Evelyn Gordon: The Mainstream Media’s Misdirection on Jerusalem
Mainstream media outlets like to complain about “fake news” emanating from sources other than themselves, but the mainstream media itself has taken fake news to new heights in its recent coverage of Jerusalem. Leading media outlets have asserted, inter alia, that Jews never cared about Jerusalem until a few decades ago, that Jews didn’t live in East Jerusalem before 1967, and that Jordan protected freedom of worship in the city.
Exhibit A is the New York Times’ mind-boggling backgrounder on Jerusalem, which “informs” readers that Jews didn’t really care about the city until “hard-line religious nationalism” came into vogue a few decades ago. To produce this flat-out lie, the reporters omit crucial facts, downplay those they can’t omit and rely heavily on Arabs–who have made a fetish of denying Jewish links to Jerusalem for decades–to tell their readers what Jews think (though, naturally, they also found some Jews to echo these claims). Thus, for instance, they paraphrase historian Issam Nasser as saying, “The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem,” while Prof. Rashid Khalidi asserts that post-1967, “Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously.”
To support this idea, the reporters omit almost any fact that might contradict it. Readers are never told, for instance, that Israel’s founding fathers–the ones who ostensibly had little interest in Jerusalem–fought some of the bloodiest battles of the War of Independence in an effort to save the city from its Arab besiegers.They even took the extraordinary step, after repeated failures to open the road to Jerusalem militarily, of building an entirely new road through very difficult terrain to relieve the siege.
Readers also aren’t told that Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, repeatedly stressed Jerusalem’s importance, declaring it “the heart of the State of Israel,” which “Israelis will give their lives” to keep, because for Israel, “there has always been and always will be one capital only.” And they’re certainly never told that the devotion to Jerusalem Khalidi deems of such recent vintage actually dates back 3,000 years, to the First Temple, and that throughout two millennia of exile, Jews prayed facing Jerusalem and begged God to restore them to their holy city.
But on the rare occasions when the reporters can’t omit an inconvenient fact, they shout, like the Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Thus, the Times’ reporters do concede the pesky fact that Israel’s founding fathers–those same people who ostensibly didn’t care about Jerusalem–relocated Israel’s capital to the city the moment it was safe to do so, a few months after the war ended, and even codified this decision in legislation. But the information is hidden in a parenthetical aside: Jerusalem’s “western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital, under an Israeli law passed in 1950).”
Unfortunately, this backgrounder was no aberration. Just a few days later, a Times editorial asserted that “East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, but Israel has steadily built settlements there, placing some 200,000 of its citizens among the Arab population and complicating any possible peace agreement.” You’d never know from reading this that east Jerusalem was “exclusively Arab” in 1967 only because Jordan had ethnically cleansed every last Jew from the area 19 years earlier. Prior to this ethnic cleansing, Jews had not only lived there almost continuously for 3,000 years but constituted an absolute majority of the city’s residents for the past century. Still, one can understand the paper’s dilemma. It might be difficult to explain to readers why the Times, which normally condemns ethnic cleansing, suddenly condones it when the victims are Jews; much better to simply conceal the fact that it ever happened.
In making the case against President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, you say, “East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967.” The language risks severely misleading readers, as it suggests that this ethnic “exclusivity” was an intrinsic and even desirable part of the area’s character before 1967.
But eastern Jerusalem was empty of Jews for a mere 19 years. When Jordan’s Arab Legion conquered the Old City, its Jewish Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods, it forced out every Jewish man, woman and child. Before that, Jews were a large and integral part of what is now called East Jerusalem, and at times were the majority population.
The situation between 1948 and 1967 was not the norm, but an aberrant blip on the timeline of Judaism’s holiest city and a result of ethnic cleansing.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Trump, Jerusalem, Arabs, Muslims
Arafat’s followers know that if they succeed in moving Jerusalem outside the borders of Israel, a large number of Jews are going to lose all hope and leave Israel for the countries from which they or their parents came. This will mean the beginning of the end for the Zionist enterprise, because there is no Zionism without Zion. That’s why they expend so much energy on Jerusalem, taking advantage of the fact that if most countries do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, Jerusalem becomes the weak link in the chain holding Israel together.
