Trump's 'ill-considered' Jerusalem decision will have wide-reaching repercussions

Trump's  'ill-considered' Jerusalem decision will have wide-reaching repercussions
From CBC - December 7, 2017

And so in the end, a world of warnings failed to persuade Donald Trump to swerve.

Neither the pleas of churches nor of mosques; nor of the Pope; norof Turkey, Egypt or China. None of their extraordinary words of intervention mattered.

What had been warned againstin many international quarters and described as reckless, irresponsibleeven as "diplomatic arson"is having immediate consequences that are just as global in scope.

In Israel, Trump's few, long-awaited words Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitalare being celebrated as historic and courageous.

Elsewhere, Trump's unilateral declaration on a place revered as holy by millions around the worldon an incendiary issue long delicately handled by countless diplomats and world leadershas brought, in the words of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, "a moment of great anxiety."

That declaration has already been met withprotests in several countriesfromJordan to Turkeyand swift denouncements even from some of the U.S.'s staunchest allies.

"We disagree with the U.S. decision," British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a blunt statement Wednesday. "We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

An avalanche of condemnations of what Trump called a "recognition of reality" also came swiftly online: from ordinary people and veteran Middle East watchers alike.

"#Trump is doing a truly *excellent* job at destroying what remains of U.S. credibility in the #middleeast," tweeted Charles Lister of the Middle East Institute, a Washington,D.C.-based think-tank.

"Grim days ahead."

3 'days of rage'

In the immediate wake of the announcement, there is the head-on impact on what little life was left in the mostly moribund peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

This may well be a final blow.

A blow, too, Palestinians and others believe, to the claim the U.S. could still have a role to playin bridging the vast chasm between the two sidesdespite assertions from Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the contrary.

Protests had already started prior to the announcement, with Palestinians declaring three "days of rage." In Gaza on Wednesday, protesters set pictures of Trump ablaze.

Those protests have the potential to snowball and that's just part of whatthe world will have to contend with inthe coming days, and possibly longer.

Trump's words will strain pivotal diplomatic relationships, widening the riftwith Europeand striking discord with governments from Turkeyto Canada, where the minister of global affairssaid in a statement that the status of Jerusalem "can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute."

Trump's words will also compound anti-American sentiment and possibly even fuel extremists in the long term.

All reasons that his words could inject instability in places well beyond Old Jerusalem's city walls.

Trump 'declaring war'

At the time of writing, protests have been called for in Los Angeles, London, Manchester andDublin. One has also been planned for Thursday in front of the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. In Turkey, protesters gathered at the U.S. consulate shortly after the announcement.

'Ill-considered' decision


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