Monday, May 14, 2018

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich (WSJ$): America Recognizes One Jerusalem
The U.S. on Monday will officially open its new embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. This will correct a surreal policy whereby, since Israel’s independence 70 years ago, the U.S. and other nations have refused to recognize its sovereignty over its capital city. President Trump announced in December he would reverse the old policy. By moving the embassy he now translates words into deed.

The embassy’s exact location within Jerusalem has gotten much less attention, but it is equally consequential. It will be housed in buildings used by the American Consulate, as well as in an adjacent former hotel purchased by the State Department in 2014. Most of that complex is located on the far side of the armistice line that divided Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967. Thus the embassy site demonstrates that the U.S. not only sees Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but also—consistent with bipartisan calls from Congress—recognizes the city as unified.

The “Green Line” was created in the wake of Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence. Upon the country’s founding, Jordan and its allies invaded, with the goal of preventing the creation of a Jewish state. Although they failed at that goal, the Arab armies did occupy significant territory when the armistice was called, including what is now widely referred to as the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Jordan subsequently expelled all Jews from the areas under its control.

In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel recaptured these places. But in the war’s aftermath the United Nations invested the temporary 1949 armistice line with talismanic significance. The U.N. claimed Israel was “occupying” the territory that Jordan had forcibly seized not two decades earlier. Thus the international community came up with a unique demand: Israel had to keep the areas under its control, including East Jerusalem and the Old City, free of Jewish inhabitants. Any move to unify Jerusalem would be considered a war crime.

In international law, armistice lines are not borders; they merely mark breaks in the fighting. The claim that the Green Line created a permanent “Judenrein” zone in the area occupied by Jordan, or that it in any way changed the legal status of the territory on the far side, is unique and illiberal.

By ignoring the armistice line today, the U.S. is showing that it attaches no legal significance to this outdated demarcation. Having an embassy that straddles the Green Line means recognizing as Israel’s capital a unified Jerusalem that includes the Old City and other eastern areas. It means categorically rejecting the notion that Israel has no sovereign claims across the Green Line.

JPost Editorial: Game Changer
The opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem justifiably is being called a “game changer” and “historic.” Seventy years after the State of Israel was born and 51 years after the reunification of the capital, the US, the only world superpower, is not only recognizing Jerusalem’s integral importance to Israel, the Jewish state, but acting on that recognition.

This sends out several important messages, not least of which is the importance of not giving in to terror.

Some people have voiced opposition to the move on the grounds that it might give rise to a wave of Palestinian or Islamist terrorism in Israel or against Jewish or American targets abroad. Had US President Donald Trump accepted this line of thought, it would have only encouraged and rewarded terrorism instead of diplomacy. In what future scenario can negotiations take place with the Palestinians under a constant threat that they will step up terrorism if they don’t get exactly what they want?

The US Embassy move rights an historic wrong and makes clear the terms of any future peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. It removes from the agenda the question of Israel’s status regarding Jerusalem, which houses its parliament, Supreme Court, President’s Residence, almost all government ministries and, of course, the Jewish holy sites.

It is encouraging to note that now that the US has led the way, other countries are following suit: Guatemala, Paraguay and Honduras are all expected to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem in the near future.

Although European states are lagging, here, too, a change can be seen. According to news reports over the weekend, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic apparently blocked a European Union move to release a statement unanimously condemning the US Embassy move. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA on Saturday published a warning by the Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry that these countries would face “consequences on all levels, especially their relationship with the Arab and Islamic worlds.”
NYTs: May 14, 1948 | Israel Declares Independence
On May 14, 1948, the independent state of Israel was proclaimed as British rule in Palestine came to an end.

The May 15 New York Times reported, “The declaration of the new state by David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the National Council and the first Premier of reborn Israel, was delivered during a simple and solemn ceremony at 4 p.m., and new life was instilled into his people, but from without there was the rumbling of guns, a flashback to other declarations of independence that had not been easily achieved.”

After World War II and the Holocaust, in which six million European Jews were killed, the United Nations moved to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish sections. The United Nations adopted the partition plan in November 1947. This plan outraged Arabs, and sparked a civil war in Palestine. The Palestinian Arabs had greater numbers, but the Israelis were better armed and organized, and were able to overcome the Arabs. During this time, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs chose to or were forced to evacuate their homes.