Arafat attempted to frighten the Israeli with the slogan: “A million shaheeds will march on Jerusalem,” meaning that millions are willing to jput their lives on the line in order to free the city from the clutches of the Zionists. This mantra has been internalized in Islamic society and can be heard at anti-Israel demonstrations all over the world.
In comes Trump and recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, giving the Palestinian nationalist narrative a hard blow and Israel a kind of insurance policy. This maddens all the Arabs who flourished on the dream of destroying Israel during the golden Oslo Agreement years, because it has now becme clear that a very powerful nation, the USA, does not see itself a partner in that dream and is even willing to act against it.
The Arabs , in general, and particularly the Palestiinians, can already picture the dominos falling. The Czech Republic, Hungary and other important states plan to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the city as Israel’s capital. They noticed that in April of this year, eight months ago, even Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his recognition of Western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. There was no outcry, verbal or otherwise, in response to Putin’s declaration, for one simple reason: The Arabs are deathly afraid of Putin, after he made crystal clear to what lengths he is willing to go during the war in Syria, and they carefully refrain from reacting to his statements or decisions.
For both religious and nationalistic reasons, the Arabs and Muslims are incapable of accepting Israel as the Jewish State.
The question we are forced to ask ourselves is whether we in Israel, Jews and Christians, are going to recognize the Muslim and Arab problem , but tell them in no uncertain terms that “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews and you are going to have to learn to live with it” or are going to give in to the Arab and Muslim dreamers who are incapable of accepting a reality in which the Jewish religions is alive and well.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Arab Rulers are Traitors, Cowards
The decision to boycott a visit later this month by US Vice President Mike Pence comes in the context of absorbing the anger of the street. Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have also made it clear that they no longer consider the Trump administration an “honest” and “unbiased” broker in any peace process with Israel. As such, the Palestinian Authority leadership announced that it will reject any peace plan proposed by the Trump administration, even if the plan gains the support of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The Palestinian strategy now is to work hard to thwart any peace plan coming from the Trump administration. The Palestinians are convinced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Arab leaders are cooking up a new “conspiracy” behind their backs — with the aim of “liquidating” the Palestinian cause by imposing an acceptable solution on them. This, of course, has nothing to do with Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem. This has been the Palestinian position even before Trump made his announcement, and it is unlikely to change after.
The question now is: How will the Arab regimes respond to this latest charge of fratricide leveled against them by their Palestinian brothers?
On December 14, 2017, Hamas commemorates its 30th anniversary.
But what is Hamas really commemorating? Here are 30 facts to remind you:
1. Hamas takes its name from an acronym that means “Islamic Resistance Movement” in Arabic.
2. Hamas refuses to recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist as an independent, sovereign nation, and is totally opposed to any agreement or arrangement that would recognize its right to exist. At the beginning of its 1988 charter there is a quotation attributed to Hassan Al-Bana, the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder, that “Israel will arise and continue to exist until Islam wipes it out, as it wiped out what went before.” (Contrary to some misleading news stories, Hamas’s 2017 “Political Document” does not replace the 1988 charter.)
3. Hamas is committed to jihad. Its charter stresses the importance of jihad (holy war) as the main means for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to achieve its goals: An uncompromising jihad must be waged against Israel. Jihad is the personal duty of every Muslim. (Again, contrary to some misleading news stories, Hamas’s 2017 “Political Document” does not replace the 1988 charter.)
4. Hamas is an anti-Semitic organization. According to its charter, the Jewish people have only negative traits and are presented as planning to take over the world. The charter uses myths taken from classical European and Islamic-based anti-Semitism. (Again, contrary to some misleading news stories, Hamas’s 2017 “Political Document” does not replace the 1988 charter.)
The Swedish police on Wednesday extended the arrests of two of the three suspects who were arrested in connection with Saturday’s firebomb attack on a synagogue in Gothenburg, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported.
