News & Politics

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Will 'Fuel Extremism' and Violence: Arab League

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As Donald Trump readies the historic announcement that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the usual suspects are lining up to warn against it.

The Arab League was first off the mark.

Reuters:

Any move by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would fuel extremism and violence, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Saturday.

He spoke a day after a senior U.S. administration official said U.S. President Donald Trump was likely to make the announcement next week.

The Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and the international community does not recognize Israel’s claim on all of the city, home to sites holy to the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions.

Word of Trump’s planned announcement, which would deviate from previous U.S. presidents who have insisted the Jerusalem’s status must be decided in negotiations, has already drawn criticism from the Palestinian Authority.

“Today we say very clearly that taking such action is not justified … It will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence,” Aboul Gheit said in a statement published on the Arab league’s website.

We should listen to Mr. Gheit. He and his fellow Arabs know all about resorting to violence, as they have three times since Israel’s birth in 1948.

But the reaction by the Palestinians is even more priceless.

Los Angeles Times:

Mahmoud Habash, an advisor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Saturday that if President Trump were to do so, it would amount to a “complete destruction of the peace process.”

No, this is not the opening of a comedy routine. He really did cite the “complete destruction” of something that doesn’t exist.

Speaking in Abbas’ presence, Habash said that “the world will pay the price” for any change in Jerusalem’s status.

In other words, if we don’t get our way, we’ll murder your children and blow up your cities.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, a position nearly the entire world rejects, saying its status should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians. The Palestinians claim the eastern part of the city as their future capital.

Um, no. The Palestinians claim the entire city of Jerusalem as their capital — not to mention claiming the land upon which the entire state of Israel currently exists. And if the entire world rejected Palestinian claims to Israeli land, peace would come a helluva lot quicker to that part of the world.

Trump is likely to hold off moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as a sop to the Arabs. And, of course, the next president could always reverse Trump’s decision. But this is the most significant diplomatic move toward Israel in at least eight years and should help solidify the friendship between the two countries.