The violence caused the United States to withdraw its support for partition. However, when Israel declared its independence, the United States immediately recognized the new state. The Times wrote, “In one of the most hopeful periods of their troubled history the Jewish people here gave a sigh of relief and took a new hold on life when they learned that the greatest national power had accepted them into the international fraternity.”

In video at Jerusalem embassy opening, Trump stresses commitment to peace
With hundreds in attendance to celebrate the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, US President Donald Trump hailed the move as a recognition of the Jewish people’s ancient capital, while stressing his commitment to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Exactly 70 years ago the United States under Harry Truman became the first nation to recognize the State of Israel. Today, we officially open the United States embassy in Jerusalem. Congratulations. It’s been a long time coming,” he said in a prerecorded video message.

“Almost immediately after declaring statehood in 1948, Israel designated the city of Jerusalem as its capital. The capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. So important,” Trump continued.

Noting that the city houses Israel’s main governmental facilities, Supreme Court, prime minister’s office and president’s home, Trump said that Israel, like other countries, had the right to declare its own capital.

“Yet for years we failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem,” he said. That changed last December 6, he said, when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem. And we’re opening it many, many, many years ahead of schedule,” he added.

Referring back to his December 6 recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, Trump said “our greatest hope is for peace.”

“The United States remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement,” he said, while reiterating his call for the existing “status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif,” to be preserved.

“We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy. May God bless all who serve there. And may God bless the United States of America,” Trump said.

Melanie Phillips: Embassy points the way to peace, truth and justice. Bravo, America
“President Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem affirms a great and simple truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for the past three thousand years. It’s been the capital of our state for the past 70 years. It will remain our capital for all time.

“Move your embassies to Jerusalem because it’s the right thing to do. And move your embassies to Jerusalem—listen to this: Move your embassies to Jerusalem because it advances peace, and that’s because you can’t base peace on a foundation of lies. You base peace on the foundations of truth, and the truth is that not only has Jerusalem been the capital of the Jewish people for millennia and the capital of our state from its inception, the truth is that under any peace agreement you could possibly imagine, Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital.”

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks at the event welcoming the US delegation for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem tomorrow.

Netanyahu thanks Trump for keeping promises, moving embassy to Jerusalem
Sixty-nine years after Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, and 23 years after the US Congress passed a law mandating that Washington move its embassy there, the US formally opened its embassy in the city on Monday afternoon, in a move Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "courageous" and "momentous."

"What a glorious day. Remember this moment!" Netanyahu entreated the applauding crowd. "President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful."

"Last December, President Trump became the first world leader to recognize Jerusalem as our capital, and today, the United States of America is opening its embassy right here in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said. "Thank you President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises!"

In a video address to the assembly, US President Donald Trump said the move was "a long time coming," and that Israel, like all sovereign nations, has a right to name its own capital.

Trump mentioned that the US would still be observing the status quo in terms of contested territories such as on Temple Mount.

"The US will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace," Trump said. "We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy. May God bless all who serve here and may God bless the United States of America."
Michael Oren: U.S. Embassy move will reverberate around the world
The US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem will have ramifications that stretch much further than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and former ambassador to the US Michael Oren predicted Monday.

Speaking to the press on a conference call hosted by the Israel Project’s head of the official embassy event, he said: “It’s important to keep sight of the global ramifications of what is going to happen today. That the fact that the president of the United States made a promise to move his embassy – he did it in the face of often brutal opposition from the international community, from the media, from within the US as well – the fact that he did this will have reverberations around the world.”

Oren, of the center-right Kulanu party, said: “The North Koreans will take note, the Russians will take note, everybody will take note. It’s not just about moving the embassy to Jerusalem, it’s about America’s credibility and ability to influence world affairs, and that in my mind is perhaps the greatest significance of today.”

Having just come out of a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Oren described the mood as “exuberant and excited” accompanied by a sense of gratification and gratitude to the Trump administration, which he hopes has now paved the way for other countries to follow suit.

Following the US withdrawal from the Iran agreement, Israeli military strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, Netta Barzilai’s Eurovision victory and the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, Oren described this as “the most extraordinary week we have had since June 1967 [the Six Day War].”

On an operational level, he said it would likely take a while for all of the different departments of the embassy to transfer to Jerusalem, but “the precedent has been set, and Ambassador [David] Friedman will be operating out of Jerusalem, and I think that precedent is thankfully irreversible.”
Schumer Praises Trump for Moving Embassy to Jerusalem: ‘Long Overdue Move’
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) praised President Donald Trump Monday upon the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem, calling it a "long overdue move."

