Opening a US Embassy in Jerusalem could actually advance peace, if it is accompanied by the opening of a US Embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem.
A Palestinian demonstrator holds a placard during a protest against a promise by US President-elect Donald Trump to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem, near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, West Bank, Jan. 20, 2017.
Opening a US Embassy in Jerusalem could actually advance peace, if it is accompanied by the opening of a US Embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem.
REUTERS/Mohamad TorokmanA Palestinian demonstrator holds a placard during a protest against a promise by US President-elect Donald Trump to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem, near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, West Bank, Jan. 20, 2017.
Before taking off for Israel to inaugurate the new US Embassy building in Jerusalem scheduled for May 14, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, would do well to study the Talmudic adage that roughly translated means, “The pot calling the kettle black.” The saying will help her explain to her father that no one who violates international law can expect others — Iran, for instance — to adhere to it. A leader who expects his rival, such as North Korean President Kim Jong Un, to abide by United Nations resolutions should serve as a shining example of adherence to those resolutions.
In case the president does not understand what his daughter is getting at, her husband, Jared Kushner — Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East — could probably whip out UN Resolution 478 of August 1980. The Security Council’s resolution determines that Israel’s Basic Law, stating “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel,” enacted by the Knesset three weeks earlier contravenes international law. The council expressed “deep concern” about what it described as the change in the character and status of the city, “with its implications for peace and security.”
The resolution, adopted by a 14-0 vote and a US abstention, declared that all measures adopted by Israel altering the “holy city” of Jerusalem are null and void. It even called on countries that maintain diplomatic missions in the city to withdraw them.
Until Israel took over the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed it, almost 40% of the 54 foreign diplomatic missions in Israel, most of them from Latin America and Africa, were located in the city. Within less than a month after this UN resolution, 13 countries shut down their missions and moved out. Turkey closed its consulate general in the city. The United States did not implement its veto power to quash Resolution 478, arguing that the issue of Jerusalem must be resolved in peace negotiations rather than a unilateral declaration by one side.
On Dec. 6, 2017, with negotiations between the sides moribund, Trump decided the time was right for a unilateral move regarding the status of Jerusalem. Following his declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the UN Security Council once again affirmed, “Any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void, and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
Several days later, on Dec. 21, 2017, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution by a 128 majority, calling on member states to avoid moving their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem. The UNGA reiterated the longstanding position of the international community, led by the United States, according to which the status of Jerusalem should only be determined in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Other than the United States and Israel, only seven member states, hardly major powers, voted nay: Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.
The world’s top cop was not only unmoved by the UN resolutions, Trump ordered the opening of the new Jerusalem embassy moved up to May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not content with just having the US flag fly in Jerusalem. In recent months, he has been working hard to tempt other countries, especially those ruled by right-wing governments, to follow in the steps of the United States and trample the resolutions of the UN. At a reception for foreign diplomats marking Israel’s Independence Day, celebrated this year on April 19, Netanyahu addressed the ambassadors like a seasoned sales representative in vernacular reminiscent of reality TV shows, saying, “There’s a simple principle, you’re familiar with it: First come, first served. I’ve decided that the first 10 embassies to come here will get preferential treatment. We’ll help you! All of you should do that.”
Netanyahu also shared with his listeners the news that at least six other countries were “seriously discussing with us, moving the embassy to Jerusalem.” Netanyahu found a surprising advocate for his call in — of all places — the left wing of Israeli society. In an interview on Germany’s Deutsche Welle television, Amos Oz, Israel’s iconoclastic author and one of its preeminent advocates for peace, called on all countries of the world to follow Trump and move their embassies to Jerusalem.
However, there was a caveat to the initiative he presented in the interview marking Israel’s Independence Day and publication of the German-language edition of his book “Dear Zealots. Letters from a Divided Land.” The Jerusalem-born writer suggested that countries moving their embassies to the western part of Jerusalem should, at the same time, open embassies in the city’s eastern section as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Indeed, there is precedent for such an arrangement. For years, many countries maintained two embassies in Berlin, one in the western part of town and one in the Communist east. Since the division of the Korean Peninsula, the same flags have been flying in Seoul and Pyongyang. According to former US President Bill Clinton’s peace plan of 2000 and other plans formulated by Israeli-Palestinian teams and research institutes, Jerusalem is supposed to serve as the capital of two states without the need for a dividing cement wall and barbed wire.
Last December, leaders of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation convening in Istanbul called for recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. One can infer from this declaration that the Islamic nations, including the Arab states, are willing to recognize the western part of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel along with parallel recognition of the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow recently announced that Russia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the east should be the capital of the future Palestinian state. The European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, said in response to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration that the city should serve as both the capital of Israel and of Palestine. The Arab League and the EU declared in February that Jerusalem should be the joint capital of Israel and of the future Palestinian state.