The police say at least ten people took part in the attack, but it is not clear at this stage whether there will be further arrests.
The suspects whose arrests were extended are a 21-year-old Palestinian Arab who arrived in Sweden in 2014 and an 18-year-old Syrian who has been in the country since 2015, according to Channel 10 News.
Both suspects have temporary visas and work permits and both deny the charges against them.
The firebomb attack took place as Jewish students were holding a party inside the synagogue. A fire had broken out between parked vehicles outside the synagogue but there were no injuries.
The man whom Dutch police released hours after he attacked a kosher restaurant while waving a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag reportedly is a Damascus-born ex-combatant in Syria’s civil war, JTA reported Wednesday, citing the Dutch news site GeenStijl.
The site identified the perpetrator of the December 7 attack in southern Amsterdam as Saleh Ali, who has said that he participated in the war fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group.
Police knew this information when they released him several hours after two officers arrested him outside the restaurant, the report said. The officers and passers-by looked on as the perpetrator smashed several windows with a bat while staffers were inside. He then broke in, removed an Israeli flag and exited before the officers overpowered him.
The incident happened one day after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Since Trump’s declaration, two Jewish buildings in Sweden, including a synagogue, were targeted by arsonists using firebombs. Demonstrations featuring chants about killing Jews were held in the days that followed in The Hague, Vienna, Berlin and London. Calls glorifying Palestinian terrorists were heard at a rally Saturday in Paris.
The perpetrator of the restaurant attack, whose lawyer has denied that his client acted out of any anti-Semitic motives, was charged with vandalism and theft, according to De Telegraaf, with no mention in that paper’s reporting of an aggravated element of a hate crime. Thus he was released shortly after his arrest.
Today, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, our supposed “peace partner” spoke at an emergency meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, The media has covered it, pointing out thinks like Abbas saying that Washington should no longer play a role in Middle East peace talks, and calling on the world to reconsider recognition of Israel.
You can see the entire speech here. But it is the following part, not being covered by the mainstream media, that I want to get out there.
Note the vile antisemitism you just heard.
“I don’t want to discuss religion or history because they are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion. But if we read the Torah it says that the Canaanites were there before the time of our prophet Abraham and their [Canaanite] existence continued since that time, this is in the Torah itself. But if they would like to fake this history, they are really masters in this and it is mentioned in the holy Quran they fabricate truth and they try to do that and they believe in that but we have been there in this location for thousands of years.”
The “they” he refers to is, of course, the Jewish people. I guess speaking in Arabic makes poppy sloppy.
Note also how Abbas claims his people come from the ancient Canaanites 5,000 years ago, and even tries to use the Torah to show they therefore preceded the Jews. This is nothing new from the palestinians – as I have blogged before they have a number of contradictory versions:
They have been around for millions of years
Descended From Canaanites from over 10,000 years ago
Descended From Canaanites and Jebusites from 5,000 years ago
Descended From Canaanites from 3,500 years ago
Descended From Philistines from 6,000 years ago
PMW: PA: Jews have no history in “Palestine”
The PA is basing its rejection of Pres. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on a lie, claiming that Jews have no historical connection to the land of Israel or Jerusalem. (Dec. 14, 2017)
The Palestinian Authority is basing its rejection of US President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on the PA’s fundamental falsification of history, claiming that Jews have no historical connection to the land of Israel or Jerusalem.
Responding to the American formal recognition on Dec. 6, 2017, a columnist in the official PA daily wrote that Trump had “aligned with the false Zionist narrative,” when he said Jerusalem had been the capital of the Jewish people “since ancient times”:
Headline: “Refuting the lies [about] reality”
“As part of his excuses that are unfounded and contrary to reality, [US President] Donald Trump claimed that he did nothing but recognize the reality in Jerusalem (i.e., by recognizing it as Israel’s capital)… He contradicted history when he claimed that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel and the Jews for 3,000 years.
