The hypocrisy of the Western leaders’ denunciation of President Trump’s recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is naked and stunning.
French President Macron said “the commitment of France and Europe to the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and safe in internationally recognized borders with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the status of Jerusalem “should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “It is only by realizing the vision of two states living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations, that the legitimate aspirations of both peoples will be achieved,” Guterres said.
European Union Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said, ” The aspirations of both parties must be fulfilled and a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states.”
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said Jerusalem is “a final status issue and future capital for two states. ”
In the same breath as they say that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel today is prejudging the outcome of negotiations, every one of these leaders is prejudging the outcome of negotiations – by insisting that Jerusalem will be capital of a Palestinian state! That “fact” is not even up for negotiation!
Israel exists today. Jerusalem is where its government is, today. Saying that out loud does not hurt peace. On the contrary, acknowledging the truth is the only way to bring peace. Indulging fantasies is how to avoid peace.
But this is exactly what the EU and UN leaders are doing. They “know” that any Palestinian state must have Jerusalem as its capital – even though there is no logical, historical or even security reason to insist on that.
In other words, Palestinians have veto power over declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel (because that has to be “negotiated,”) but Israel has no such power over Palestinians saying that same about their future capital. The world already has given it to them.
The existing Palestinian seat of government is in Ramallah. Jerusalem is not, and never was, any Arab capital. The entire reason for that Palestinian demand for Jerusalem is to take Jerusalem away from Israel. They’ve said it themselves.
The insistence that Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state is the real obstacle to peace.
If the EU and UN really wanted peace, instead of kowtowing to ahistorical and ultimately impossible Palestinian demands (seriously, how can a city with two sovereigns exist without dividing it again?) they would tell the Palestinians that they have a choice: a state without Jerusalem (except in a symbolic way using a suburb of the city) or no state at all.
By telling the Palestinians that they will get their prize no matter what, the world is rewarding decades of terror and intransigence. And that does not bring peace – it guarantees more violence.
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