International leaders react to Trump's Jerusalem move

Amir Cohen  Reuters
The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv would be shut down in favor of a site in East Jerusalem

Amir Cohen Reuters The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv would be shut down in favor of a site in East Jerusalem

"They cannot take us for granted".

Abbas said on Wednesday the United States had abdicated its role as a mediator in peace efforts.

Other members of his Cabinet were more forthcoming. It makes bold moves.

"The sooner the Arab world recognizes Jerusalem as our capital, the sooner we will reach real peace".

"Thank you Mr President for this brave and historic decision". The Arab countries which border Israel - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria - have all condemned the move. Russia, a key Mideast player, expressed its concern about a "possible deterioration".

A Jihadist Salafi group in Gaza called the Al-Tawheed Brigades - which does not heed the call from the enclave's dominant force, Hamas, to desist from firing rockets - claimed responsibility for the launches. Well I guess they could be if they sensed some great national security strategy behind Mr Trump's move. Details of their long awaited plan remain a mystery. 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".

Both Hooper and Walker agreed, though, that this move could take several years. 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. He will continue to sign the waiver until preparations for the embassy move are complete.

EVEN before Donald Trump issued his proclamation recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, stiff opposition was brewing.

Most of the Palestinian population in the region is Sunni Muslim.

"Three in 10 white evangelical Protestants are strong Trump supporters, while 42 percent are weak Trump supporters" and another 13 percent are strong Trump opponents, according to the Public Religion Research Institute survey, "One Nation, Divided, Under Trump", published Tuesday.

Seeking to soften the blow of his announcement to the Palestinians, he insisted he was not taking a position on "any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders".

The debate that Trump started concerning the capitol of Israel is trivial compared to Truman's decision in 1948. In the West Bank, protesters lit tire fires and threw stones at riot gear-clad troops. But not this president, not Mr Trump. You pray for new leaders in the US who will right the wrongs; who will defy the rotten and callous consensus; who will be willing to introduce a dose of realism and truth-telling to the Arab-Israeli dynamic; who will be brave enough to say, at least, that Jews have profound rights in Jerusalem and that the US recognizes the indisputable fact that Jerusalem functions as Israel's capital, justifiably so.

Correction: The original version of this story said that Mr Trump issued his Jerusalem proclamation on December 4th.

The Swiss embassy in Israelexternal link is in Tel Aviv.

An evocative song by the well-known Lebanese singer Fairouz, Flower Among Cities, has been played by some channels, including Al Jazeera.

The European Union's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, also said it would damage peace talks, and senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said last year that the move would mean "the destruction of the peace process as a whole".

The Arab world, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the forefront, had warned Trump against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and beginning the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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