It is not the intention to examine the falsification of history and ignorance [in Trump’s claim], or the alignment with the false Zionist narrative, because that is as clear as the sun. If Trump wants to know the truth, he can turn to the Israeli archaeologists who have searched for the last 70 years and have not found a single archaeological remnant related to the third Temple (sic., no third Temple has ever been built, and numerous evidence of the previous two Temples has been found -Ed.), or even other archaeological remnants that are connected to Jews in Palestine in general (sic., such archaeological evidence is abundant -Ed.)” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, from op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, Dec. 9, 2017]
This denial of Jewish history in the land of Israel even in the face of irrefutable archaeological evidence is one of the most central parts of the Palestinian narrative.
The White House criticized Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday for his comments against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying that such rhetoric has “prevented peace for decades.”
“[President Donald Trump] remains as committed to peace as ever. This rhetoric, which has prevented peace for years, is not surprising as we anticipated reactions like this,” said a senior White House official in comments distributed to various media outlets. “We will remain hard at work putting together our plan, which will benefit the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.”
The White House official also stated that the Palestinians should “ignore the distortions and instead focus on what the president actually said last week: the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties, the United States continues to take no position on any final status issues, and the United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.”
The US rebuke came after Abbas stated Wednesday that the Palestinians would refuse any future US involvement in the peace process and threatened that there will be “no peace or stability” in the region until Jerusalem is recognized as the Palestinian capital.
Abbas also said the Palestinians were withdrawing from all peace agreements with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords, and that the PA would push for full membership in the United Nations, where the Palestinians currently have non-member observer state status.
The US Ambassador David Friedman lit the Hanukkah menorah at the Western Wall Wednesday evening to mark the second night of the eight-day Jewish festival of lights.
The lighting ceremony was attended by thousands as Friedman was flanked by the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, Jerusalem city’s Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin.
“It is a huge honor for me and I am extremely excited to be standing here at this holy site and to light the second Hanukkah candle in Jerusalem, the holy city and the capital of the State of Israel,” Friedman said in Hebrew, a week after President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital.
Friedman, who observes Mitzvot (Jewish commandments), blessed the Jewish people of Israel on behalf of President Trump.
“Over 2,000 years ago, the Second Temple was conquered by the Greek King Antiochus,” Friedman said. “In the great book of victory, the Hashmonaim declared eight days of Hanukkah. It all happened 2,184 years ago, and it all happened a few meters away from the spot I am standing now.”
Friedman has long been known for harboring views that were inconsistent with traditional American policy before the Trump administration entered the White House, sparking fears among his detractors that he would subordinate US policy matters to his religious views.
In a warm holiday gesture during Israel’s winter season, the Jerusalem Municipality will continue its annual tradition of distributing free Christmas trees to the city’s Christian residents.
The initiative is part of Jerusalem’s annual Christmas preparations, which involve the hanging of celebratory lights and flags throughout the city in areas where the holiday is observed.
Some of the Jerusalem neighborhoods that will receive special treatment for Christmas include the Old City’s Christian Quarter; the Beit Hanina neighborhood; and the main streets used by Christian pilgrims, such as the Mar Elias road.
The municipality has also increased cleaning and landscaping operations in the areas around Jerusalem’s churches, and is collaborating with the Israel Police to ensure that access to Christian landmarks is streamlined for visiting pilgrims.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is set to tour the city’s churches later this month and will hold meetings with Christian leaders.
Christmas celebrations in Nazareth — Jesus’ childhood hometown, according to Christian belief — have been canceled to protest the US president’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The city council announced Thursday that Mayor Ali Salam, a Muslim, had ordered the axing of all planned artistic events, including a festival and large Christmas market.
“Our identity and faith aren’t up for debate,” Salam said. “The decision [by Donald Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year.”
Nazareth is one of the holiest cities in Christendom because it was there that the angel Gabriel is believed by Christians to have told the Virgin Mary she would conceive and bear Jesus.
According to the New Testament, Jesus also grew up in the town.
US Vice President Mike Pence is delaying his visit to Israel due to tax reform issues in Congress, the Knesset confirmed to The Jerusalem Post Thursday. He is now scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday, three days later than originally planned so that he can be in the US to participate if necessary in Senate votes on tax reform.
