Mideast Daily News

Reaction to Trump Israel Embassy Move Follows Party Lines but No Great Shocks Reported

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

December 7, 2017

US President Donald Trump signs a proclamation after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017 as US Vice President Mike Pence looks on. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Despite unfulfilled campaign pledges by two former presidents who promised to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the unabated counsel of Western capitals warning that merely announcing the move would trigger a Mideast apocalypse, those who responded to then-candidate Trump’s vow to “right a historic wrong” by saying “this guy just might be far enough outside the box to actually do it” had it right. On Wednesday, the day that marked the 70th year since President Harry S. Truman bestowed the recognition of the United States on the fledgling Jewish state – a somewhat controversial act at the time – President Donald Trump upset the diplomatic tradition that made the state of Israel the only nation denied the right to designate its own capital. Israel’s supporters world-wide were ecstatic while Palestinians took to the streets and declared “three-days of rage” even before President Trump made it official. But what is not yet known is the price Israel will pay for the thrill. It must be noted, for instance, that while the American move was announced, officials reiterate that it will take as long as 7-years before there is actually an embassy in west Jerusalem. But the location has long been settled upon to the point where Jerusalemites routinely refer to that plot as “the American Embassy.” Many who draw a line between comments several days ago by the Saudi Crown Prince and heir-apparent to the throne that suggested a peace plan remarkably similar to Israel’s own version of a would-be agreement — to the utter dismay of the Palestinians – understand local realities. In a region that is fueled by the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” countering the Iranian threat is existential for nations that include Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – while failing to act because the Israelis and Palestinians have not achieved a rapprochement pales in comparison. How much lip-service from Arab capitals Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas can expect remains to be seen but only after what adjustments the PA will make after having dismissed the US as “honest brokers” in the peace process is revealed. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyeh called for Palestinians to “ignite a new intifada.” In Bethlehem, Palestinians pulled the plug on the Christmas tree in Manger Square in protest of President Trump’s announcement.

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