Palestine (GPA) – Yesterday, Donald Trump officially recognized al-Quds as the capital of “Israel” and the world has responded.
The world is outraged at the decision by the Trump regime to change the designation of ‘Jerusalem’ by officially recognizing the city as the capital of Israel. Below is a collection of the best statements from world leaders and resistance organizations around the world.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdurrahman Al-Sani called the new designation of al-Quds “a dangerous escalation.” Qatar considers this new US policy “a death sentence on all peace efforts.”
Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, also warned Trump about the decision beforehand in a phone call according to the Foreign Ministry.
King Abdullah of US-allied Jordan, who lost control over Jerusalem in the 1967 six-day war, called Trump’s decision “deeply disrespectful,” to US allies in the region. Abdullah also warned the move would have “dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region.”
Speaking to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Damascus “condemns in the strongest possible terms the US President Donald Trump’s intention to move the American embassy to occupied Jerusalem and to recognize it as capital of the Israeli occupation in a way that crowns the crimes of usurping Palestine, displacing the Palestinian people and establishing the Zionist entity at the center of the Arab world to be a basis for imposing hegemony on the Arab Nation, looting its potentials and preventing any kind of unified Arab action.”
The ministry source added that the move by Trump “clearly uncovers that the US disrespects the international law and gives up its responsibilities, as a major power in maintaining the international peace and security…at the expense of people’s blood.” The spokesman then addressed the need “for establishing a new global system that respects states’ sovereignty, preserves peoples’ rights and puts an end to the destructive policies, the collapsing value system and the hypocrisy which has become an inherent attribute to the US Administration and the countries subordinated to it.”
Cousin of the Houthi leader and president of the Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali al Houthi said the Trump regime’s decision is a “barbaric step,” of “aggressive disregard of international law, principles, and purposes of the so-called international legitimacy.”
Houthi went on to say “we reject the resolution altogether because it is void based on falsehood, we condemn all the words of condemnation of this step, we consider a new US aggression against the Arab and Islamic nation, and a new episode of American attacks on the right of Muslims in general and Arabs and Palestinians especially.”
Houthi stated that the resistance will show “solidarity of the Yemeni people with the Palestinian people,” and encouraged “our Palestinian brothers to follow the example of the Yemeni people, who today relies on himself after God Almighty, which, despite the unjust siege, killing and destruction was able to stand up and face moves, and that his position is the highest position and the victor.”
The leader of the Ansarullah movement, Mr. Abdul Malik al-Houthi called the action an “aggressive step” taken by the United States in “coordination with Arab regimes” referring of course to Saudi Arabia and their allies. He went on to call the United States a supporter of terrorism and criminal behavior which once again proves hostility towards Arabs and Muslims. Al-Houthi urged for mobilization against the Israeli and US regimes calling for a boycott and march in solidarity with Palestinians.
Prior to Trump’s decision, Turkish President Recep Erdogan warned that a change of al-Quds designation would be a “red line” for Muslims worldwide. He also cautioned that Turkey may respond by ending diplomatic relations with Israel.
Following Trump’s announcement, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told a crowd in Ankara that “The United States has pulled the pin on a bomb ready to blow in the region.” Yildirim also stated that “80 percent” of Turks are “cold towards the United States and they are right to be so,” which could complicate relations with the NATO ally.
Following a phone call with Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office issued a statement saying that Moscow is “deeply concerned” about the Trump regime’s decision but said Palestinians should “hold back” their response and continue negotiating with Israel. However, Putin did imply that Trump had made a mistake, saying “This kind of measure can block possible paths to peace in the Middle East.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry also released a separate statement which further accentuated the fact that “Moscow views the decisions announced in Washington with serious concern.” Like The Kremlin statement though, the Foreign Ministry called on “all involved parties to show restraint and forego any action that would be fraught with dangerous and non-controllable consequences.”
Pope Francis spoke yesterday afternoon saying he could not “keep silent” about his concern.
According to Vatican Radio, the pope also spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in “a series of contacts made by the president of the Palestinian National Authority after his conversation with Donald Trump during which — according to Abbas’ spokesman — the U.S. president announced his intention to move the American embassy.”
The pope also spoke on the unique character of al-Quds as “sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.” He then went on to say he “prays to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East, and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.
While Chinese President Xi Jinping hasn’t yet directly commented on the matter of al-Quds, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang spoke on the matter in a press conference.
In response to reporters questions, Geng expressed that Trump’s decision could cause a “potential flare-up of regional tensions,” and cautioned “all parties” not to further enhance tensions in the region.
Yet, more importantly, Gend did reiterate Beijing’s official position that recognizes the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle and their right to establish their own state. According to Geng, China also still stands by their commitment to ” full sovereignty state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” as President Xi made clear earlier this year.
It’s on this policy basis that China promises to “remain committed to resolving disputes through negotiations and promoting regional peace and stability in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions,” Geng said. The resolution Geng was referring to are those that address Israel’s many violations of international law such as resolution 2234 which called for a halt to settlement construction in the West Bank.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also gave more detail on China’s desire to work towards peace through international diplomacy when he met with his counterpart from the Palestinian National Authority, Riyad al-Malki. While China does still have a fairly balanced stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict they are still miles ahead of the US in their “support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, the two-state solution, the establishment of a fully independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and any other help that would ease the Palestine-Israel situation,” according to Wang.
In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan said Trump’s decision was misguided, and it is “deeply regrettable that pleas from states across the globe not to alter the legal and historical status of Al Quds Al Sharif have been ignored, more out of choice than necessity.” Pakistan also urged the Trump regime to re-evaluate their decision as soon as possible.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri took to Twitter to denounce Trump, and say that Lebanon rejects his decision. He went on to say “[Lebanon announces] their [Palestinian’s] right to the creation of an independent state whose capital is Jerusalem.”
President Michel Aoun also issued a written statement saying “The U.S. president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel threatens the peace process and the stability in the region. The Arab countries must be in unity against it.”
Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah also made comments in a televised speech earlier today, calling the US move “blatant aggression” and a “historic injustice.” Although Nasrallah did not say Hezbollah would act against Israel directly, Nasrallah did say the organization supports “the call for a new Palestinian intifada (uprising) and escalating the resistance,” and that it “It is the biggest, most important and gravest response to the American decision.”
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign affairs issued a statement saying the nation “condemns the U.S.’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its ambassador to Jerusalem. Such unilateral steps contrary to international agreements will not change the legal status of Jerusalem as it is under occupation.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres criticized the US for taking “unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.”
“Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides,” he said; adding that “In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: There is no alternative to the two-state solution…there is no plan B.”
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Trump’s decision “unhelpful for the peace process.” She also called on Trump to release his secret peace plan he constantly talks about, saying it’s time for Washington to “now bring forward detailed proposals for an Israel-Palestinian settlement.”
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party tweeted a stronger statement than May, saying “Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, including occupied Palestinian territory, is a reckless threat to peace. The British Government must condemn this dangerous act and work for a just and viable settlement of the conflict.”
Iranian Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani called for unity against the Zionists saying “Muslim countries unanimously condemn this conspiracy that violates the rights of the oppressed Palestinians and paves the way for the continuation of the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime.” He also stated that any violence that erupts is on the hands of the US and Israel and that “No country can decide for this Muslim state by ignoring the indisputable rights of the Palestinian people.”
Shamkhani also said that this move by the Trump regime will only accelerate the inevitable collapse of Israel, saying: “Jerusalem al-Quds is the capital of the Islamic State of Palestine, and the US government cannot distract the general public’s attention from its humiliating defeats in the region, particularly the defeat of the Takfiri terrorists in Syria and Iraq.”
“The U.S. administration must reverse this unjust decision,” US-allied Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said today. Despite fighting the common enemy of the Islamic State, Abadi also warned of a possible “dangerous escalation” and called for an emergency meeting with US diplomatic staff earlier today.
The Iraqi Shiite leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, who resisted the US occupation of Iraq in the early 2000’s called on Saudi Arabia to stop their war on Yemen to fight Israel. He also added that, even if they didn’t, he would like to “remind Israel that we can easily reach their borders from Syria.”
Abadi also warned the move by the Trump regime could make US soldiers in countries like Iraq targets for militant groups and government-aligned militias. Later on, one such Popular Mobilization Force, Harakat Hezbollah Al-Nujaba, who have been attacked by the US before issued a statement saying they would do just that.
The Taliban issued a statement via email from Afghanistan, where US troops are currently fighting the militants, saying Trump’s decision will “fan the flames of conflict in the entire world.” Apparently not convinced by the the 16-year war in Afghanistan, the Taliban spokesman also said this latest move by Washington exposes the US “policy of occupation and colonization of Muslim lands.”
A new friend of Israel, Saudi Arabia even condemned the decision by the Trump regime, calling it “unjustified and irresponsible.”
The royal court stated via Saudi media that the “kingdom expresses great regret over the US president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” The decision, says Riyadh, runs counter to “historical and permanent rights of the Palestinian people.”
The kingdom also warned of “serious consequences of such an unjustified and irresponsible move,” and that it “represents a significant decline in efforts to push a peace process and is a violation of the historically neutral American position on Jerusalem.” Despite the US never being a neutral broker, the Saudis are clearly walked a tight line in their statement in an attempt not to anger their only true ally in the region.
The statement issued by Fatah in response to Trump calls for a new intifada saying “This fierce and systematic attack on Jerusalem, which is being launched by Israel… This attack seeks to erase the Arabic and Islamic existence in the city and Judaise it, as well as change the geographic and demographic reality in a way that serves the expansionist Israeli interests.”
The statement went on to say that “Jerusalem is the gate to war and peace. Continuous escalation against its Arabic identity is considered an alarm of war and this abandons all international agreements and conventions,” and that the US has given “political and legal legitimacy” to the Zionist occupation.
Other officials from the Palestinian Authority also said they’d no longer stick to any previous agreements with the west.
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gave his remarks in a speech from Gaza City, saying that the move by Trump was a “US declaration of war,” and also called for another intifada. “Tomorrow, December 8, 2017, should be a day of rage and the beginning of a major effort to rise up, which I will name the intifada of Jerusalem and the West Bank’s freedom,” he said.
Haniyeh also promised that “As we liberated Gaza, we are able…to free Jerusalem and the West Bank by the way of this popular struggle.” As of Thursday afternoon, Hamas seems intent on delivering on this promise, already launching several rockets from Gaza into Israeli controlled Palestine.
The Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issued a statement on their website that that says “the U.S. plan for the Arab-Zionist struggle that Trump is seeking to impose as reported by the media is tantamount to a declaration of war on Palestinian fundamental national rights and an attempt to legitimize the disgraceful, colonial Balfour Declaration.”
Mahmoud al-Ras, member of the Central Committee of the PFLP also called on all anti-Zionists to prepare for “serious confrontation” through “responsible national unity on the basis of a firm strategy to rid the Palestinian people of the burden of Oslo and its security, economic and political agreements and end the reliance on the U.S. administration and its complete alliance with the Zionist entity.”
Clearly, the US is considering these warnings as all their embassies worldwide have issued travel advisories, warning US citizens to avoid demonstrations. While we can’t say what will be next for the Palestinian struggle, it has unified almost every faction in the Middle East against Tel Aviv.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.