As often as the Middle East has been described as a tinder box of impassioned religious views and centuries-held grievances aggravated by dislocation and desperation and requiring only the tiniest spark to inflame violence, it may have surprised some observers that President Donald Trump's mid-week announcement that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and eventually locate its embassy there has not yet - as of this hour at least - produced its first casualty. The status of Jerusalem is one of the pivotal issues that diplomats and peacemakers have said must be agreed between the two parties in negotiations.
As for the reaction in the U.S., CBSN political contributor Molly Hooper of RealClearPolitics noted that Mr. Trump's former strategist got the biggest applause at a rally in Alabama when he said Mr. Trump would move the embassy to Jerusalem.
Dayan insisted there would be "no change on the ground", but Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, disagreed. It was a bit like poking a hornets' nest and then warning everyone around him not to enrage the hornets further while lecturing the hornets to settle down.
Still, we'd be delighted to eat these words.
It has also allowed competing factions across the Middle East to refocus on a common cause that had drifted from the spotlight over the past five years, eclipsed by regional power plays, war and insurrection. None of them knew anything about the others' values, morals and ideals, which created a vacuum filled by biases and prejudgments. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had long sought U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as his nation's capital, praised his U.S. counterpart and called Wednesday a historic day.
Israeli forces disperse Palestinian demonstrators outside of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, Dec. 7, 2017. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired. I recently read an article in a Jewish newspaper headlined: World Jews 'more worried about Charedim than Arabs'. It is non-negotiable. You demonstrate resilience. And you ask your good friends in the US, be they Republican or Democrat, evangelical or secular, to defend you; to affirm that Jerusalem is indeed Israel's capital.
Trump had yesterday recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing decades of US and international policy on the holy city. What do you do when they untruthfully blame Israeli "settlements", expressly including home construction in Jewish Jerusalem, for the failure of their botched peace process, and then liver-lily abstain as the UN Security Council savages Israel, and only Israel, for obstruction of peace diplomacy?
The debate that Trump started concerning the capitol of Israel is trivial compared to Truman's decision in 1948.
Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan said the United States was "exposing its colonial ambition in Muslim territory".
At Abbas's express urging, UNESCO has adopted insane and nonsensical resolutions declaring Jerusalem an exclusively Muslim heritage city, and criminalizing Israel's custodianship of the holy city. Perhaps this is what Charedim wants to protect themselves against?
Trump, as a presidential candidate, repeatedly promised to move the U.S. Embassy. "He asked to meet (Abbas) on the 19th of this month in Bethlehem, such a meeting will not take place", Jibril Rajoub said. Nir Barkat, the city's mayor, said on Wednesday "here in Jerusalem and Israel we applaud the president" and if people became violent "they will pay a heavy price".