Trump fulfilled a long-made promise by politicians of both parties, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Avi of the Jewish state's founding. It opened Monday at a festive ceremony attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Republican Senators Ted Cruz (Texas), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and officials from around the world.

While no Democrats attended the opening, Schumer applauded the occasion.

"In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem," Schumer said in a statement. "Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it."

The Jerusalem Embassy Act passed easily in the U.S. Congress in 1995 and called for the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the embassy there. However, the law included a provision allowing the president to issue a waiver to delay the embassy move six months at a time, and Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama did on every occasion, citing security concerns.
Israel’s justice minister calls Trump the ‘Churchill of the 21st century’
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Monday called US President Donald Trump the “Churchill of the 21st century” for his decision to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Shaked said that with his move Trump had “reversed Chamberlain’s policy of capitulation” and shown the world that “Israel is running the show here.”

She was speaking in Jerusalem at a breakfast organized by the Orthodox Union to celebrate the embassy move.

Previous US presidents of both parties refrained from opening embassies in Jerusalem, arguing that the city’s final status should first be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Shaked appeared to be comparing that policy to British prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazis prior to World War II, suggesting Trump was like his successor, Winston Churchill, who led the war effort.

Shaked, from the right-wing Jewish Home party, bashed Europe for not learning from history. She told the invited guests Europe “closed its eyes to the strengthening of the Nazis. Today it is choosing to close its eyes to the strengthening of Iran.”
Rivlin: Diplomatic ‘blockade’ on Jerusalem has been broken
President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday hailed his US counterpart Donald Trump for moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, saying the move would cause other countries to shed their reluctance on moving their embassies to the city.

“Following [the US] the embassies of other countries will also move to our capital Jerusalem. The diplomatic blockade has been broken and will be broken,” he said at the official event at Ammunition Hill marking Jerusalem Day.

Jerusalem Day, which came a day before Monday’s inauguration of the US embassy, marks the reunification of the city after Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War.

Rivlin thanked Trump for his “brave step” of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while calling the US “our oldest friend.”

At a Foreign Ministry reception earlier celebrating the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Trump was making history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called on world leaders to follow Washington’s lead and bring their missions to the Israeli capital.

Thanking the US delegation in Jerusalem for the embassy opening, set for the following day, Netanyahu said, “There are no greater supporters of Israel on the face of the earth.”
Ted Cruz: The U.S. embassy move: A powerful message, America will stand by our friends
Exactly 70 years ago – on May 14th, 1948 – Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion brought together members of the Jewish People’s Council in the Tel Aviv Museum.

The Zionist movement to rebirth a Jewish state had already been at work for decades. That day Ben-Gurion stood underneath a portrait of the pioneer of that movement, Theodore Herzl, and affirmed the historic right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

‘The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

‘After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.’

He then declared the founding of the modern State of Israel. 11 minutes later, President Harry S. Truman courageously recognized the State of Israel, over the objection of many of his advisors and the State Department.

Seven decades later, on December 6, 2017, President Trump made another courageous decision when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced the U.S. Embassy would be moved there.

I have long advocated that the United States take this action, and I commend President Trump for fulfilling this campaign promise.

Presidents of both parties had made the same promise, and repeatedly failed to follow through. Finally, 70 years later, America is at last recognizing Israel’s true capital.
Top pro-Israel evangelical leader sees ‘wellspring’ of support for Jewish state
During a congregational trip to Israel in 1978, Pastor John Hagee underwent a conversion of sorts at the Jerusalem Old City’s Western Wall.

At the site revered by Jews for 2,000 years following the destruction of the Second Temple, Hagee, 78, a devout evangelical Christian, “felt a very special presence” and had an awakening, he told members of The Times of Israel at a roundtable interview on Sunday.

“I really felt that there was something that I should be doing to try to bring Christians and Jews together in a dimension that was nonthreatening, and not trying in any way to be conversionary,” he said.

Since that day at the Western Wall, Hagee has become a leading pro-Israel voice in the evangelical Christian world. And his message is heard by the multitudes — including the current president and vice president of the United States — as the pastor’s multi-million-dollar John Hagee Ministries television programming is beamed into homes around the world.

