[ Ed. note – “These measures are a reward to Israel’s violations of international resolutions and an encouragement for Israel to continue its policy of occupation, settlements, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”
So says Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian Authority President is of course speaking of the announcement, made today by President Trump, that the US will move its embassy to Jerusalem.
Mouin Rabbani, the writer of the article below, believes Trump’s decision constitutes an act of “political pyromania,” and apparently Palestinians are indeed already in the streets of Gaza burning US and Israeli flags. How much further the pyrotechnics may escalate beyond this is hard to say. But for those concerned about the power of AIPAC in Washington, an excerpt from a New York Times article published today is worth quoting.
Mr. Trump emphasized the domestic political dimension of the decision. He noted that he had promised to move the embassy during the 2016 presidential campaign, and added, “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
It’s amazing. Draining the swamp, ending the destructive and criminal wars fought under false pretexts, smoothing over relations with Russia–none of these campaign promises Trump managed to “deliver” upon. But moving the embassy? This one he has “delivered.”
“Making America great again” apparently means making us more subservient to the Israeli lobby. It is a strange measure of “greatness.”
According to the same New York Times article quoted above, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, supports the move of the embassy. What a surprise.
In contrast to numerous other Trump appointees, Kushner for some reason doesn’t seem to have any enemies in the Deep State. ]
By Mouin Rabbani | Palestine Square
Late yesterday evening, ‘a senior administration official’ confirmed that the United States will today recognise Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Given that the policy is to be announced by Donald Trump, a volatile airhead presiding over a highly fractious government, it’s still far from clear how – or even whether – Washington will put forward a new position. But if, as expected, the US does proceed with this measure, the physical relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will be the least of it.
For seventy years, the US has, at least formally, aligned its position on Jerusalem with that of the international community and international law. According to UN Resolution 181 recommending the partition of Palestine, passed by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947, the Holy City was ‘established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime’. Israel’s conquest of West Jerusalem during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and Jordan’s annexation of East Jerusalem in 1950 were never recognised. Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967; in 1980 the Knesset passed a law claiming that ‘Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.’ Security Council Resolution 478 declared the measure ‘null and void’.
In other words, pending the establishment of either an international administration as specified in the partition resolution or an alternative arrangement (such as a peace agreement) endorsed by the UN, it has been a foundational principle of the international community’s approach to Jerusalem since 1947 not to recognise any claim to sovereignty over the city, in whole or in part. The principle has been endorsed and applied by every US administration since 1948. It’s the reason that most states, including the US, established their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv rather than West Jerusalem.
US presidential candidates in recent decades have habitually proclaimed their intention to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Holy City and relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem, but such displays of political correctness have until now failed to survive contact with reality. Such a dramatic break with seven decades of US and indeed global policy, seeking to unilaterally rewrite international law and predetermine the outcome of eventual Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, would constitute an act of premeditated political pyromania with unforeseen local, regional and global consequences.
There’s an additional twist: in 1989, Israel leased a plot of land to the US on which to build its Jerusalem embassy. Extensive research by Walid Khalidi demonstrated not only that at least 70 per cent of the land is confiscated Palestinian refugee property, but also that many of the heirs of the original owners are today US citizens.