Friday, December 08, 2017

National Capital Status By Exterior Consensus

"The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement t hat is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to forge such an agreement."
"Some say they [predecessor presidents of the United States] lacked courage, but they made the best judgement based on the facts as they understood them. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades, we're no closer to a lasting peace agreement."
U.S. President Donald Trump, 6 December 2017, Jerusalem capital announcement

Palestinian protesters burn pictures of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City, on December 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)
Israel, the only nation on Earth whose capital is universally contested by outside sources, established its parliament, its supreme court and its office of the prime minister in West Jerusalem. No one, no nation outside the Middle East contests West Jerusalem as being an integral part of Israel. Why then has the international community and the United Nations steadfastly refused to recognize Israel's capital in West Jerusalem? That recognition was finally announced by an American president whose presidential campaign made that promise.

And then the slander and the lies, the public relations campaigns, the denunciations and the warnings, the threats and the insults, the violence and promise of more, much more marched in on cue. That the response from the PLO, from Fatah, from Turkey, from Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East would be to warn and threaten and carefully arrange for 'spontaneous' popular protests with Hamas inciting to promote another intifada, is expected. And in a way, the response from France, the U.K., the United Nations and the European Union was predictable.

International news agencies, slavering at the bit to portray the long-overdue recognition as playing war games, and sounding the death-knell of the 'peace process', plays right into the Palestinian Authority's public relations-and-slander game. To ensure that journalists and photographers from around the world had ample feed to work, with classes for the West Bank school system were cancelled. If there's anything young Palestinians look forward to, it's the mayhem and photogenic opportunities that can be counted on in spontaneous rages of stone-throwing at Israeli forces.

Invariably, the military response, tepid at first, increasingly vigorous to match the fervent violence of the crowd, intensifies, and to no one's surprise but the satisfaction of the news media and the Palestinian Authority, there will be casualties to enable the following day's headlines to read "Israeli military wounds Palestinian Youth", and Twitter will be agog over the latest scandals to hit Israel, persecuting innocent Palestinian children. Three "days of rage" have been arranged, where shops will be shuttered in a display of rage over the perfidy of the United States.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas supporters burned American and Israel flags, chanting "Death to America", and "Death to Israel", demonstrating in the process that the Islamic Republic of Iran's fixation on the diabolical murderers of Muslims is fairly universally shared in the neighbourhood.
Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli forces near a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Ramallah, December 7, 2017. (ABBAS MOMANI/AFP)
It makes for great footage and news coverage when Israeli troops in full riot gear use water cannon. On this occasion the cannon shot out a liquid known as "the Skunk", foul-smelling and effective in dousing the violent ardour of mostly masked demonstrators. The occasional rubber bullets were fired at the crowd which served, it would appear, to become ever more passionately engaged in throwing rocks and other detritus, including Molotov cocktails at the troops. The air was stifling from tear gas and the fires that Palestinians lit for burning tires. Making a statement.

"These condemned and unacceptable measures are a deliberate undermining of all efforts exerted to achieve peace and represent a declaration of the United States's withdrawal from undertaking the role it has played over the past decades in sponsoring the peace process", huffed Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, speaking of decades of wasted efforts when, time and again the Palestinians declined to sign a peace treaty with Israel, nor to recognize it as a Jewish state.

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