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A year after his Jerusalem bombshell, Trump continues to strangle the Palestinians

18 3 122

On 6 December last year, US President Donald Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and promised to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv. One year on from that bombshell, he continues to strangle the Palestinians.

“My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to [the] conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” he told a packed White House press conference. “After more than two decades of wavers [of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act], we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that this exact same formula would now produce a different or better result. Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Less than three minutes into his speech, the blow had been dealt. Israel cheered, hailing a victory it had sought for decades but which had thus far proved elusive. Palestinians unanimously rejected the decision, with the Palestinian Authority pledging to cut all contact with the US, and Hamas calling for a new intifada. Social media was awash with the hashtag #Al-Quds La Naa (Jerusalem is ours), signalling the level of popular opposition to the move. International governments condemned Trump’s unilateral approach.

Although since the early days of his presidential campaign Trump had been known for ripping up the rule book, perhaps few could have anticipated that his Jerusalem announcement was only the first knot in the noose that his administration was crafting for the Palestinians and, ultimately, the “peace” process. In the 365 days since Trump told the world that he would approach the Israel-Palestine conflict differently, true to his word he has scorned convention and ran roughshod over anyone who has........

© Middle East Monitor