Rather than arriving on Sunday, Pence is now expected to fly in from Egypt on Wednesday evening.
He is scheduled to be welcomed Thursday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office, address the Knesset in a special Thursday session and then hold a meeting with Netanyahu in the evening at his residence. On Friday the vice president is expected to meet with President Reuven Rivlin, and visit Yad Vashem, before flying back to Washington.
Pence was originally scheduled to visit the Western Wall on Sunday and partake in Hanukka candle lighting ceremonies there. It is not clear now exactly when he will visit the Wall, but a late night visit on Wednesday is being discussed.
US Vice President Mike Pence will skip the Palestinian territories during his upcoming trip to the region, after PA officials said they wouldn’t meet him due to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israeli officials and Pence’s spokesperson confirmed.
Earlier in the day, it emerged that Pence had postponed his arrival in Israel by several days due to Congressional votes on tax reform.
The Israeli officials told The Times of Israel that Pence is set to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport from Cairo on Wednesday evening, and leave Israel en route to the US on Friday afternoon — without having set foot on Palestinian Authority territory.
Arab Israeli lawmakers will skip US Vice President Mike Pence’s address to the Knesset next week in protest of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
In a statement on Wednesday, Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh said the 13-member party will boycott the Monday parliament address “to send a clear message to the US administration and the world that there are citizens here who strongly oppose Trump’s declaration and to clarify that the US has lost its place as the exclusive mediator of negotiations.”
“West Jerusalem will be recognized as Israel’s capital by the whole world as soon as the government of Israel recognizes East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state,” added Odeh.
Pence is set to address Israel’s parliament next Monday, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
Odeh’s announcement came hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians won’t accept any future role for the US in the peace process due to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, and threatened to pull out of existing agreements with the Jewish state.
Officials at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Wednesday dismissed the significance of a letter written by the site’s Muslim keyholder in which he vowed not to receive US Vice President Mike Pence as irrelevant, since the man is not an official of the church and does not represent it.
A spokeswoman for Pence, who is due next week, said the vice president has not reached out to plan a visit to the church at this stage, and a church official said no visit had yet been planned.
Adeeb Jowdeh al-Husseini, the Custodian of the Keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, wrote in an Arabic statement this week that he “refuses completely to receive United States Vice President Pence in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.”
Stressing his opposition to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Husseini further said he would not be present when the US vice president visits the church, and called on church leaders of the different denominations not to receive Pence.
However, no church visit is planned and Husseini does not represent the church, officials said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas faces an uphill struggle in convincing his public that his recent defiance of the US and Israel is genuine, a new opinion poll published on Wednesday indicated.
In rhetoric that was a throwback to the uncompromising statements of the PLO at the height of the Cold War, Abbas urged world leaders to “reconsider their recognition of Israel over its conduct toward Palestinians and its dismissal of decisions by the international community with the backing of the United States” in a speech to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Istanbul on Wednesday. Abbas also denounced US President Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a “crime.”
The speech drew instant condemnation from Israeli and Jewish leaders; Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon accused Abbas of “actively thwarting initiatives towards reconciliation,” while David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, criticized the PA’s “wholesale condemnation” of Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, as well as its refusal to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during his upcoming visit to the region, as “totally unhelpful and needlessly incendiary.”
But the results of a new poll published by the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) show that most Palestinians believe that Abbas will climb down from his current position.
The poll, conducted among 1,270 adults in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last week, shows widespread hostility among Palestinians toward the Sunni Arab states as well as Abbas personally.
In his Friday sermon at the PA headquarters, Abbas’ advisor on religious affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash incited Palestinians to religious war. Condemning US President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “a crime against humanity” and “a sin,” Al-Habbash encouraged Muslims and Christians worldwide to “act.” He asked rhetorically: “How do the Muslims of the world allow this sin?” And answered later in the speech that “the Muslims will act.”
