On Monday, President Donald Trump announced he would be recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It didn’t take long for Hamas to use the announcement as a pretext for launching a new intifada. It’s these type of announcements that the eye roll emoticon was created for.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh had this to say:
“Palestine will not be divided and the whole of Palestine and the whole of Jerusalem are the property of the Palestinian people,” he said, calling the US-Israeli alliance “satanic.”
“It is a declaration of war against our Palestinian people in their holiest of holy places of the Christians and Muslims,” he added.
This statement tells you that Israel pretty much is going to inevitably be facing another Intifada at some point. Haniyeh is not shy about saying Hamas believes all of Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinian people. It appears that he thinks this announcement coupled with the gross incompetence of the sitting US president mean Hamas is in a position of power.
First of all, however you view President Trump, Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people. Israel has tried to negotiate on it before, and that too led to an Intifada. With or without those announcement, Israel lives day to day under the threat of Palestinian uprising.
And that’s no way to live. Given that fact, this announcement should have been made years ago. Let’s be clear: Israel has never been shy about declaring Jerusalem its capital. This announcement has nothing to do with the Israeli government and was made unilaterally by the Americans.
How does that possibly legitimize increasing violence against Israelis?
There has never been a point since 1948 where international recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital wouldn’t have caused an uprising. Since Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, there are several reasons this could be a good time for it to happen.
First of all, the Palestinian cause is weak right now. It’s actually very possible President Trump recognizes this. Sensing weakness in an adversary is actually one of his strengths. Why is the cause weak right now?
Iran. