Really? How unusual for them. Hamas has taken offense to Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and has called today for a new uprising in response to Trump’s decision to abide by Israel’s choice:
The powerful Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called on Thursday for a new uprising against Israel after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
“We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech in Gaza.
Haniyeh, elected the group’s overall leader in May, urged Palestinians, Muslims and Arabs to hold rallies against the U.S decision on Friday, calling it a “day of rage”.
“Let December 8 be the first day of the intifada against the occupier,” he said.
That might make for a powerful statement … if not for the fact that every day since Hamas seized control of Gaza has been “the first day of the intifada against the occupier.” Do they plan to fire missiles into Israel and dig tunnels to kidnap Israelis? They’ve been doing that for years. Do they plan to start a war against Israel? They’ve been doing that for years, too, and have accomplished only the repeated destruction of Gaza. When you’re on a perpetual genocidal mission to wipe out the Jews, a declaration of a specific intifada isn’t exactly a stunner.
Nevertheless, the statement did prompt some clashes in both Gaza and the West Bank, but even those had a tired air of familiarity to them, the New York Times pointed out:
Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in the West Bank and along the border with Gaza on Thursday, as widespread predictions of unrest were realized a day after President Trump took the high-risk move of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Israeli military said it was sending additional battalions to the West Bank in response to the protests, which took place at familiar flash points and followed a well-choreographed pattern at times of friction, and injuries were reported.
Abbas claimed yesterday that the announcement that the two-state solution was dead, and that he would now fight for a single state in “historic Palestine.” If the two-state solution is dead, it’s only because Abbas and Hamas killed it. Hamas has never given an inch on its plan to wipe out the Jews from the region, and Abbas has hedged his support for an Israeli state by offering different views of it for domestic consumption, while schoolbooks in the West Bank continue to indoctrinate Palestinian children with the genocidal viewpoint.
It’s not often that the US State Department has to ask foreign governments to restrain themselves in their praise of the US. Normally our diplomats spend most of their time asking our allies to ramp up the good PR. As Trump prepared to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, however, American diplomats asked their Israeli counterparts to downplay their celebrations while the US calculated the impact:
The United States is asking Israel to temper its response to the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as its capital because Washington expects a backlash and is weighing the potential threat to U.S. facilities and people, according to a State Department document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
“While I recognize that you will publicly welcome this news, I ask that you restrain your official response,” the document dated Dec. 6 said in talking points for diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to convey to Israeli officials.
“We expect there to be resistance to this news in the Middle East and around the world. We are still judging the impact this decision will have on U.S. facilities and personnel overseas,” the document said.
Er … hadn’t they gamed this out already? Every president since Bill Clinton pledged to take this step as a candidate. Congress has voted to move our embassy there repeatedly, with the most recent vote in June of this year. And most pointedly, the Israelis have insisted that Jerusalem is their capital, and it’s their country. As their closest ally, it’s amazing that it took this long for us to recognize that, and especially that the State Department seems so unprepared for it that they asked the Israelis to celebrate our recognition of their sovereignty quietly.
That’s as much of a fool’s errand as the decades-long fiction about the peace process. When the Palestinians truly accept a two-state solution, it will be there for them. Until then, there seems little point in talking about it, and little point in pretending that Israel’s capital is in Tel Aviv when their government resides in Jerusalem.