The following are parts of Al-Habbash’s speech:
1. US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of the State of Israel is “a crime against humanity”:
Al-Habbash: “This crime that American President [Trump] committed [by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital] is not only against Palestine, but also against all of humanity, against the Muslims, and against the Christians.”
[Official PA TV, Dec. 8, 2017]
Abbas’ advisor incites religious war over US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
At the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s “Extraordinary Islamic Summit” Wednesday in Istanbul, many leaders from Arab and Muslim-majority countries spoke out harshly about the US administration’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
But, despite their bluster, the forecast calls for mostly calm conditions. Many of the threats they issued are rendered meaningless by the rules of the UN or the dynamics of Middle East diplomacy; others have no teeth to begin with.
The summit’s host, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once again called Israel a “terror state,” denounced the US and issued a long list of pro-Palestinian statements. But he did not act on last week’s threat to sever ties with the Jewish state.
Another keynote speaker was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who threatened to abrogate all peace agreements since Oslo and yet again declared that he no longer considers the US an honest broker in the peace process.
His announcement that he would seek full membership for the “State of Palestine” at the United Nations made headlines worldwide. That plan is not new. He already went to the Security Council in 2011 — and failed.
Abbas has intermittently revived the idea since then, most recently during his speech at the General Assembly in September. “We look to the Security Council to approve our application for full membership of the State of Palestine to the United Nations. All those who support the two-state solution should recognize the other state, the State of Palestine,” he declared.
Alongside the broad Arab and Palestinian condemnation of U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, some Palestinians identified positive aspects to his announcement, including: an opportunity to gain recognition of Palestine on the part of countries that have not yet done so and to gain U.S. and UN recognition of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital; as well as an opportunity to promote the UN as the sponsor of the peace process instead of the U.S., and to place Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause on top of the international agenda while isolating Israel and the U.S. in the global community. These Palestinians called to avoid making sweeping anti-American statements, since some Americans support the Palestinian cause, and not to cancel U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Ramallah. They advised to continue the popular protests, while refraining from burning the American flag or chanting “death to America,” and to focus instead on boycotting American products and on diplomatic action vis-à-vis international bodies.
The following are excerpts from articles in the Palestinian press expressing this position:
Former Palestinian Authority Minister: Do Not Snub Pence During His Visit
Former Palestinian Authority (PA) minister Ziad Abu Zayyad wrote: “I call upon President ‘Abbas to receive U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Ramallah, and to depart as soon as possible for Washington to meet with President Trump, [but] not to demand that he rescind his decision on Jerusalem, because there is no way that he will do that, and it would be political naïveté to speak of this. [‘Abbas should go to Washington] to demand that [Trump] announce an equivalent decision that will restore the balance to the American position vis-à-vis recognizing Palestinian sovereignty over Arab [East] Jerusalem, [re]launch the diplomatic process, promote UN recognition of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and open the gates to a solution that will guarantee an end to the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
On December 11, 2017, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief and former ambassador to the U.S. and the U.K., published an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, in which he condemned the latter’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and called upon him to retract it.
He began by stating that, just like U.S. President Harry Truman’s decision to recognize the state of Israel in the first place, Trump’s decision is mistaken and “opportunistic,” and will lead to bloodshed. Attacking Trump for his deliberate attempt to distort the truth by ignoring that East Jerusalem is territory Israel occupied by force, he warned that this move could encourage the extremist elements in Israel and Iran, as well the terror organizations around the world. He urged Trump to rectify his “arrogant mistake” by recognizing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
It should be noted that Trump’s announcement prompted other articles in Saudi papers, some of which criticized his motivations and warned of the repercussions in the region and the world. Others directed their criticism at the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian public, saying that they do not do enough to advance their own cause and blame their troubles on others, including Saudi Arabia and Trump.
The Turkish and Lebanese foreign ministers announced in statements on Thursday their respective governments’ intentions to open embassies for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
Their statements came against the backdrop of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, which has drawn sharp criticism from Muslim countries.
Turkey’s top diplomat, Mevlut Cavusoglu, specified that Ankara only plans to make the move once the world recognizes an independent Palestinian state. He said there was “serious determination” among countries that have not yet recognized Palestine to do so.
