in the wake of perceived changes to the status of Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump’s “deplorable and unacceptable” move signified America’s withdrawal as a sponsor of the peace process.

The Palestinian leader said he was calling for an “emergency meeting” of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Committee to create a “unified national position” and put “all options before it.”

The Hamas terror group warned that Trump had opened “the gates of hell on US interests in the region.”
PMW: PA promises bloodshed if Trump recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel
Anticipating US President Trump's announcement on American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and the possible transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority and Fatah leaders and officials have stated that such an act is similar to a "declaration of war against the Palestinians," and that it will throw the whole region into "chaos" and "bloodshed."

The following is a collection of current statements made by Palestinian leaders:

In a phone interview on official PA TV, PLO chief negotiator and Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat explained what is in store if the US goes ahead with its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital:

"If the US dictates the fate of Jerusalem before the negotiations on the matter - whether by transferring the embassy [to Jerusalem], or what is even more dangerous, by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - this means the end of the entire peace process and the pushing of the region - with its peoples and borders - into the furnace of violence, chaos, extremism, and bloodshed." [Official PA TV News, Dec. 2, 2017]

In a press statement, Erekat further warned that American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "will create dangerous international anarchy... whose end will have dire consequences." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 4, 2017]

Similarly, PA and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned that the move will "destroy the peace process and drag the region into more instability and extremism." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 4, 2017]
Fatah official calls on Palestinians “to go out into the streets to express rage” after US decision

PLO Negotiator: Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital by US will lead to "violence” in region

Abbas’ advisor: "Entire world" will pay the price if the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Al-Qaida condemns Trump's Jerusalem move, calls for action
Islamist militant group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has condemned the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and called on militants to close ranks to support Palestinians.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed decades of US policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In the statement carried by the US SITE monitoring group, the Yemen-based AQAP said Trump's decision was the result of what it said were "normalization steps" between some Gulf Arab countries and Israel.

"It is also a clear challenge to the Muslim world that sees the centrality of the Palestinian cause," the group said. "In the face of this serious events, we stand by our people in Palestine and support them with all we possess."

Addressing Islamist militants, the group called on them to close ranks to be ready to support Palestinians and urged Muslims to help with money and weapons.

"If you do not move, God forbid, then tomorrow the holiest of places and the Muslims' Qiblah, Mecca, will be sold and you will find then no one to defend it," it said.

JCPA: Palestinian Reactions on Jerusalem – “Popular Protests” Are Not Spontaneous
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been met with Palestinian threats of violence.1

The American administration’s intent to change the status of Jerusalem motivated the Palestinians to carry out a comprehensive diplomatic counterattack. The following are the main lines of Palestinian actions:

Diplomacy: The Palestinian Authority (representing Fatah) and the Hamas movement launched diplomatic activities to convene an Arab/Islamic conference to discuss the status of Jerusalem and motivate the Arab League and influential countries, such as Turkey, to dissuade the United States from taking its planned action. While Fatah and Hamas publicly declare their commitment towards national reconciliation and to partnership in decision-making, in practice the bitter rivalry between them, based on the struggle for control of the PLO and the representation of the Palestinian people, continues.

Demonstration of Hamas Rule in the Gaza Strip: On December 4, 2017, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh convened the leaders of the Palestinian organizations in the Hamas offices in Gaza to discuss “threats” against Jerusalem; later they met with a Egyptian security delegation.2 The meeting, which was also attended by the Hamas leader, reflects the de facto control of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and demonstrates that the transfer of authority to the Palestinian Authority within the framework of the reconciliation initiative is only superficial.
FLASHBACK: All The Times Past Presidents Promised To Move US Embassy To Jerusalem
President Donald Trump will begin the formal process of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem Wednesday and recognize the city as Israel’s capital, actually fulfilling a campaign pledge many of his predecessors made.

The process of moving the embassy could take years and puts the U.S. in compliance with Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. Each president since the act’s passage has signed a waiver every six months while in office, keeping the embassy in the city of Tel-Aviv for national security concerns.

Former President Bill Clinton made Jerusalem a campaign issue in 1992, attacking then-former President George H.W. Bush for having allegedly “repeatedly challenged Israel’s sovereignty over a united Jerusalem” and vowing to move the embassy during his administration.

