Mideast Daily News

Bad Day for Palestinians; Reaction to the Announcement Precedes Announcement; Force Taylor Passes House

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

December 6, 2017

President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shake hands after delivering a speech during a visit to the Israel Museum on May 23, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Palestinian protestors are not waiting to hear President Trump’s speech at 8pm on Wednesday (Middle Eastern time). As soon as word leaked out that the president had telephoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to inform him that he will announce the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, “3-days of rage” were declared, protestors appeared and posters of President Trump were being burned in the streets. Noting that a similar announcement by Russian President Putin passed without a whimper, many in the pro-Israel community expressed elation while asserting that there is nothing untoward or detrimental to the peace process, and that in fact, “a dose of reality should be therapeutic for the peace process.” Specifically, the pro-Israel world argues, recognition of Israel’s self-proclaimed capital – a designation made by all nations for themselves — in no way effects or diminishes the Palestinian demand for the capital of its own state-in-waiting. Pressure on the White House from Western allies not to move the embassy was intense, while threats from the Palestinians and warnings from Arab nations that the announcement will very likely be met with violence were rife. It is not known what olive branch might be in the offing for the Palestinians when the president speaks, some suggesting some recognition will be in order, perhaps some form of recognition of Palestinian designs on east Jerusalem as its capital. Either way, the pro-Israel world can realistically expect the announcement but will have a considerable wait for the actual move to occur in a classic example of practical politics. Rounding out a bad day for the Palestinians was the overwhelming bipartisan support for passage of the Force Taylor Act in a voice vote in the House of Representatives. If passed in the Senate and signed by President Trump, no money from the US government will make its way to the Palestinian Authority until it ends the practice of paying stipends to families of those who carry out violent attacks on Israelis. While Republicans and Democrats agree on painfully little, they do agree that the PA payments amount to a “pay to slay” program that according to Rep. Ed Royce (R-Ca.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “incentivizes terrorism.” Ranking member Eliot Engel (D-NY) described the practice as “downright disgusting.” Taylor Force was an American graduate student at Vanderbilt University, a Marine Corps combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who was stabbed to death in 2016 by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting Israel. Assailants such as the one who killed Force have cited the PA stipends as motivation for their violent acts.

See The Media Line’s Charles Bybelezer’s analysis at: http://www.themedialine.org/news/jerusalem-denying-reality-absence-palestine/


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