“Once we succeed, embassies will open in the independent Palestinian state’s capital, East Jerusalem,” he asserted.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said he had informed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of Beirut’s willingness to establish a Lebanese embassy in East Jerusalem.
As his plane hovered over Israeli airspace, a Royal Jordanian pilot informed passengers of an imminent flyover of “Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine,” according to a YouTube recording that has since gone viral.
The geography lesson — given both in Arabic and English — on flight RJ216 from Amman to New York came the week after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
After welcoming the passengers on board, pilot Yousef Dajah took the opportunity to express his views on the US president’s decision while sharing the flight’s itinerary.
“Our initial route for today out of Queen Alia [Airport] turns to the territory of Palestine,” Dajah began. “Also northern of Jerusalem — which is the capital city of Palestine — and then [to] west coast of Palestine,” he continued in broken English
The government of Uruguay slammed Israel’s ambassador for using social media to criticize a statement by the country’s foreign minister that called Tel Aviv the capital of the Jewish state.
“Surprised and disappointed to hear the foreign minister declaring that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel. Capaz Salto is the capital of Uruguay? Israel has a capital, Jerusalem, for 70 years. The Knesset, the ministries, the residence of the prime minister and the president, the Supreme Court, are there,” Nina Ben-Ami tweeted in Spanish in her personal account last week.
Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay.
The ambassador was summoned to Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters “in order to provide explanations on her comments,” the ministry announced on Saturday. Ben-Ami was urged “to maintain government exchanges through the corresponding official channels,” reported the Aurora news website.
In an address last Wednesday from the White House, US President Donald Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.
The Islamic State group threatened attacks on U.S. soil in retaliation for the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, one of the group’s social media accounts reported on Thursday without giving further details.
In messages on one of its accounts on the Telegram instant messaging service titled “Wait for us” and “ISIS in Manhattan,” the group said it would carry out attacks and posted images of New York’s Times Square and what appeared to be an explosive bomb belt and detonator.
“We will do more ops in your land, until the final hour and we will burn you with the flames of war which you started in Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria and Afghan. Just you wait,” the message said.
“The recognition of your dog ‘Trump’ [sic] Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will make us recognize explosives as the capital of your country.”
Washington triggered widespread anger and protests across the Arab world with its decision on Jerusalem last week. The disputed city is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims and has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.
It is a high-tech high-security fortress in London.
At $1 billion, the new U.S. embassy in the UK is the most expensive ever. The walls are blast-resistant. The glass is shatter-proof. It is diplomacy in the age of terror.
At $1 billion, the new U.S. embassy in the UK is diplomacy in the age of terror. (Greg Palkot/Fox News)
“The world has changed and so this building meets all those challenges,” Woody Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to the UK, told Fox News.
One important security feature, and an appropriate one for an embassy in the land of castles: A 100-foot-wide “moat,” at least one that protects one side of the building. Staffers like to call it a “pond.”
us embassy london 6
It was the exposed nature of the old U.S. embassy that helped push this move. Five often deadly terror strikes in the UK this year underscored it.
“An urban environment like we’ve seen in London with attacks,” embassy architect James Timberlake told Fox News, “are unknown and can happen any time.”
But it’s not without risk. Suspicious vehicles near the site triggered controlled detonations earlier this year.
When news broke that President Trump would be recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the media was quickly inundated with uncritically-quoted dire predictions of violent backlash across the Middle East. One week later, protests against the move have largely petered out, and mass unrest has not materialized, leaving reporters to awkwardly explain why. NBC now has an explainer on “Why Trump’s provocative Jerusalem move hasn’t sparked an intifada.” A representative headline in Vox reads: “Trump’s Jerusalem move was supposed to destabilize the entire Middle East. It didn’t.”
There are many factors that contributed to this media failure, and one of them is definitely media bias on Israel/Palestine. Just not the kind you think.
