The Jerusalem announcement effect

President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there was controversial, and has been deeply unpopular with Palestinians and throughout much of the Middle East. It may also be unpopular in the US.

The Guardian: Defiant Donald Trump confirms US will recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Donald Trump has defied overwhelming global opposition by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but insisted that the highly controversial move would not derail his own administration’s bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a short speech delivered at the White House, Trump directed the state department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a process that officials say will take at least three years.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

Trump said: “My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

It is highly debatable whether this will help already difficult attempts at peace solutions, and may do the opposite.

The president’s announcement provoked condemnation from US allies, and a furious reaction from Palestinian leaders and the Muslim world.

Al Jazeera: Trump’s Jerusalem move roundly condemned at UN

During an emergency meeting, UN Security Council members widely condemned Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that has led to deadly clashes across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Eight countries called for the emergency meeting at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday, as Palestinians protested across the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip against the US president’s decision throughout the day.

Several countries resoundingly condemned the unilateral move by the US to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel says Jerusalem, which is under Israeli occupation, cannot be divided.

The international community has never recognised Israel’s claim to the entire city.

Predictably it provoked protests and violence – Reuters: Israeli strikes kill two Gaza gunmen, anti-Trump protests less intense

Israeli air strikes in Gaza killed two Palestinian gunmen on Saturday after rockets were fired from the enclave, in violence that erupted over President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump’s reversal of decades of U.S. policy has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies, who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks sparking more violence in the region.

Gaza militants launched at least three rockets toward Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip – which is controlled by the Islamist group Hamas – after dark on Friday. The day had been declared a “day of rage” by Palestinian factions protesting against Trump’s announcement on Wednesday.

Trump’s announcement has not been supported internationally, and has had limited support in the US.

Time: Rex Tillerson Is on a Lonely Mission to Defend Donald Trump’s Jerusalem Pronouncement

It’s a go-to catchphrase when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is called on to explain his boss on the world stage: “America first is not America alone.” Yet as President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, Tillerson on Wednesday stood all by himself.

The onslaught came from all sides as Tillerson, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, got an earful from many a U.S. ally on Trump’s Jerusalem move. So far, not a single country — other than Israel, of course — has thrown its support behind the declaration. Even Tillerson’s own State Department has conceded the announcement could sow unrest throughout the Middle East.

Asked about Trump’s decision, Tillerson insisted the president “still is very committed to the peace process” — an assertion that U.S. allies said Trump had disproven by going ahead with the move despite near-universal protestations. And while the decision directly affects his department, Tillerson acknowledged his role was relatively minimal, focused on ensuring the State Department and Pentagon had enough time to boost precautions to keep U.S. personnel overseas safe amid the inevitable backlash.

Tillerson claims US support: On Jerusalem, Trump obeys will of US people: Tillerson

“The president is simply carrying out the will of the American people,” Tillerson said at a news conference with Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

“This has to do with the US law and a US decision and every country has a right to decide what it wants to decide as to its embassy in Israel.”

But apart from the protests Trump’s announcement won’t take immediate effect, other than give the appearance of fulfilling a campaign promise.

Fox News: Trump’s Jerusalem move: President’s patented strategy of taking a half-step

With his speech about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump is following a familiar pattern.

He is taking a controversial step but not going all the way—taking a kind of halfway measure that fulfills a campaign promise but doesn’t necessarily have immediate consequences.

He has become the first president since Israel’s founding in 1948 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, although other presidential candidates have talked about doing so. At the same time, he is signing a waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months, and officials say it could take years to build an embassy in Jerusalem.

Indeed it could take years. Haaretz: Jerusalem Embassy Move Won’t Happen Next Year

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jeruaslem is likely to take at least two years due to logistical reasons. Tillerson stated that the move probably won’t happen “this year or next year.”

He added that Jerusalem’s “final status” will be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

So apart from provoking protests and claiming a promise has been kept, and making Middle East peace efforts harder, what has changed? Possible American approval of Trump. His approval rating had been slightly improved, until his Jerusalem announcement, after which it has dropped sharply to near lows again.

So what has been gained, apart from pleasing Israel, international condemnation, violent protests and pissing on the peace process?

Trump may have been delivering more for rich campaign supporters than for his voter support base.

 

39 Comments

  1. wackAmole

     /  December 10, 2017

    “until his Jerusalem announcement, after which it has dropped sharply to near lows again.”

    I said before that this move would get a mixed reaction from his crowd who aren’t too keen on Jewish Interests Wars. But Trump owed a $100 million dollar favour to a Jewish billionaire campaign backer.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  December 10, 2017

      Call it what it is – an act of political expediency to mollify the interests of a mega-donor, not a doplomatic initiative.

  2. David

     /  December 10, 2017

    The biggest tell is that aside from some press releases the arab world actually doesnt really care about the Palestenians and never has done but used it to smack Israel around. The myth that if this problem was solved it would bring peace to the middle east has been laid bare.
    With a deal maker in the white house and the Palestenians out of friends except Iran they should probably head to the negotiating table before they get washed away in the Sunni V Shia battle that is emerging.