Four decades ago, upon his return to San Antonio, Texas, the minister was under no illusion that it would be easy to bring Jews and Christians together. However, following the June 1981 Israeli airstrike on the Osirak, Iraq, nuclear reactor, as Israel was being denigrated on national television for implementing “gunbelt diplomacy,” Hagee felt it was time to act.
The Osirak reactor prior to the 1981 Israeli bombing (photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I knew that Israel should be congratulated and not criticized. So I immediately picked up a legal pad and said to my wife, “We’re gonna have a night to honor Israel. And I want to call all of the churches in the city together, and we’re going to give a tribute to the Jewish people for all that they’ve given to our nation and to Christianity,” said Hagee. This year marks the 38th annual mega event.
In Jerusalem, GOP senators slam Democrats for skipping embassy opening
Hours before the official inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem, controversy erupted over the fact that not a single Democratic congressman was scheduled to attend the festive event.

Two senior US senators from the Republican party expressed deep regret that none of their colleagues from the other side of the aisle chose to attend the ceremony. One of them blamed former president Barack Obama for the ostensible crack in the traditional bipartisan nature of the US support for Israel.

“That is a sad, sad manifestation. I wish he’d have every member of Congress here,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz said Monday morning in Jerusalem.

“I don’t know why the Democrats will not be here, chose not to come. Every member of Congress had the option before them to come and be here. There was no way on earth we could have inaugurated this embassy without my being here to celebrate it. It’s too important,” said Cruz.

Cruz is currently in Israel as member of a delegation of four US senators — all from the GOP.
This file photo taken on March 20, 2017, shows US Senator Lindsey Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said he personally invited some Democrats to join the delegation, but indicated that none heeded his call. He also expressed disappointment over the fact that merely “a handful” Republicans traveled to Jerusalem to mark the embassy opening.

“I would just assume that the Republicans who didn’t come had [scheduling] conflicts,” he told reporters at a press conference in the capital’s King David Hotel. “But I am disappointed that not one Democrat came. What does that say? It’s not for me to tell you what that says. It hurts me. Because I work across the aisle on a regular basis. I think it was a mistake, because there’s too much going on in this region.”

WFB UPDATED 11:07 A.M.: One Israeli news outlet has reported that Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.) was part of the American delegation attending the dedication ceremony. This story will be updated further if Deutch's attendance is confirmed.
Theresa May: UK will not move its embassy to Jerusalem
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday that her country had no plans to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

A spokesperson for the prime minister said the UK’s position has not changed, and that it disagreed with US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

“The PM said in December when the announcement was first made that we disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement,” the spokesman said. “The British embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.”

Britain was one of 128 countries that in December voted in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition earlier that month of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and calling on countries not to move their diplomatic missions to the city.

Even though the United Kingdom is in the process of negotiating its exit from the European Union, its policy on Jerusalem matches that of the bloc.
Revolt: Three EU nations block resolution meant to “embarrass and isolate” the White House
Preparations are underway for the grand opening of the new United States embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. While the President won’t be able to attend as he prepares for his summit with North Korea, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have arrived to do the honors along with a number of other delegates. But not everyone is quite so thrilled with this development, particularly in some parts of the European Union. They were preparing to put forward a resolution condemning the embassy move, delivering a statement which was explicitly designed to “embarrass and isolate the Trump administration” ahead of the ceremony.

That nasty little poison pill fell apart this weekend, however, when three member nations blocked the resolution. The objection was led by Hungary, which was quickly joined by Romania and the Czech Republic. (Axios)

Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, in coordination with Israel, today blocked a joint EU statement criticizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli officials and European diplomats told me.

Behind the scenes: The initiative to publish the statement was led by France and several other EU member states. Israeli officials say the goal was to present to the U.S. a common position against the move by all 28 member states, and to embarrass and isolate the Trump administration ahead of Monday’s ceremony.

It turns out that the driving force behind the original resolution was French President Emmanuel Macron. Nice ally, eh? And it was only a few weeks ago that he was over here getting all touchy-feely with Trump amid speculation that he was playing some sort of flattery game to advance his position with the United States. So it’s perhaps not all that surprising that the revolt would be led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who has been no fan of the socialist bent of the European Union and frequently acted as a thorn in the side of Brussels.
Greenblatt: Delaying embassy move brought us no closer to peace agreement
With the US poised on Monday afternoon to formally open its embassy in Jerusalem, following years when successive administrations deferred on the step because of stated concerns that it would trigger violence and hurt the peace process, US Mideast negotiator Jason Greenblatt laid out in a Twitter thread Monday morning the administration’s reasons for the move.

