News Nosh 12.10.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday, December 10, 2017  

Quote of the day:
"True, it was just a few teens, but we mustn’t be naïve. They represent our society. They were taught this undemocratic civics, in the spirit of the commander. Faced with tens of thousands of demonstrators in Tel Aviv, they wouldn’t have dared, but faced with a few parents with young children, they did. Because in our aggressive reality, the most violent side wins."
--Israeli citizen Dana Genosar writes about what happened when a few families held their own little protest in Kfar Saba Saturday night against the government.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Demonstrations were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers: Thousands of Israelis who demonstrated in Tel-Aviv for the second week running against corruption in the Israeli government and thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank, E. Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and even some Arab Israelis in Wadi Ara in northern Israel demonstrated against the unilateral declaration by US President Donald Trump that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. But elsewhere in the world, anger was great against Trump's move - just ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit with leaders in Europe.

Two Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded by Israeli fire in clashes across the Palestinian Territories on Friday and Saturday. After two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were shot dead by Israeli soldiers on the border Friday, Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh cautioned that Palestinians will not be satisfied merely with demonstrations. That night two rockets were shot from Gaza. Israel responded by attacking Hamas targets in the Strip, killing two Hamas men and injuring 25 other people. The Palestinians responded with one more rocket which landed in Sderot, no injuries. Many women were among those protesting - and some were injured in Ramallah and in GazaMaan has photos of Israeli police using force to break up a protest in East Jerusalem and detaining women and elderly. Protests spilled into Israel Saturday when a bus traveling in the Wadi Ara Arab-populated region in northern Israel was hit by stones, lightly injuring three people. A Yedioth photographer standing next to police was stoned by protesters in Wadi Ara.

The anger was not limited to the Palestinian Territories. Anti-US, Israel protests took place all over the Middle Eastclashes also erupted outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut and protests even reached Muslim-majority countries in Asia At an emergency meeting at the Arab League Saturday Arab foreign ministers blasted Trump over the Jerusalem move and the Arab League Chief called on the world to recognize Palestine. Iraq summoned the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq demanding the decision be retracted. Turkish President Tayyep Erdoğan railed against Trump's decision calling it ‘null and void’ and describing Israel as 'state of occupation' that uses 'terror' against Palestinians. Though condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Saudi Arabia has reportedly been working behind the scenes for weeks to promote US' nascent peace plan.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted Friday that the 'Status of Jerusalem was not final’ and said that US embassy move won’t happen in the next 2 years. Indeed, Trump did not refer to Jerusalem as ‘undivided’ nor did he refer to E. Jerusalem. Haaretz has a video discussion of what Trump didn't say in his Jerusalem speech. Israeli commentator of Hahadashot News show, Amnon Abramovich, said that “Trump referred in his statement to West Jerusalem only” and added that "I would have preferred that instead of that, he would give half a billion dollars to the city, which is the poorest in Israel.”

In the US, over 100 Jewish studies scholars issued a condemnation of the Trump declaration and Senator Elizabeth Warren told Reform Jews: Trump's Jerusalem move hinders Mideast peace. Indeed, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to shun a visit by US President Mike Pence, who was expected to come last Friday, but now isn’t coming till later this month. Even the head of Egypt’s Coptic Church canceled his meeting with Pence in Cairo set for later this month, due to the Trump decision. And at a special session of the UN Security Council held on Friday to discuss the Trump declaration, the UNSC lambasted the US action. One by one, the members spoke out against Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley said that the UN has done more harm than good to Middle East peace efforts. Meanwhile, the US confirmed it Trump invited Abbas to the White House. 

All this happened ahead of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s three-day visit to Europe, which is expected to be tense because of the Trump declaration. Netanyahu was already greeted last night in Paris by hundreds of protesters, who opposed Trump’s decision. In their meeting today, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to demand that Netanyahu declare what his plans about E. Jerusalem are. Netanyahu will also make an ‘unofficial’ visit the European Parliament, where EU parliament members will hand him a '1.2 million-euro bill' for EU-funded humanitarian projects that Israel demolished in the West Bank, Haaretz+ reported. And the meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will probably be even tenser than usual following the declaration, which she slammed. Netanyahu has pre-empted the expected backlash by lashing out at Europe for ‘condemning Trump, but not rocket fire.’

Quick Hits:
  • New in the Likud: a poll for choosing Netanyahu's successor - The organizers of the ruling party's annual event next month in Eilat will allow participants to choose their preferred candidate to take over the chair of the movement and the government. The candidates till now: Ministers Yisrael Katz, Gilad Erdan and Miri Regev and Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein and former minister Gideon Sa'ar. (Maariv)
  • Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog: "On Monday we will impose a parliamentary siege on the Knesset" - Opposition leader says opposition will battle against "the insistence of Netanyahu and his people to promote a series of extremely dangerous laws, especially the Recommendations Law, which more than anything will help Israel's greatest criminals against Israeli citizens." Herzog added that the public protest was vital to exerting pressure on the coalition to "withdraw from this blitz of crazy laws" and that "in the coming year we will go to elections." (Maariv)
  • Trump, PM Netanyahu spoke 3 times before speech - President Trump, PM Netanyahu spoke 3 times over 10-day period before speech; Netanyahu assured Trump in conversations Jerusalem status quo would be maintained, told him he was 'making history'; Israel to leverage ties in Latin America, Asia, Africa to counter criticism over speech. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Czech Republic wants to move embassy to Jerusalem, 'truly happy' with Trump's declaration - 'We may sooner or later follow the United States,' Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman stated a day after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. (Haaretz)
  • EU's Mogherini: Czech Republic promised me not to move embassy to Jerusalem - Czech foreign minister pledged his country's position will remain that Jerusalem is the future capital of Israel and Palestine, EU's foreign policy chief says. (Haaretz)
  • Qusra bar mitzvah trip completed - A week after being pelted with stones, parent retaliating by shooting [NOTE: That is settler version, Palestinians say settlers first shot dead farmer - OH], Avizur Libman returned with dozens of others—including Minister Ariel, Deputy Minister Hotovely—to complete his bar mitzvah trip; 'I'm not comfortable being here, but it gives me strength to keep my head up. I'm so happy this many people came here to allow me to celebrate again,' says bar mitzvah boy. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Army Commander Suspended for Stealing Fruit From Palestinian Vendor in Hebron - An investigation has been opened into a commander who was caught on video taking apples from a vendor's stall while deployed to keep the peace. (HaaretzVIDEO and Ynet)
  • Habayit Hayehudi head declares plans to run for PM after Netanyahu - Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett announced Saturday plans to launch a bid for the premiership after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's term in office comes to an end. (Israel Hayom)
  • West Bank Colleges to Be Included Under Israeli Law in New Bill - Critics of the bill sponsored by Habayit Hayehudi an attempt at creeping annexation of West Bank settlements. The bill was approved for vote by Knesset committee Sunday. (Haaretz)
  • UN Security Council set to hold discussion on Israeli POWs and MIAs - Leah Goldin, whose son Lt. Hadar Goldin was killed and taken by Hamas, will urge the Security Council to take immediate action to return the bodies of her son and fellow fallen soldier Oron Shaul, as well as two Israeli citizens Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed to Israel. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Palestinians to make play for Dead Sea scrolls at UNESCO  - In response to U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, PA is planning to ask UNESCO to recognize Qumran caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, as Palestinian heritage site. Ancient scrolls attest to Jewish presence in Land of Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli police target ultra-Orthodox protesters with weapon developed against Palestinians, and it stinks - Police make violent use of Skunk, ultra-Orthodox protesters say: 'It makes it impossible to breathe.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Iran-backed Iraqi militant commander visits Lebanon-Israel border - During tour of border with Hezbollah members, Qais al-Khazali, who was banned from Lebanon, says his group Asaib Ahl al-Haq is ready 'to stand with the Lebanese people and the Palestinian cause against the unjust Israeli occupation that is hostile to Islam, Arabs and humanity.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Two-Page Solution? After Trump move, Jerusalem battle now plays out on Wikipedia - Dramatic change in U.S. policy finds its way onto Wikipedia, where Jerusalem is Israel’s capital in English and Hebrew, but the Palestinians' capital in Arabic. (Haaretz+)
  • Jewish remains dug up, dumped to make way for parking lot - Poland's chief rabbi decries excavation in eastern town of Siemiatycze, which was about 60% Jewish before World War II, as "full-out scandal" • Local authorities insist construction work is being carried out on developed land, not cemetery grounds. (Israel Hayom)
  • Trump's Jewish supporters to celebrate Jerusalem decision at president's first Hanukkah party - The celebratory event will host Trump supporters from the Jewish community, who feel the President has fulfilled a major promise by calling Jerusalem Israel's capital and promising once again to move the U.S. Embassy to the city. (Haaretz+)
  • Christian With Jewish Roots Slated to Become Poland’s New PM - ‘My dream is to make Europe Christian again,’ proclaimed the newly appointed leader, who is a member of the ruling nationalist party. (Haaretz)
  • Polish Jews Torn Over Government’s Emphasis on Righteous Neighbors - The Polish government is honoring more and more Poles who saved Jewish lives during WWII, but its opponents are saying that it does so only due to a political motive. (Haaretz+)
  • Lebanon private school apologizes for using map featuring Israel - Apology follows Facebook post by Lebanese father of map showing Israel, not Palestine, as country south of Lebanon, along with caption saying, "This is what my fourth-grade daughter learned in class today" • Lebanese law bans any recognition of Israel. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Iraq says its war against ISIS has ended - After more than three years of hellish fighting that drove some 3 million Iraqis out of the country in fear for their lives, Iraq declares its war against ISIS is now finally won. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Chronicler of Islamic State 'killing machine' goes public - For years, a blogger dubbed "Mosul Eye" documented the atrocities committed by the jihadi terrorist group, knowing that if he was caught he would be killed • Now Omar Mohammed is shedding his anonymity, saying, "I defeated ISIS. You can see me now." (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Major powers to push Saudis, Iran to stop interfering in Lebanon - U.N. Security Council members urge Iran, Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia to cease internal, external interference in Lebanese affairs • "We need to send the message of sovereignty, stability and security to all the Lebanese sides," French diplomat says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)

The exclusive Israeli communities that shun Arabs, Mizrahim and anyone else 'incompatible'
Galilee hilltop villages put prospective residents through the wringer and require that they uphold Jewish and Zionist values; it's about creating communities of clones, a longtime resident explains. (Hilo Glazer, Haaretz+)
Breaking barriers: The Israeli women fighting to become combat pilots
The odds of successfully graduating from the Israeli military's pilot training course are one in nine, and that's even less for women. A revealing new documentary follows six women through the first part of their training. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
The Faces of 50 Years of Occupation
50 images of Palestinians born in 1967 are on display in a new exhibition in Jaffa. The project’s photographers included Israelis and Palestinians, which led to some fascinating encounters. (Naama Riba, Haaretz+)
*A Frightening Lesson in Israeli Civics (Dana Genosar, Haaretz+) 'It’s not nice to write such things about Bibi,' said the teenage boys before threatening to burn us all down for holding a sign that read, “Bibi to jail,” at a small demonstration in Kfar Sava against political corruption in the government. The two boys of about 14 said it wasn’t nice to write such things about Bibi. We explained that in a democracy, every citizen is free to demonstrate and express his opinion nonviolently, but they wouldn’t back down. One said it isn’t right, and if his father heard about it, he’d come and burn us all down. Within a minute or two, they had become a gang – a gang of teens who rode through the small group swiftly and provocatively on their electric bikes and threatened to burn us down. At this point, I called the police. I asked them to send police officers to keep the peace. I was afraid. I understand very well where we’re living, how brainwashed with hate teens are liable to be and what a risk is taken by anyone who dares to speak against the government – in the virtual public square, in the media, and all the more so in a real public square. Then the boys grabbed the sign from the teenaged demonstrator and fled, came back and struck a cell phone from the hand of a female demonstrator who was trying to film what was happening. A commotion began, the beginnings of a brawl, but it was stopped by the wisdom and maturity of a few of the demonstrators…Our daughter, a kindergartner who is going on six, was very frightened, and we felt guilty. Guilty that we had brought her to the demonstration to give her a lesson in civics – about democracy, freedom of expression, civic responsibility and the duty to protest against a corrupt government – but instead exposed her to a premature lesson about the real Israeli civics of 2017, the way the government has taken care to shape it: civics devoid of any democratic or historical consciousness. A violent civics that worships power and silences others. A civics in which all memory of fair play, of reasoned, dignified debate on a democratic playing field, is being erased, because it’s easier to threaten to burn down the other team. True, it was just a few teens, but we mustn’t be naïve. They represent our society. They were taught this undemocratic civics, in the spirit of the commander. Faced with tens of thousands of demonstrators in Tel Aviv, they wouldn’t have dared, but faced with a few parents with young children, they did. Because in our aggressive reality, the most violent side wins…We told our young daughter that the boys weren’t frightening, but merely stupid, and therefore, they didn’t know it’s okay to demonstrate against the prime minister and not okay to threaten. We didn’t tell her about the connection wise men have observed between ignorance and evil, or that one idiot is enough to burn down an entire forest.
Anti-Bibi revolt in the works in Likud? (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) One of the most senior members of Israel’s ruling party says he and four of his colleagues are discussing the possibility of teaming up to replace Netanyahu as their leader. At the moment, however, they lack the courage to take action.
Is Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the state good for Israel? No: On a collision track (Column by former Peace Now secretary-general, Yariv Oppenheimer, Yedioth's '24 Hours supplement) Donald Trump doesn't live in Israel, his children don't serve in the army, and his relatives don't live near Gaza or in Sderot. Nevertheless, Trump knowingly chose to gamble the safety of Israeli citizens and to go against the Arab world on the most sensitive subject, Jerusalem. If the US President is not interested in using his position to bring peace, that's his right. But at least avoid causing damage. We have no need for another war, we don't have children for unnecessary speeches. The government's joy over Trump's speech does not come from its commitment to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but from the happiness to gloat at the Palestinians and the total ignoring of their ambitions to put a foot in the east of the city. If alongside the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump also declared that Jerusalem was the future capital of the Palestinian people - the response would have been completely opposite. The Israel right-wing is sophisticated and ideological, they know that in order to veto the two-state solution there is no need to argue over every hill and outpost. It's enough to use the cliche "United Jerusalem forever" in order to destroy the chance of reaching an agreement. They also know there will be no Palestinian state without E. Jerusalem as its capital. Therefore without compromise on Jerusalem, there is no compromise between the two peoples..
Trump's Jerusalem speech is the pick-me-up Netanyahu's depressed party needed (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the harsh reactions of regional leaders and clashes with Palestinians all played into Netanyahu's hands this week, as investigators close in on him and his close associates.
Parting from Meni Yitzhaki: The officer who changed the worldview of the police commissioner (Amir Zohar, Maariv) Police Commander Meni Yitzhaki, the retiring head of the intelligence and investigations division of the Israel Police, will continue to go to his office until January, wearing civilian clothes, just to take part in drafting the police recommendations on the investigations into the prime minister. Impressions from the ceremony…After getting close to Yitzhaki at work meetings saturated with tensions and patriotic energies in which he was exposed to fascinating intelligence information, chilling eavesdropping and a wealth of evidence in thick files that only expanded from meeting to meeting, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh began to understand exactly who were the politicians who appointed him and the criminal organizations that alarmed us. What Alsheikh thinks about the Lahav Unit police investigators since then, the police chief himself said in his farewell remarks from Yitzhaki: "I have found you a faithful partner in innumerable revolutions, the results of which are already visible on the ground and far from exhausting their enormous potential.”
In Israel, Even the Religious Aren’t Religious Enough for Some ( Or Kashti, Haaretz+) Observant Israelis all over the country are being forced to adopt more stringent rules, including gender separation.
There’s No Link Between Being Weak and Being Right (Gadi Taub, Haaretz+) Why does political correctness permit treating different groups by different standards? That’s how the world is divided between righteous victims and wicked victimizers.
Nothing to be happy about, nothing to get killed over (Ron Ben-Yishai|, Ynet) Joy in Israel over President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital was restrained, as was Palestinian anger; both sides realize decision has no practical ramifications, so there's nothing to be happy about, nothing to get killed over; the Gaza theater is simmering, and Israel hopes Hamas realizes it may be led to escalation it does not seek.
Armageddon? Bring It On: The Evangelical Force Behind Trump's Jerusalem Speech (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) The U.S. evangelical community is in raptures over Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, believing it moves the world closer to Armageddon.
Trump's Jerusalem Syndrome: Whose End of Days Messiah does he think he is? (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) The president just gave Jerusalem to the Evangelicals for Christmas, as a capital of their very own. After all, who else but Trump could make the Apocalypse great again.
A Poisoned Gift (Friday Haaretz Editorial) Violating the status quo in Jerusalem, like expanding the settlement enterprise, is moving Israel further from the only possible solution, the two-state solution.
Commendable defiance (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) The Palestinians and European leaders have no one to blame except themselves for President Donald Trump's declaration on Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.
Kushner's peace faces tough recovery after Trump's Jerusalem bombshell (Amir Tibon, Haaretz) Jared Kushner's speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict earlier this week had even skeptics wondering if the Trump administration might achieve the unachievable. And then Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
On Jerusalem, Trump just offered talk. Does Kushner's peace plan offer real substance? (Daniel B. Shapiro, Haaretz) Trump's Jerusalem move, taken and rolled out in a frantic rush, stopped at mere rhetoric for Israel and nothing for Palestinians. Kushner and Greenblatt must show far more explicit U.S. support for two states - and it needs to happen soon.
This time, Trump is right (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) The world’s 70-year refusal to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a foolish mistake, the result of diplomatic cowardice and neglect on the part of Israel’s governments. The argument that the US president's speech harms the peace process is baseless, as there is no peace process going on.
With Jerusalem move, Trump boosts Palestinian reconciliation efforts (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Visiting Gaza, Palestinian PM Hamdallah thanked Hamas for maintaining security in the Strip and said 'Palestinian reconciliation is our choice to save Jerusalem.’
The reward and punishment: Recognition of Jerusalem is proof of the justice of our path, but it will cost dearly (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Trump's declaration that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is very good news, but the price tag that will come with it may be too expensive.
The Jerusalem Powder Keg: How Much Will Trump's Gamble Cost and Will Israel Defuse It (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israeli defense establishment braces for violence after Trump's Jerusalem speech.
Jerusalem for Dummies, Part 2: What the Palestinians Want (David B. Green, Haaretz+) Jerusalem can be an open city that’s home to two capitals and three religions, experts explain.
The defense establishment sums up - could have been worse (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Despite the demonstrations, the stone throwing and the Molotov cocktails, and even the rocket fire at Sderot, the IDF and the police believe that the events following the Trump Declaration remain under control.
Israel Must Act Wisely to Protect Its Citizens While Keeping the Peace (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu should signal his readiness to talk borders, recommit to a two-state solution and guarantee freedom of worship on the Temple Mount.
How Trump fooled everyone with his Jerusalem declaration (Itamar Eichner, Yedioth/Ynet) The US president’s recognition of Israel’s capital can be seen as a test for the Palestinians: If they respond with violence, Trump may say the Israelis were right and there is apparently no partner; but if they exercise maturity and accept Trump’s peace plan, Netanyahu will have a problem.
Trump upended the entire history of Middle East diplomacy - and delivered Netanyahu's ultimate coup (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is all about painting himself as more courageous than his predecessors, and to hell with the potential consequences for the region's people.
Trump's Jerusalem Decision Angers Palestinian Leadership More Than the Man on the Street (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Though Palestinian leaders called for 'intifada' following Trump's Jerusalem announcement, public response was tepid. Still, things are tense in Gaza.
Donald Trump, Visionary of the (Single) State (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Now that he’s ripped the mask off the farce of a two-state solution, perhaps the U.S. president can help establish the first genuine democracy in the Middle East.
Trump's Jerusalem (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom)
U.S. President Donald Trump effectively erased the Green Line in Jerusalem as well as the seven-decade Israeli-American tango over the status of the city when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Palestinians, and the world, are in shock.
Following in the path of the intellectuals (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Just like 70 years ago, ostensible intellectuals beseeched the U.S. administration against the interests of the Jews of the Land of Israel.
Battle Procedure: The IDF has forgotten that the best defense is to attack ((Settler) Karni Eldad, Maariv) In the Qusra incident the IDF came to negotiate with the rioters instead of opening live fire, which would deter them and prevent them from continuing to try to murder Jews.
The spin by the settlers' has made everyone believe that there was a lynching attempt in Qusra (Ran Adelist, Maariv) Immediately after the shooting incident in the village [in which a settler shot dead a Palestinian farmer - OH], we saw the demonization of the Arabs, arguments against the army and praise for the rescue of bar mitzvah boys. But was there really an attempt to harm Jewish hikers? Palestinian version: "A psycho criminal shot a Palestinian who worked his land" (London and Kirschenbaum, Channel Ten). Only after the shooting did they realize in the village (of Qusra that this it was (by) a group of settlers who entered the cave and threw stones at it. The IDF reported after a preliminary investigation: "When the soldiers arrived, the rioting turned into stone throwing at the road, and two soldiers were lightly wounded. Another soldier was wounded in clashes that took place between settlers who came to take revenge against villagers. The settlers who escorted the teenagers’ hike and who were lightly injured were evacuated to the Beilinson hospital for treatment.” Prof. Michael Drescher, director of the emergency room at Beilinson Hospital, reported: “The wounded who arrived at the hospital received dry hits, their condition is good and I hope they will be released soon.”…The settlers of the Esh Kodesh outpost may not be nice, but the tribe said its word. This week, in Keshet's morning program, one of the  settlers’ spokesmen, [TV host] Avri Gilad, justified  some settlers who heard the words of the Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel ("no significant steps were taken against the village ... action must be taken immediately") and they went the day after the shooting to exercise their right to travel throughout the Land of Israel and to act immediately against the residents of Qusra. "It's great that settlers rioted in Qusra after yesterday's incident,” Gilad said in the morning's news. From there the rhinos raced to the evening news.
After the Storm Over Jerusalem, a Silver Lining for Palestinian Leaders (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) The international backlash against Trump's declaration could present an opportunity to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Jerusalem declaration: Trump’s Christmas gift to Christians and Jews (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The US president’s recognition of Israel’s capital, which was like music to Israeli ears, may actually be aimed at paving the way for future announcements in favor of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Abbas seems to understand that what’s done is done, and that violence won’t make Trump retract his statement.
Arab World Has Only One Way to Fight Trump's Jerusalem Decision (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Arab countries were quick to launch a war of words on the American president's Jerusalem declaration, but there's very little room for them to maneuver diplomatically.
Palestinians in Jerusalem have a new enemy: Donald Trump (Dina Kraft, Haaretz+) Anger on the streets around the Old City after Friday prayers as Arabs express their disgust at the U.S. president's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
A near lynch in the heart of the State of Israel (Gil Nechushtan, Yedioth/Ynet) Yedioth Ahronoth photographer recounts attack by violent protestors while covering Wadi Ara demonstration against US recognition of Jerusalem. How could police leave Israeli citizens unprotected opposite an enraged mob, he asks.
'We will not give up on our capital!' In Gaza, rage over Trump's Jerusalem move is rising (Mohammed M., Haaretz+) All day, I heard Palestinian faction leaders urging clashes with Israeli forces on Gaza’s borders. Palestinians are incensed by the president's act: 'Does Trump own Jerusalem, that he can gift it to the Israelis?’
Trump was branded as guilty: this time, the United States is the one who emerged battered by the Security Council (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) Unlike in the past, Israel did not become the punching bag of the United Nations because of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital, but the White House did, and the question everyone asked was: "Why did America need this?”
Trump recognized one, Israeli capital city. But there are really three Jerusalems (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) I have zero expectations that Netanyahu, Trump and Abbas can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But I believe in my fellow 1.5 million Jerusalemites -Zionist, Palestinian, ultra-Orthodox - and their ability build a template for wider reconciliation, despite outside interference.
Old threats, new reality (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) With his announcement on Jerusalem and determined stance against the forces of darkness in the world, U.S. President Trump is emerging as a great hope for the future of Western civilization.
On Jerusalem, Trump delivers a kick in the butt – but to whom? (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) The U.S. president is right to say that the actions of his predecessors didn’t lead Israel and the Palestinians any closer to peace. But is he really the right person to foment change?
We've Won Jerusalem but Could Lose Startup Nation (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Trump’s declaration will inspire the Israeli right to be more provocative than ever, heightening the risk that global business will shun Israel.
The redemption of Zion (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) The power of Trump's declaration was not in its subtleties but in its  recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital without a diplomatic quid pro quo, as we have grown to expect • It's a shame that so many people have so little faith in redemption.
Bravo, President Trump, for Standing Up to Palestinian Blackmail on Jerusalem (Elliott Abrams, Haaretz+) Trump is not destroying his own peace efforts but grounding them in reality: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And he’s reacted to Arab and Palestinian ‘predictions’ (read: threats) of violence with the contempt they deserve.

With Yael Patir, Director of J Street Israel - Following Trump’s declaration
(Interviewed by Itai Ilnai in Yedioth’s ’24 Hours’ supplement)
What is the significance of the Trump declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel?
“On the one hand, not much beyond the ringing bells, because in the end he still didn’t transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem. On the other hand, he is acting against a long accepted diplomatic given."
Which is?
"That traditionally, every six months, the President signs a delay of the Congress bill to transfer the US embassy. It is a balance that always existed in US foreign policy, and it allowed the US to preserve its standing as a mediator in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Is Trump’s policy dangerous?
“Trump is harming the US’ ability to advance negotiations for a two-state solution. Let’s hope that we can stand in the opening of the breakout of violence. Trump is showing himself to be a President whose statements ask to break the consensus, but they actually create chaos.”
What does the Jewish-American lobby, which supports a two-state solution, stand to do now?
“AFter Trump’s speech, we heard many American politicians making declarations against the change of US policy and they expressed fear of it. That’s our work. Our goal is that the American politics reflect the position of American Jews, and not that of the right-wing Israeli or the extremist right-wing American. We do this in order to preserve the Israeli and American interest and in order that we can implement the two states for two peoples solution.”

Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
comments powered by Disqus