Clinton, however, believed moving the embassy and recognizing the capital may derail his many attempts at brokering a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
Iraq militia threatens US forces after Trump Jerusalem move
An Iranian-backed militia in Iraq threatened on Thursday to attack US forces in the country in retaliation for US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“The decision by Trump on Al-Quds (Jerusalem) makes it legitimate to strike the American forces in Iraq,” Al-Nojaba militia chief Akram al-Kaabi said in a statement.

The group, established in 2013 and supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, numbers around 1,500 fighters and is part of the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) auxiliary force that has fought alongside the army against the Islamic State terror group.

Trump’s move to end decades of US policy has sparked a storm of condemnation around the globe, both from Washington’s traditional allies and its international foes.
IsraellyCool: Abbas Slams Israel’s Disproportionate Response to Tomorrow’s Spontaneous Riots Against Embassy Move (satire)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “condemned in the strongest terms” Israel’s “disproportionate and indiscriminate” response to tomorrow’s completely spontaneous riots. Tomorrow’s riots will be a grass-roots, spur of the moment populist reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and will begin approximately 15 minutes after mid-morning prayers. Abbas described Israel’s “Barbaric” attack on tomorrow’s peaceful protesters at a news conference this evening.

“Tomorrow’s unplanned protest will have pre-printed signs. Additionally, if there are no rocks normally present at the site of your protest, tomorrow there will be. Reuters, Agence France, the BBC, and CNN will somehow be present and ready to film. Unless they film something that makes us look bad. In which case I would offer my sincere advice to the reporters that it is in the interest of their health and safety that they forget what they just saw……Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. We forcefully condemn Israel’s response. Especially when they injure that slow kid from Nablus named Mustafa with a tear gas canister. I will visit Mustafa in the hospital tomorrow evening at approximately 7 PM. At 8 PM one of the hacks from the Palestinian Authority will go on Egyptian TV and claim that Trump, the Pope, and Theresa May are all secretly Freemasons. At 9 PM I will call Mr. Trump and ask for more money.”

Mr. Abbas ended his Press Conference with an appeal to the International Community to condemn tomorrow’s actions by Israel, and that “failing to do so could jeopardize plans to celebrate the 13th Anniversary of my four-year term as President.”
Former Obama Ambassador to Israel Mocks ‘Heavy Breathing’ About Jerusalem Decision: ‘I Don’t Think It’s That Big of a Deal’
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro criticized the hysteria over President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday, saying he didn't think it was "that big of a deal."

Shapiro served during the Obama administration from 2011 until Obama left office in 2017.

Trump made the announcement about Jerusalem on Wednesday and also directed the State Department to begin plans to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The plan was heavily criticized by former Obama administration officials who warned it could inflame tensions in Middle East, and Palestinians and other Arab leaders have warned of possible resulting violence.

However, Shapiro took a different tone when asked about the decision by CNN's Jake Tapper, who pointed out the promise to move the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a political promise that had been made by candidates of both American political parties.

"I assume you don't think this was a smart move. Why not? This is a promise that every presidential candidate makes," Tapper said. "What's the big deal?"

"In fact, I don't think it's that big of a deal," Shapiro said.

"Oh, you don't," Tapper said in apparent surprise.
Shapiro criticizes 'heavy breathing' over Trump's Jerusalem decision: It's not that big of a deal

US Embassy Staff Riot Over Move to Jerusalem (satire)
While US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has yet to ignite the Middle East, the decision has led to protests from embassy staff who complained they had spent months perfecting their “beach bods” for nothing.

“[US Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson told me if I went to Israel, I’d be on the beach every day,” (< yup, watch the vid), said one masked embassy official, referring the embassy’s current location on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. “I spent, like, eight hours a week doing Crossfit. That’s time I’ll never get back.” Nearly all of the American officials in the country told The Mideast Beast they opposed the move, but few pointed to the impact it will have on the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “In Tel Aviv, I could stare at bikini-clad women all day, then drink on the beach at night,” one embassy worker said as he lit a Molotov cocktail. “What am I supposed to do in Jerusalem? Put on tefillin?”

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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