First, he wrote, the 1995 bipartisan Jerusalem Embassy Act urging the move was unanimously affirmed by the Senate in 2017.

“More than two decades of waivers delaying the Embassy move brought us no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,” wrote Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations.

“Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Israeli Supreme Court and is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and President, as well as the headquarters of many government ministries,” he explained.

Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he said, citing Trump’s remarks explaining the move last December, “is simply a recognition of reality. Israel is a sovereign nation, and like every other sovereign nation, it has the right to determine its own capital.”
EXCLUSIVE - Sex Therapist Dr. Ruth at 90: I Could Never Have Dreamed Of Being In Israel At This Time
Renowned sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who is slated to attend the opening of the relocated U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, told Breitbart Jerusalem in an exclusive interview that she could have never imagined being in Israel celebrating the country’s 70th anniversary.

“I am particularly happy to be here for the 70th year of Israel,” Dr. Ruth said.

“It’s something that I would have never dreamed [of], that I would have the privilege to be here after 70 years of Israel’s declaration,” she said.

She recalled hearing Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion declare the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 from Tel Aviv, and joked that since she wasn’t yet famous, she wasn’t there to witness the momentous occasion live.

“I was in Jerusalem and I heard him talk from Tel Aviv on the radio because at that time I wasn’t Dr. Ruth,” she quipped.

The octogenarian, who turns 90 next month, said she was “really hoping” that this time around she would be in the right place at the right time, namely in Jerusalem during the opening of the U.S. embassy in its new location.

However, she was quick to add the caveat, “I don’t talk politics.”

Dr. Ruth, who was invited to Israel as the keynote speaker at the Forbes Under 30 Global Summit, said she never imagined not making the Jewish state her home.

She first arrived in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine in 1945 and was trained as a sniper with the Haganah – the paramilitary forerunner to the IDF – in part because of her tiny 4-foot-7-inch stature.
Jerusalem soccer team to be renamed ‘Beitar Trump’
Jerusalem’s largest soccer club announced Sunday that it has changed its name to “Beitar Trump Jerusalem,” in honor of the US president’s recognition of Israel’s capital and moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv.

In an announcement on Facebook, the team praised the US president.

“For 70 years has Jerusalem been awaiting international recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel,” the club wrote. “President Trump has shown courage, and true love of the Israeli people and their capital, and these days other countries are following his lead in giving Jerusalem its rightful status.”

The announcement comes the day before the official opening of the new embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, in a ceremony to be attended by US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Adviser Ivanka Trump, and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, as well as ambassadors and officials from all over the world.
Erekat: Trump promoting international anarchy with embassy move
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned the Trump Administration's decision to open the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the eve of "Nakba Day," stating that its support of Israel "is promoting international anarchy."

"As the Palestinian people continue to endure 70 years of ongoing Nakba, ethnic cleansing and exile, as well as over 50 years of occupation, the US administration has chosen to celebrate it by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," said Erekat.

Erekat accused the US of violating international law, saying the decision was the latest in a long line of moves undermining the chance of reaching a peace agreement.

"Just as it previously did with UNESCO and by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Trump Administration is promoting international anarchy by supporting Israel and its blatant and systematic violations of international legitimacy resolutions," said Erekat.
PA demands world recognize J'lem as its capital
On the eve of the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority demanded Sunday that world leaders recognize the eastern portion of the city as the PA capital.

The US is poised Monday to officially relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem, following President Donald Trump’s December 6th declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The Palestinian Authority, however, has urged foreign diplomats to boycott Monday’s embassy unveiling, and called on the international community to react to the US embassy move by recognizing eastern Jerusalem as the PA capital.

PA spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud called the US embassy move a violation of international law, the PA mouthpiece WAFA reported Sunday.

“[This is] the most bizarre act undertaken by world leaders throughout history,” Mahmoud said of President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem.
Only about half of Arabs consider embassy transfer dangerous
On the occasion of the US Embassy in Jerusalem's move and its diplomatic implications in the tense region, I24News International News Channel published an extensive survey including an examination of Jewish and Arab attitudes regarding the American move. The survey was conducted among Israeli Jews as well as among Israeli Arabs through Geocartography Knowledge Group.