Traditionally, partisans accuse the press of being biased toward one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Entire cottage industries exist in both camps to police the media’s purported prejudice. But the misbegotten coverage of Trump’s Jerusalem move reveals a different sort of bias: towards conflict and action. It is a narrative bias rather than an ideological one. The status quo, after all, makes for boring copy and unexciting stories. In the case of Jerusalem, the media’s craving for clashes is perfectly captured in an anecdote reported by The Atlantic’s Emma Green, one of the few reporters on the ground who did not buy into the industry’s apocalyptic predictions:
On Friday, it seemed that every journalist in Jerusalem was waiting for something to happen at the Damascus Gate in the Old City—one of the most popular entrances Muslims use to reach the famous Al-Aqsa mosque for Friday afternoon prayers, and a common site for big protests. Yet the resulting melee was not the massive demonstration everyone seemed to be waiting for…
The area outside Damascus Gate is literally set up like a stage: Big steps lead down on three sides to the lowered platform where people emerge from the Old City. A few dozen people stood on the steps and chanted in Arabic, holding a sign featuring a truck that called on America to “dump Trump” and another sign showing Trump’s lips as urinals. A throng of journalists surrounded this group, outnumbering them roughly three-to-one. As protesters moved, the cameras shifted around them, moving like a flock of birds near a power line. Most Palestinians, however, went home.
Yesterday, the Guardian did what if often does: they published an op-ed designed to undermine Israel’s fundamental right to exist. The op-ed was written by Karma Nabulsi, an Oxford academic and former PLO representative who, unsurprisingly, rejects a Jewish state within any borders.
The piece is putatively about the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but ultimately simply uses the news as a springboard to a broader point she’s made previously at the Guardian and elsewhere: that Israel is a ‘settler colonial entity’ that has ethnically cleansed ‘Palestine’ and has no political or moral legitimacy.
Nabulsi opens her piece by mourning the upcoming 70th anniversary of “the catastrophic destruction of the Palestinian polity”.
However, what she refers to as the “destruction” of the “Palestinian polity” was the flight of Palestinian Arabs in an Arab war of annihilation against the nascent Jewish state. The “Palestinian polity” that could have existed per the UN partition plan was summarily rejected by Palestinian and Arab leaders.
Moreover, there was never any such “Palestinian polity” in history in the sense she means, and, by definition, you can’t destroy something that never existed in the first place. In fact, its fair to say that when the Jewish state was established in 1948, it represented the first “Palestinian polity” in history.
Tellingly, Jews are nearly absent in Nablusi’s tale, except when they’re alluded to in the pejorative as “European settler colonialists”. (Whilst the word “colonialist” in some form is used 15 times in her piece, and the word “settler” 10 times, some version of the word “Jew” only appears once.)
Palestinian public health officials reported today that an unusual spike in the number of adolescent and young adult males seeking treatment for unusually persistent erections over the last several days indicates that Israel has been injecting hormones into the Palestinian water supply to induce the phenomenon and its attendant social discomfort as a means to prevent those youths from participating in riots in the aftermath of US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Dr. Ayyaf Ziqfa of the Ministry of Health told reporters that the 45% rise in patients reporting the symptom since last Friday demonstrated something amiss in the environment that was traced to the water sources. “We get all of our drinking water from sources under Israeli control,” he explained, making sure every part of him below the waist remained directly behind the lectern the whole time. “That gave them the opportunity to perpetrate this crime. Most of the young men who came in for treatment told us they needed to get rid of their erections so they could hurl rocks, bricks, and firebombs at Jews without feeling ashamed.”
Indeed, media coverage of the “three days of rage” called for by Palestinian leaders showed what amounted to a fizzled outbreak of violence, with mere thousands participating in the rioting and protests over the course of the last week, a poor showing in a region where calls for such demonstrations could once rally tens or hundreds of thousands of youths. “We couldn’t them up, the numbers,” lamented Fatah official Ali Ein-Qishui. “Of course no one can in good conscience believe popular support for our cause has weakened, so sinister outside conspiracies must be afoot to explain it. The forensic tests on the drinking water explain everything.”
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