Jerusalem: The Whole World Can’t Be Wrong

Jerusalem: The Whole World Can’t Be Wrong

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By ABBA MAHMOOD

Every day it is becoming obvious that Mr Donald Trump became the American president to destroy America. Trump is fighting the whole world on climate change because Trump’s America is the only country that refused to recognize the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Then, suddenly, last week he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel against existing international laws and many UN resolutions. I have never seen greater madness than the president of a country choosing a capital for another country. Yes, Trump may be having a son-in-law who is a practising Jew but I am sure he is motivated by some personal interests to take such fundamentally flawed decision and damn the consequences and all the global outrage.

Jerusalem belongs to the three universal religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is the height of irresponsibility to appropriate that city for one section. Comrade Issa Aremu wrote a nice piece on this issue which appropriately captures the essence of the latest Trump maneuver. It is reproduced below:

With friends like the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, Israel possibly needs not worry about the danger posed by Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement which controls Gaza and still hard put to recognize the state of Israel.

Last week, President Donald Trump acted a typical renegade President of US (which he is truly is, given his domestic and international renegade policies) to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and dared to announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  Shortly after, amidst worldwide damnation of Trump’s provocation, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya declared the US decision on Jerusalem as a “war declaration against Palestinians”, and called for a new “Intifada”, an uprising.

What manner of a friend of Israel would through foolery and sheer brigandage return Israel to the state of intifada (a Palestinian uprising manifesting in a series of violent acts and attacks against the Israeli occupation lasting from December 1987 to 2014 in which both the Palestinians and Israelis buried their dead) if not a fake friend, sorry, an enemy with a mask? It is another paradox of Middle East intractable conflicts that both the enemies and so-called friends of Israel achieve same goal: keeping the state of Israel in perpetual war of attrition!

Reading through the silly 1,250-plus word counts of President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel reminds me of the opening sentence by Simon Seberg Montefiore in his introduction to his bestselling “Speeches that Changed the World” (2005). According to Simon, a “great speech does not just capture the truth of the era; it can also capture the big lie”. President Trump’s speech of Wednesday, 6th of December, is comparable to Adolf Hitler’s of September 1938 in the sense that they both captured the “big lie” alluding to world peace when as agent provocateurs they were truly working for global war.

Elie Wiesel, a celebrated writer and Jew survivor of Nazi Germany, had warned us about the “perils of indifference”. It is commendable the world had risen in unison to condemn President Trump for further reinventing violence in Jerusalem and almost putting on hold the peace process in the Middle East. 

According to Pope Francis, Jerusalem’s status should be preserved and needless conflict avoided. Witness him at his weekly general audience at the Vatican: “I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days. And at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

“Jerusalem is a unique city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.”

Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres’ resolutions within minutes of Mr Trump’s speech, on unilateral embassy movement from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, announced an international diplomatic rebuke for “any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians”. 

He added: “Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides. In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B!”

Only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who hopes to politically profit from domestic Palestinian red herring hailed Trump’s plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most peace-loving Israelis are not excited. For instance, notable politicians such as Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On warned US President Donald Trump that moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could enflame the entire region. She warned that such a unilateral move could distance peace.

“Jerusalem is the Israeli capital and will continue to be with or without the US embassy,” Gal-On said. “Moving the embassy could serve Netanyahu but could bring about an unnecessary explosion.”

Ayam Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, said: “Trump is a pyromaniac who could set the entire region on fire with his madness. The last few days prove decisively that the United States cannot remain the sponsor or arbitrator in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. If the Israeli government wants the world to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, all it has to do is recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.”

Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi called Trump’s decision a “political attack.”

“This is a decision whose voice goes against international law,” Tibi said. “It is unthinkable that President Trump’s election promise would become a ‘political attack’ that would seriously damage the two-state vision. The American administration proves this time that they are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

The African Union Commission had also rightly questioned the United States decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, noted with deep concern the decision of the United States Government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. According to AU, the decision “will only increase tensions in the region and beyond and further complicate the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The chairperson of the Commission reiterates the solidarity of the African Union with the Palestinian people and its support to their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The chairperson further called for renewed international efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict, “based on the existence of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security, within the framework of relevant African Union and United Nations pronouncements.”

By the way, what is Nigeria’s position on the latest Donald Trump’s diplomatic reckless adventure in Jerusalem? President Muhammed Buhari must walk his talk on key foreign policy issues such as Middle East crisis. He should echo AU’s position by condemning US unilateralism on Jerusalem and call for US respect for UN resolutions on Palestinian crisis.

Lest we forget, Nelson Mandela rightly observed that, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

 

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