Regarding whether the American embassy transfer to Jerusalem is a positive or dangerous move, 56.2% of the public believes it to be a positive move, while 23.9% believe it is dangerous.
Is moving US embassy positive or risky?i24News

However, an examination of the identity of the respondents found among Jews a broad consensus of 66.3% viewing the move as positive, while only 6% of the Arab citizens agree with this view - against 48% of Arab respondents considering this is a dangerous move, compared to 19.1% of Jews agreeing with this position.

Examining the question of which city the public believes should be the capital of a Palestinian state if and when such a state is established, 24.6% of the public believes this capital should be established in Ramallah, the highest figure among the general public. Here, too, one can find a clear division between Jews and Arabs, with 27.1% of the Jews choosing this city, and only 12% of the Arabs.

Among additional options it was possible to find Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Abu Dis, as well as the option to respond there would be no Palestinian state.
Arab League to discuss ‘illegal’ US embassy move to Jerusalem
The Arab League will hold emergency talks Wednesday to discuss Washington’s “illegal” decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a senior official said.

The meeting will focus on “ways of countering the illegal decision by the United States to move the embassy to Jerusalem,” the organization’s deputy secretary general for Palestinian affairs, Saeed Abu Ali, said.

He told reporters the permanent representatives of members of the Cairo-based Arab League would meet “at the request of the state of Palestine.”

The US embassy was set to open in the Jerusalem on Monday afternoon amid a global outcry and Palestinian anger over the unilateral decision by US President Donald Trump. The move has been welcomed by Israeli politicians from across the board.
Al-Qaeda Calls on Muslims to Carry Out Jihad Against US in Response to Jerusalem Embassy Move
In a five-minute video entitled “Tel Aviv is Also a Land of Muslims,” Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Muslims to carry out a jihad against the United States in response to America’s decision to move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon, took over the radical terror organization after founder Osama Bin Laden was shot dead by American forces in 2011.

Al-Zawahiri railed against the Palestinian Authority as the “sellers of Palestine” and against US President Donald Trump as “the true face of the modern Crusade” who could only be met with “resistance through the call of Jihad,” according to a transcript by the SITE monitoring agency.

He also said that Bin Laden called the US “the first enemy of the Muslims, and swore that it will not dream of security until it is lived in reality in Palestine, and until all the armies of disbelief leave the land of Muhammad.”

Hamas called on Gazans to engage in violent protests and break through the security fence with Israel on Monday, at the same time as the US embassy inauguration festivities would occur in Jerusalem.
Al Qaeda Chief: Tel Aviv Is Also Muslim Land
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, speaking in a recording released on Sunday, the eve of plans by the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem, said that Tel Aviv was also Muslim land.

The United States has finalized preparations to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a ceremony scheduled for Monday.

President Donald Trump, who in December reversed decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, has sent his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner — both White House advisers — as part of a delegation to the ceremony.

Trump says he is making good on US legislation and presidential pledges dating back decades.

In his four-minute and 43 second message, Zawahri said all Muslim countries have effectively recognized Israel by signing the United Nations charter which calls for respecting the territorial integrity of every member state, including Israel.

“Many have even established public or secret relations with Israel and accepted that Tel Aviv or West Jerusalem be the capital of Israel, even though it is also Muslim land that cannot be ceded to Jews,” Zawahri said in the recording posted on a social media channel used by the Islamist militant group.

Back in Israel, Eurovision winner glad ‘we gave a reason for country to rejoice’
Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest winner Netta Barzilai touched down in Israel early Monday morning and told reporters she was delighted to have given the country a reason to rejoice.

“We are all hoarse, we’ve been celebrating all night and we haven’t really slept,” she said as she disembarked at Ben Gurion Airport.

Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in two decades Saturday as Barzilai clucked and bucked her way to the top of the international competition with the women’s empowerment anthem “Toy.”

“This is a great moment for me, for us as a delegation, and for us as a country that has so few reasons to rejoice at the moment,” she said. “It makes me happy to know that we have given such a reason to rejoice.”
Israel’s Netta Barzilai celebrates after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal, May 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Barzilai landed as the country was ending its celebrations of Jerusalem Day, marking the anniversary of Israel taking control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War, and a few hours before the official opening ceremony of the United States embassy in Jerusalem, seen as a great diplomatic achievement for the country.

“Thought creates the reality,” Barzilai said, thanking her team who worked with her for the past half year, “and that is what I learned from this journey.”

