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Rumors have been circulating for weeks. In late November, Mike Pence said he’s “actively considering” recognition.
He commented at an event, marking the 70th anniversary of the UN vote, partitioning Palestine, Jerusalem declared an international city under a world body protectorate – its current status.
According to the New York Times last Friday, Trump intends recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital short of moving America’s embassy there – for now, maybe later, trying to have things both ways, satisfying no one, offending everyone, tiptoeing toward flagrantly violating international law, continuing breaches since taking office.
Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah refuted the Times, saying Trump told Abbas he intends recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, along with moving America’s embassy to the city without naming a date for the move.
According to Abu Rhainah, Abbas warned of the dangerous consequences this decision “would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world.”
White House press secretary Sanders said Trump spoke to or intends speaking to Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah ahead of his formal announcement.
Apparently it’s coming, fraught with dangers, an unacceptable action if he follows through as expected, flagrantly violating international law, infuriating Palestinians and the Muslim world.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag warned against the move.
Taking it would be a “major catastrophe…completely destroy(ing) the fragile peace process in the region, and lead to new conflicts, new disputes and new unrest,” he said.
Abbas reportedly told Trump there’s no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital.
On Monday, Trump delayed announcing his position on Jerusalem, likely waiting for his Wednesday’s address to declare his intention.
Abbas advisor Nabil Shaath said recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “totally destroys any chance that he will play a role as an honest broker,” adding:
“(T)he mother of all the deals dies here on the rocks in Jerusalem if he says tomorrow that he recognizes a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Hamas called for an uprising to counter what it called a “conspiracy” against Palestinians and the Muslim world.
Ahead of Trump’s expected announcement, Jewish Voices for Peace executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson said the following:
“For 70 years, the US has given Israel tacit approval to steal Palestinian land, build illegal Jewish settlements, and deny Palestinians in East Jerusalem and elsewhere their rights.”
“Trump’s decision takes these ongoing policies to the next level and is reckless, irresponsible and endangers the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”
JVP’s deputy director Rabbi Alissa Wise added:
“Jerusalem is a symbol of holiness and hope for many people of many religions the world over.”
“We want there to be a shared and peaceful Jerusalem. Moving the US embassy there not only flies in the face of the international legal consensus, but also furthers the agenda of those who seek to re-cast a struggle for land, rights and sovereignty into a religious conflict.”
I was interviewed twice today on this topic – suggesting from reports that the move is coming, likely when Trump delivers his Wednesday address.
The world community, Arab street and Palestinians will be listening, reacting sharply if he announces what’s expected.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”