Arabs, Europe, U.N. reject Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Trump announces that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in Washington
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence listens as U.S. President Donald Trump announces that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy there, during an address from the White House in Washington, U.S., December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

December 7, 2017

By Mark Heinrich

LONDON (Reuters) – Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator.

The European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and its repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Major U.S. allies came out against Trump’s reversal of decades of U.S. and broad international policy on Jerusalem.

France rejected the “unilateral” decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem’s status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.

Israel, by contrast, applauded Trump’s move. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a pre-recorded video message that it was “an important step towards peace” and it was “our goal from Israel’s first day”.

He added that any peace accord with the Palestinians would have to include Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and he urged other countries to follow Trump’s example. [L8N1O660O]

Trump upended decades of U.S. policy in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risks aggravating conflict in the tinderbox Middle East.

The status of Jerusalem is home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths. Its eastern sector was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for the capital of an independent state they seek.

Israel deems Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital dating to antiquity, and its status is one of the thorniest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a pre-recorded speech, said Jerusalem was the “eternal capital of the State of Palestine” and that Trump’s move was “tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator.”

The last round of U.S.-brokered talks foundered in 2014 over issues including Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and Israeli accusations of Palestinian incitement to violence and refusal to recognise it as a Jewish state.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which has dominated Gaza since soon after Israel ended a 38-year occupation in 2005, said Trump had committed a “flagrant aggression against the Palestinian people”. Hamas urged Arabs and Muslims to “undermine U.S. interests in the region” and to “shun Israel”.

Protests broke out in parts of Jordan’s capital Amman inhabited by Palestinian refugees, with youths chanting anti-American slogans. In the Baqaa refugee camp on Amman’s outskirts, hundreds roamed the streets denouncing Trump and urging Jordan to scrap its 1994 peace treaty with Israel. “Down with America…America is the mother of terror,” they chanted.

Angry Palestinians switched off Christmas lights at Jesus’ traditional birthplace in the West Bank town of Bethlehem and in Ramallah. A tree adorned with lights outside Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, where Christians believe Jesus was born, and another in Ramallah, next to the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, were plunged into darkness.

All Palestinian factions called for a general strike and protest rallies at midday on Thursday.

“LEGALLY NULL” DECISION

The Saudi Royal Court issued a statement saying that the kingdom followed “with deep sorrow” Trump’s decision and warned of “dangerous consequences of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem”.

The statement described the move as “a big step back in efforts to advance the peace process”, and urged the U.S. administration to reverse its decision and adhere to international will.

Egypt, which forged the first Arab peace deal with Israel in 1979, brushed off Trump’s decision and said it did not change Jerusalem’s disputed legal status.

Jordan said Trump’s action was “legally null” because it consolidated Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Trump’s Jerusalem decision was dangerous and threatened the credibility of the United States as a broker of Middle East peace. He said the move would put back the peace process by decades and threatened regional stability and perhaps global stability.

Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, said Trump’s undertaking was a “death sentence for all who seek peace” and called it “a dangerous escalation”.

Turkey said Trump’s move was “irresponsible”.

“We call upon the U.S. Administration to reconsider this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid uncalculated steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

A few hundred protesters gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, a Reuters cameraman at the scene said. The protest was largely peaceful, though some of the demonstrators threw coins and other objects at the consulate.

Iran “seriously condemns” Trump’s move as it violates U.N. resolutions on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, state media reported. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier in the day that the United States was trying to destabilize the region and start a war to protect Israel’s security.

In Southeast Asia, the leaders of Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia denounced Trump’s action.

“This can rock global security and stability,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo, leader of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, told a news conference in which he called for the United States to reconsider its decision.

British Prime Minister Theresa May disagreed with Trump’s embrace of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital before a final-status agreement as this was unlikely to help nurture peace in the region, her spokesman said.

However, May’s spokesman welcomed Trump’s stated wish to end the conflict and his acknowledgement that the final status of Jerusalem, including boundaries within the city, must be subject to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not support Trump’s “unilateral” move.

“The status of Jerusalem is a question of international security that concerns the entire international community. The status of Jerusalem must be determined by Israelis and Palestinians in the framework of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations,” Macron told reporters in Algiers.

“France and Europe are attached to a two-state solution – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security within recognised international borders with Jerusalem the capital of both states,” he said.

“For now, I urge for calm and for everyone to be responsible. We must avoid at all costs avoid violence and foster dialogue,” he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there was no alternative to a two-state solution and Jerusalem was a final-status matter only to be settled through direct talks.

“I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” Guterres said. “I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations.”

