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December 8, 2017

Lighting a fuse


December 8, 2017

US President Donald Trump, like all his predecessors, has shown he has no intention of being an honest broker for peace between Palestine and Israel with his announcement that the US would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of constructing an embassy there. While it will not come as a surprise to anyone that the US is always ready to do Israel’s bidding, Trump has risked throwing the entire Middle East into further turmoil with his decision. Recognising Jerusalem, home of the third holiest site in Islam, as the capital of Israel gives a seal of approval to Zionist occupation of Palestinian land and encourages Israel to build more illegal settlements. The Palestinian people, long used to the dehumanising treatment meted to them by Israel and the US, will now have to choice but to fight back. Other Arab states, many of whom have disengaged from the Palestinian fight for their homeland in recent years as they battled strife in their own countries, will hopefully also be moved to lend the Palestinians any help they can give. Even countries which are seen as pro-Israel, such as Britain and France, have expressed their opposition to Trump’s announcement.
What makes the Trump decision so baffling is that there was no need for him to make this speech. The US Congress recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel back in 1995 but every six months since then the US State Department has issued a waiver to continue with its embassy in Tel Aviv for security reasons. Immediately after Trump’s speech, the same waiver was issued again and Trump himself has said that the move will not take place for another three years. By then there is every possibility that Trump will have lost the 2020 presidential election and his decision will not be binding on the next president. What he is essentially doing is deliberately lighting a fuse that could spark another war. Israel will now feel even more emboldened than before. It may also believe that the

reason Trump made this decision right now is that Saudi Arabia is so bent on opposing Iran some analysts have even reported that the kingdom may consider working with Israel. The history of Palestinian statelessness is a history of it being let down by countries that claim to be its friends. Those countries will now have to step up and show their commitment to the most important cause of our time.

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