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Arabs and Muslims Outraged Over Trump's Jerusalem Plan

posted on: Dec 6, 2017

Arabs and Muslims Outraged Over Trump's Jerusalem Plan

According to senior administration officials, today at 1 pm from the White House, President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instruct the State Department to begin the process to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinian national and Islamic groups issued a joint statement calling for three days of “popular anger” to protest Mr. Trump’s move, beginning on Wednesday throughout the Palestinian territories and in demonstrations at United States embassies and consulates around the world.

Pope Francis expressed “profound concern” about the move. “I make a heartfelt appeal so that all commit themselves to respecting the status quo of the city, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations,” he said.

By  J. Michael Springmann/Arab America Contributing Writer

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel today and instruct the State Department to begin the process to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

According to both Ha’aretz  and Al Jazeeraon Tuesday, December 5, President Donald J. Trump has told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that he will move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (al-Quds).  As unnamed American government officials have noted, no timetable is set for this astonishing action.

Whether this is a done deal, with Trump’s words to Abbas, the King of Saudi Arabia, and the King of Jordan being the gospel truth, is as yet unknown.  (America’s Chief Executive also called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi about his plans.)  

Arabs and Muslims Outraged Over Trump's Jerusalem Plan

Photo: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

Trump is renowned for making wild, allegedly irrevocable decisions that are reversed almost immediately.  This could well be one of them.  Equivocal statements flowed almost immediately from the White House.  Al Jazeera wrote, “Speaking to reporters later on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Saunders said he [President Trump] will deliver remarks about his decision on Wednesday.”  The news service added:  “Asked if Trump has made up his mind, she replied: ‘The president I would say is pretty solid in his thinking at this point.'”  In contrast, Ha’aretz noted, “Senior U.S. officials say Trump is likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Wednesday [December 6] and delay embassy relocation for another six months, yet begin planning the move immediately.”

Never Poke a Hornet’s Nest.  Donald Trump has again alienated a good bit of the Arab and Muslim worlds. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on December 5, Dr. Osama Abuirshaid,  National Policy Director, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), said:  “[his group] believes that declaring Jerusalem the capital or moving the embassy threatens not only Palestinians who are being ethnically cleansed but also U.S. security and [U.S.] interests, its standing, and its status as being an honest broker in the Middle East. In fact, the State Department is so worried about invoking fury in the Arab and Muslim worlds [that it]  has warned American embassies worldwide to heighten security [after] the possible announcement by President Trump tomorrow.”

Arabs and Muslims Outraged Over Trump's Jerusalem Plan

Photo: Arab America

Abuirshaid went on to say “Many U.S. allies in the Arab and Muslim Worlds have warned President Trump against making such a move.”  [N.B. It has been American government policy for decades to oppose such an action, despite congressional pressure by Israel and its U.S. agents, none of whom are registered with the Justice Department as representatives of a foreign entity.  Moreover, no other country in the world has its embassy to Israel located outside Tel Aviv, the capital.]  Continuing, Abuirshaid said:  “He [Trump] always brags about putting America first, now he’s putting Israel first, even his own State Department is warning him that this is the wrong move and he should not do it.”

What’s at Stake?  War? Peace? The End of Diplomacy?  Ties to the American Client States in the Region?  ABC News quoted Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, PLO secretary-general, as saying:  [the move] “will contribute to the further destabilization of the region and will discourage many of those who still believe that a peaceful solution is achievable to end over 50 years of Israeli occupation, 70 years of exile and decades of systematic violations of Palestinian national and human rights.” 

On December 5, the Washington Post relayed Jordanian and Saudi opposition to President Trump’s proposal.  “Jordan’s King Abdullah III said it would undermine U.S. efforts to resume the peace process, according to news reports.”  Quoting the Saudi Press Agency, the paper wrote “Using the Arabic name for Jerusalem, the king [Salman] ‘reiterated that such a dangerous step of relocation or recognition of Al-Quds as the capital of Israel would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world.’”  Or, is this another Trumpian move to demonize Arabs and Muslims?

Arabs and Muslims Outraged Over Trump's Jerusalem Plan

So, that’s it.  If Donald Trump moves the U.S. embassy to al-Quds (Jerusalem) today, he has destroyed American relations with the Arab and Muslim worlds–and likely will set off a violent intifada. As a result, Trump handicaps his successors in future dealings with Arabs and Muslims.  “Trust” and “Confidence” are not just English words and concepts.  They translate well into Arabic.

 

J. Michael Springmann is an attorney, author, and political commentator.  He has written Visas for Al Qaeda:  CIA Handouts That Rocked The World, and a second book, Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb.  Both are available on Amazon.  The books’ website is:  www.michaelspring