Barzilai’s win means Israel will host next year’s Eurovision competition — probably in Jerusalem — an event expected to bring thousands of fans and worldwide exposure to the Jewish state.
Who voted for Israel? Televoters are to thank for Eurovision win
Israel's Netta Barzilai pulled off her win on Saturday night at the Eurovision contest with ease, sailing into first place 93 points ahead of the second place contestant. Barzilai finished the night with 529 points overall, followed by Cyprus and then Austria, Germany and Italy.

But just who helped hand Israel the win in Lisbon, Portugal? The points are comprised of two different parts: juries from each country, and televoters from around the world.

After the jury votes - which come from a team of judges in each country - Israel was ranked in just third place overall. Just five countries - France, Finland, Austria, Czech Republic and San Marino - awarded Israel 12 points, the highest possible. By comparison nine countries - including Israel - gave 12 points to Austria.

But the voters - men, women and children across the 43 participating countries - picked Barzilai as the winner by a longshot. When the televotes were counted up, Israel received another 317 points, compared to 253 given to Cyprus and 249 given to Italy.

The televoters of eight countries awarded Israel their 12 points: Australia, Azerbaijan, France, Georgia, Moldova, San Marino, Spain and Ukraine.
Matti Friedman: To understand Israel, listen to its pop music
Many Israelis took extra pride in their country this weekend when the pop singer Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision musical contest—a major event in Europe and the Middle East—with a song bearing a distinctively Middle Eastern flavor. Considering the changes in Israeli popular culture over the past few decades, Matti Friedman explains what one can learn about the Jewish state from its music:

A telling cultural moment occurred at [Israel’s] official [70th]-anniversary gala, a glitzy musical extravaganza televised from Jerusalem on April 18 (the date of Independence Day on the Hebrew calendar). The opening number was, predictably, a Hebrew classic, “From the Songs of my Beloved Land,” with lyrics by Leah Goldberg, a revered poet who features on the 100-shekel banknote. . . . But the singer in a shiny white gown who belted out a cover for a national TV audience was Sarit Hadad, one of Israel’s biggest pop stars and the queen of a genre called “Mizraḥi,” or “eastern.” In the hands of Hadad, who has the style and vocal power of the great divas of the Arab world, and with the addition of instruments such as the oud, the poet’s words were transformed into a song of the Middle East. . . .

The division between Jews from Europe and Jews from the Islamic world remains one of Israel’s most painful fault lines, and it has played out in pop music. For many years, the Mizraḥi sound was scorned by the curators of Israeli culture and kept on the margins. In record stores, you’d have a section for “Israeli” music, meaning mostly music by artists of European ancestry and orientation, and a separate section for “Mizraḥi” or “Mediterranean” music, even though this music, too, was in Hebrew and produced in Israel. . . .

Recent years have seen a reversal. Mizraḥi music is now the country’s leading pop genre. . . . The contentious politician responsible for this year’s anniversary celebrations—and for Hadad’s [performance]—is the culture minister, Miri Regev, a combative voice known for railing against the old cultural elites. Regev, who is of Moroccan descent, belongs to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, whose political base has traditionally been heavy on Israelis with roots in the Islamic world. Regev regularly stokes nationalist sentiment and is reviled on the left. . . .
BBC Mistakenly Publishes Video About Israeli Eurovision Winner Despite Occupation (satire)
The Israeli winner of the 2018 Eurovision contest has been riling up quite the media frenzy- not because of her weight, culturally appropriated performance, or raunchy feminist message. The BBC has mistakenly produced a video of the Israeli singer after her Eurovision win this weekend, which left out the vital messages of oppression of Palestinians and destruction of their homeland by Israelis.

The BBC clarified their stance on accusations of anti-Semitism in the wake of the video: “Although we cannot 100% right this wrong, we have introduced measures to assure that more blatantly anti-Semitic slurs and mentions of occupation will be included in any form of journalism even alluding to traces of Israhell… Israel going forward.”

The BBC is regularly accused of victimizing Palestinians, offending Jews, and Islamophobia. Sometimes, even in the same article.
IsraellyCool: A Flashback To The 1999 Eurovision Song Contest In Israel
Aussie Dave posted earlier today about the order given to this year’s Eurovision presenters NOT to mention Jerusalem, only Israel. Many people joked that next year, they will have no choice since the contest will be held in Jerusalem, Israel.

Not being one to deal with hypotheticals, I decided to take a look and see what happened the last time the Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Israel, in 1999.

From minute 7:05, you can see the presenters proudly mention the city of Jerusalem, Israel in French, Hebrew and English.

Wonder what changed in the last 20 years?

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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