(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Writing by Mark Heinrich; Editing by Andrew Heavens & Simon Cameron-Moore)

  • CCTexas

    So what?

  • Tony

    Allah gave the Holy Land to Israel in the Qur’an.

    – Allah prefers the children of Israel above other people. Qur’an 2:47 “O children of Israel, remember my grace which I graced on you, and I preferred you above the worlds.“

    – Allah favors the children of Israel. Qur’an 46:16 “And indeed, we gave the book and the wisdom and the prophethood to the children of Israel, and we provided them with the good things. And we favored them above the worlds.“

    – Allah desires for Israel to have their own land. Qur’an 17:103-104 “So he[pharaoh] desired to expel them out of the land, so we drowned him and all those that were with him. And we said after him to the children of Israel, ‘Dwell in the land, so when the promise of the hereafter comes to pass, we bring you all together.’ “

    – Allah assigns the Holy Land to the children of Israel. Qur’an 5:20-23 “And when Moses said to his people[children of Israel], ‘O my people, remember the grace of Allah on you when he made prophets among you. And he made you kings, and he gave you what he did not give anyone of the world. O my people, enter the holy land which Allah has prescribed for you, and do not turn away your backs so you will be turned back losers…’“

  • Karen Dreher

    Of course the US rejects Jerusalem as the capital. They are and have been for years anti-Israeli. I would expect nothing different. But thanks to President Donald Trump that correction has been made regarding the US stance.

  • Pamela D Moore

    Tired of seeing our “allies” trash talk our policies and our President. If they don’t like what we are doing they should get off the pot and handle it themselves. All you have to do is look at what they have done to their countries to know they shouldn’t even open their traps. If they are not going to be part of the solution, then get out of the way.

  • akafett

    “Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital…”
    This fact tells us which group of people want to micromanage the world, as if it is theirs to control. Trump is simply recognizing Israeli sovereignty.

  • Crusader Ammunition

    Exactly. Who cares?

  • Wheel of misfortune

    Long Live Israel!!! And may God bless and protect you, President Trump!

  • Deplorable Phytomorphogenesis

    eu? un? WHO CARES?
    It is none of their business. un and eu want to keep the region unstable for their own good.
    President Trump is RIGHT. He kept his campaign’s promises, and we continue to WIN! BIGLY!

  • airstart

    The prospect of a peace accord has always been a joke, primarily because the Muslims don’t want peace, they want to wipe Israel off the globe. Ain’t gonna happen, raggedyheaded ones, you’re already in God’s sights, and marked for total destruction. He dares you to make a hostile move against Israel.

  • Clearlysane

    Some one explain the “love fest” with the murdering thug muslims? What is to be gained by this world wide, all in at any price attitude? Who is driving this?

  • America First

    Arabs? Europe? The UN? Im impressed ,now Im certain Trumps right..didnt care before.

  • Mike

    Funny how in Biblical context and frame, the Muslims have tried to copy in some fashion with exception of their jihdist mentality, the relationship between a God and Israel. “Eternal capital”: Israel had that claim hundreds of years before Mohammed popped up; Instead of Abraham and Isaac, the Muslims have substituted Ishmael…right; The Dome was there before the First temple or whatever, and there is no evidence to the contrary…sure. They are not Gods chosen people, Israel is…like it or not. This is a spiritual battle. Allah is Mohammed’s copy of the LORD GOD as revealed in the Bible. Islam, try as it may, cannot compare to Biblical veracity. Same with the Palestinian, the so called “state of Palestine”…doesn’t and never did exist. Much like a number of hot topics of today, if you say it enough, to enough people, like young grade schoolers and college whips, sermonize it, pontificate it…some might think it truth. The “two state solution” is void of any real solution. And now it is without merit.
    Trump called out the nations of the world on this one and darned if he’s not right. Unlike Trumps recent predecessors, he’s done something that took real courage.

  • Randolph Oberlin

    They can all pound sand (Arabs, Western Europeans and 3rd world UN). They all hate Israel and would rejoice if all Jews where killed. Jerusalem was the Jewish capital before any of those countries existed.

  • Long Hwa

    The Arabs have not changed in 50 years, still refusing to talk or listen or negotiate or give an inch on their efforts to kill Israel and deny its existence and its historical right to exist in the land of Israel, including Jerusalem, the Jewish capital for over 3,000 years. Europe had not changed for 100 years, its chief diplomatic policy appeasement, without understanding that appeasement has not ever solved any dispute. Fear by the world of Muslim anger, which exists irrespective of what happens in the Holy Land, and unwillingness on the part of Palestinians to be reasonable guarantee no solution. The time for half measures is over. Finally after 25 years and 3 cowardly presidents, someone has the courage to call it like it is and comply with the law that says the Embassy must be moved to Jerusalem. The world needs to get in step or shut up. The Palestinians should not have a shoulder to cry on, like France, or Germany or the UN or the UK or any weak European capital uncomfortable confronting evil. Get behind the US and a solution will present itself, and stop being chickens.

  • Robert Sullivan

    Abbas is a fraud.
    Has accomplished nothing.
    Will never accomplish anything.
    And in the end the Arab League will just keep killing each other!

  • TexanForever

    “A-rabs, Europe, U.N. reject Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital”

    Well, … not a helluva lot they can do about it, is there?
    .

    • Robert Sullivan

      All of the above just cannot deal with someone “running” the government that actually does something. It’s like, it does not compute! Case in point the Democrats, PM May, Angela Of Germany, and the list goes on and on!

  • david the american

    why doesnt say lebanan ,syria,jordan and israel just give up small parcels of land to the palestinians and give them back a homeland , then all will be peaceful. lol listen these people have been fighting for thousands of years. just get it on already. and england should be way more involved since they gave palestine to the israelis in the first place.

    • Sonja Alcock

      Please do some research. What was given to Israel was a piece of desert land which they cultivated. There was never anyone called the Palestians. In the Bible there were a tribe of Philistines….not the same bunch. Go to Prager U sight for the actual truth.

    • ReaganKnewBest

      Palestine isn’t real nor has it ever been.

  • mark abby

    Well Europe is just about all Muslim now so it’s really no surprise they would complain.

  • zoey

    These countries need to worry about their own countries and but out of the USA POLICY

  • gabwinone

    I know I’m SOOOO concerned about how “Arabs”—by which they mean “muzlims”—react to America’s actions.

  • RMCS Ret.

    The “two state solution” everybody espouses hasn’t worked and won’t work as long as the Palestinians won’t accept it. Trump did the right thing. Push the deal off center and see if that works. Otherwise the whole deal was going to continue forever. The UN doesn’t like it because they are anti-Israeli, europe (small e on purpose) doesn’t like it for the same reason. Even a lot of U.S. “Jews” don’t like it because they are anti-Israeli. The Jews are by far the most persecuted and hated people. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

  • IceColdLogic

    Europe doesn’t want all those muslim immigrants rioting in their streets.

  • IceColdLogic

    Europe doesn’t want all those muslim immigrants rioting in their streets.

    • gabwinone

      And yet, they let them invade their respective countries. Amazing that.

      • IceColdLogic

        Partly because they have some hard choices to make. The birth rates in these countries is low. Lower than 2.1 children/couple which is roughly what is required to maintain your population. And their social and retirement programs are very generous. What do you do in a situation like that where your population is aging, becoming increasingly expensive, and not making enough children? You allow immigrants to come in to solve the problem. But the only countries in that region with high birth rates and people wanting to immigrate are, you guessed it, muslim.

        They’re between a rock and a hard place… and they’re making bad choices.

    • zoey

      To bad they le them in

    • mark abby

      Europe is run by cowards

      • TexanForever

        true dat’.

  • Trzo9veuha

    Long ago during the settlement of the “palestine issue” the moslem palestinians were offered a homeland of their own. They said “NO! We want it all or nothing.” So they have been living with the consequences of their their wishes ever since. The got, and deserve, NOTHING. And their arab neighbors are perfectly happy with that.

    • SkyCop2010

      They already have a home it’s called Jordan.

      • Trzo9veuha

        Jordan came about after they said NO. But they could have had most of Jordan if they had said yes. Jordan is now a constitutional, parliamentary monarchy.

  • TexanForever

    … And just where is “Palestine” supposed to be? … Never has been an integrated nation like Israel. “Palestinians” are and have always been no more than a rag-tag collection of castoffs from nomad desert tribes and other Arab countries, wanting to steal Israeli land.

    Time to purge the trouble-making bastards and send them back to where they came from. And screw the useless UN while we’re at it.
    .

    • david the american

      well said

      • TexanForever

        (high five)

    • USAagainstGlobalists

      Palestine was only a geographic region, until sometime int eh modern era, due to some British influences (if memory serves) the name Palestinians kind of took hold to a couple of people groups and presto, ex-nihilo, a flag appeared in a sand dune. The rest is (revisionist) history.

  • Angelette Holtrust

    I only see muslims and muslims sympathizers being upset. Palestine has no interest in peace

  • Ken Knerr

    Palestinians don’t want peace. Therefore we should give them what they want.