    • wackAmole

       /  December 10, 2017

      The “street arab” cares big time, but most of his overlords are put in the annoying situation of having to do a lot sabr rattling while in fact not giving a rat’s bum and containing street riots about “Muh Palastine”.

    • Corky

       /  December 10, 2017

      That’s the dirty secret of the Middle East. Some Muslim countries ( Egypt) find it easier dealing with Israel than the many headed snake with a thousand tongues call Palestine.

      https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10573/palestinian-lies

    • Gezza

       /  December 10, 2017

      There has already been some informed speculation that this decision by Trump may well have the inintended consequence of uniting Sunni & Shia populations (if not all their dictatorial leaders) in renewed opposition to the US & Israel. Vladimir & Recep will be smiling on the inside.

      • Sunni / Shia unite. Ummmmmm

        • Gezza

           /  December 27, 2017

          How did majority Shia & Sunni countries vote on the UN resolution on the Trump decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

          • I’m not suggesting they can’t and won’t work for a common interest but they’re fiercely divided theologically

  3. Conspiratoor

     /  December 10, 2017

    So what words did he use and how did he couch this ‘one state’ solution.

    “Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world,” Trump said. “Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs. Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa mosque.”

    https://forward.com/news/israel/389389/trumps-jerusalem-announcement-is-a-big-deal-but-wont-actually-change-much/

  4. lurcher1948

     /  December 10, 2017

    Has anyone noticed how the muslim street arab can produce banners and flags to burn instantly and there must be trucks parked nearby with rocks and tyres at the ready for the 3 days of rage.How much money is raised to purchase USA and ISRAELI flags to burn…

      • Blazer

         /  December 10, 2017

        won’t be worth even reading…does blubbers want another free junket to..Israel.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  December 10, 2017

        I watched this vid yesterday lurcher. Interesting but I suspect there might be one or two statements in there masquerading as fact

    • Corky

       /  December 10, 2017

      Lurchy, no one beats the Palestinians for PR. They once produced ambulances that had been shelled in a recent skirmish by Israel… that was the claim. The one mistake they made was the bullet holes had rust around them. They must have mighty fast acting rust in the Middle East. Or maybe those sneaky Jews threw water on the bullet holes to speed up the process.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 10, 2017

    Trump the disruptor discovers yet another Progressive emperor with no clothes. World is shocked. Guardian is appalled.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 10, 2017

      Probably few surprises there. Notable for no mention of Ivanka and Jared.

  6. George

     /  December 10, 2017

    These claims that such a move by Trump will affect ‘peace talks’ is laughable.
    The Palestinians have had multiple chances to agree to a two party state but their ignorance and hatred of Israel will not permit a sensible solution.
    Can Arab and Jew agree to a peace process?
    Yes.
    Egypt certainly came to the table

    • Gezza

       /  December 10, 2017

      Only when the Zionists in government put the return of the Palestinian Dispora to Palestine, to accompany their own pleas to the Jewish Diaspora to come & live in Israel will they be making a genuine peace offering to the Palestinians & have a true basis for negotiation. They have no intention of ever doing so.

  7. Corky

     /  December 10, 2017

    Pete asks: ”So what has been gained, apart from pleasing Israel, international condemnation, violent protests and pissing on the peace process?”

    That question will be answered when Trumps tenure as president comes to an end.There will be much global celebrations. People will be overjoyed and talk about ” new beginnings.’ ‘A new president will talk of ‘bringing dignity back to his office”

    Then NOTHING..ZILCH…ZERO..NEGATIVE BALANCE.

  8. Tipene

     /  December 10, 2017

    Trump is all good:

  9. lurcher1948

     /  December 10, 2017

    Tell me who goes through life when walking some where on a major walkway in a major city and worries about a mad radical jew driving a rented truck over them, not me and JEWS dont burn tyres and flags as they won.end of story,GOD is GREAT so say the ISRAELIS,their god

    • Gezza

       /  December 10, 2017

      Around the world? Nobody worries about a Palestinian doing it, Lurch. And far more Palestinians are always killed by Israelis than the other way round. Luckily for us they only mainly seem to murder each other in Palestine. I suspect you’re getting Palestinians mixed up with other Arab & Muslim extremists, which isn’t surprising. 😎

      • Gezza

         /  December 10, 2017

        Anyhow Lurch, their God isn’t great. They’ve got it wrong. They’re still following the old one. V.2.0 saw him later updated with a 3-persons-in-one jobby. Ask any Christian. And they’ve got it wrong too. V3.0 saw those 3 replaced with a new, single entity, correcting all the bugs & errors that had crept in to the original V1.0. Ask any Muslim. And they got it wrong too. They all got replaced with V.4.0. Ask any Mormon. And they got it wrong as well. Ask any scientologist. Don’t even go there with the Hindus – your head will explode!

  10. Corky

     /  December 10, 2017

    I notice MSM is giving plenty of news coverage to the man-handling of Palestinian protesters by Israeli troops. Pity MSM didn’t show the same volume of news items with Palestinians trying to murder Jews on a daily basis.

    https://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2017/12/trump-jerusalem-msm-brings-big-guns/

  1. The Jerusalem announcement effect — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition