Washington loses arbitrator’s role
The trust deficit on US administration under President Donald Trump among the international community was witnessed Sunday when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Trump’s policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the “slap of the century”.
While addressing the Palestinian Central Council, a decision-making body, in Ramallah on Sunday, Mehmoud Abbas criticised Trump and his policies towards Palestinians. He spoke for more than two hours.
He expressed fury over the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying “shame on you” for the US President’s treatment of the Palestinians. He said: “Jerusalem was removed from the table by a tweet of Mr Trump.
He reiterated that Jerusalem is their eternal capital and rejected the US offer to make Abu Dis, a sub-urban area of Jerusalem as Palestinian capital.
He said that “Israel has killed Oslo. It has terminated Oslo. Now we are an authority without any authority, and an occupation without land, and we will not accept this.”
He criticised Trump’s attitude towards Israel-Palestinian peace process as a “slap in the face” but warned “we slap back”. This is considered to be a very strong reaction from Palestinian against Trump’s Jerusalem move.
On December 6, President Trump had formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly 70 years of American foreign policy. He also directed Department of State to start process of moving US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city for three faiths.
On December 13, President Mahmoud Abbas, while addressing OIC emergency Summit in Istanbul, had announced that Palestinians will no longer work with American peace negotiators. He called Trump’s decision a “crime” that left US unqualified to continue in its role as main international arbitrator in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
ON December 22, more than 120 countries had defied Trump and voted in favour of US General Assembly resolution calling for US to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Precisely 128 countries backed the resolution, 35 abstained and nine voted against.
Most countries opposed US at the world body in spite of US ambassador Nikki Haley’s warning that “the president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue.” Her letter to the fellow ambassadors of US allies was leaked to the media.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the decision was “unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region” while French President Emmanuel Macron said the move was a “threat to peace”.
More than 80 countries house their embassies in Tel Aviv and Gush Dan metropolitan area. Presently US consulate in Jerusalem serves as mission to Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority. Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.