With the opening of its embassy in West Jerusalem, the United States will be severing the umbilical cord linking the status of Jerusalem under international law and UN resolutions to the terms of a permanent agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. What’s more, Trump has already made clear that recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv do not constitute an American position on a final Israeli-Palestinian agreement, including the boundaries of Jerusalem. If the embassy opening is a symbolic move intended to advance a two-state solution, all countries supporting such a resolution to the conflict should be called upon to move their embassies to the city. At the same time, they should move their missions from the city of Ramallah — the West Bank seat of the Palestinian Authority — to Jerusalem. Trump should serve as an example. That would provide him with gravitas when he tries to keep Iran and North Korea in line.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/israel-us-arab-league-donald-trump-ivanka-trump-jerusalem.html#ixzz5DqdKlXAc
Trump hails ‘big week’ for historic move; ‘Congratulations to all,’ he tweets ahead of May 14 opening
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman gives a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on May 11, 2018, ahead of its opening on May 14 (Screenshot)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Friday gave a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, showing off workers erecting the official seal on the building and preparing for the opening ceremony.
“We are so excited,” Friedman said in a video posted on the embassy’s Facebook page. “We have the official seal of the United States embassy. We have the dedication plaque. They are covered right now, but on Monday they are going to be unveiled.”
‘Next time in Jerusalem,’ jubilant Barzilai yells after victory; ‘Toy’ marks Israel’s 4th win; hundreds jump in Rabin Square fountain to celebrate; PM calls her ‘best ambassador’
Netta Barzilai after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (AFP/ Francisco LEONG)
Israel won the Eurovision song contest for the first time in two decades Saturday as singer Netta Barzilai clucked and bucked her way to the top of the international song contest with women’s empowerment anthem “Toy.”
Backed up by three dancers, her trademark side buns featuring stripes of pink dyed hair to match her pink-and-black outfit, Barzilai busted her way through “Toy” on stage in Lisbon, Portugal, punctuating her singing with her trademark eye rolls and chicken dance moves
Quoted by US president one day, hosted by Russia’s president the next, PM is on a high, including in the polls. But will this encourage his more divisive tendencies?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the Victory Parade marking the 73th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
JTA — On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu began his week by meeting his Cypriot and Greek counterparts to finalize the commercial export to Europe of Israeli gas that he has pushed to exploit for about a decade.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from nuclear deal with Iran was widely seen as a coup for Israel’s prime minister, a fierce opponent of the deal.
The same day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel seized Iran’s archive of its military nuclear program in Tehran and spirited it to Israel, a video was posted of IDF soldiers singing Soltane Ghalbha, a traditional Persian love song – in Persian.
Taken together, the two events demonstrate the purpose of Netanyahu’s presentation.
Netanyahu’s detractors in the US and Israel called his presentation as a dog and pony show. “He didn’t tell us anything we haven’t known for years,” they sniffed.
Moreover, they insisted, Netanyahu’s presentation was actually counterproductive because he couldn’t show evidence that Iran is in breach of the nuclear deal it concluded in 2015 and so did nothing to persuade the Europeans to abandon the deal.
While US policy-makers are trying desperately to stabilize Afghanistan, a shift is being orchestrated by China.
The Chinese evidently see their role in Afghanistan as the “good cop” versus the U.S. role as “bad cop.” Like Pakistan, China seems to view the Taliban as the political opposition, not as a terrorist organization, and has offered itself as an intermediary to negotiate the departure of the U.S. and, thereby, be in a position to reap the economic and geopolitical benefits of Afghanistan as a client state of the China-Pakistan alliance.
Reuters/Ipsos set a new standard this week when it condemned its own polling as unreliably favorable to the president.
“This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend,” stated a paragraph that appeared before the press release on its latest polling even began.
“Every series of polls has the occasional outlier, and in our opinion, this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.”
For the sixth Friday in a row, protestors from Gaza came to Israel’s border with intentions to penetrate it. They come with scissors to cut through the fence, with burning tires, Molotov cocktails, slingshots with rocks, and kites with firebombs attached to them to destroy Israeli farmlands and villages.
This is not some peaceful demonstration akin to Selma in the 1960s when blacks were simply trying to sit together with whites at a lunch counter. The usage of the word “demonstrators” is a misnomer; these are “rioters.”
What would happen if the world took Pope Francis’ advice (via a tweet)? “Do we really want peace? Then let’s ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war,” said the pontiff.
While on the surface, the disappearance of all weapons might suggest the inability to do violence, in reality, it would mean the certain annihilation of the West as a civilization.
When a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the police after two black men refused to leave, the chain of events ended with the burnt taste of the overpriced coffee chain colluding with anti-Semitism.
Starbucks reacted to the brief arrest by blaming the police, but Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is African-American, initially said that his officers, “did absolutely nothing wrong”. But then he was forced to offer a bewildering apology to the arrested men, the officers and the entire city.
“It is me who in large part made most of the situation worse than it was,” he announced.
“Your threshing season will last until your grape harvest, and your grape harvest will last until the time you plant. You will have your fill of food, and you will dwell securely in your land” (Vayikra 26:5).
This blessing is promised to the People of Israel on condition that, as a unified nation, they observe the laws of the Torah and live by its spirit. Its promise is quite surprising. Not only will the Israelites have plenty to eat but, as the verse clearly indicates, the Jews will experience an overflow of food. The first season, when produce is brought to the threshing floor, will last until the days of the grape harvest, which in turn will continue into the planting season.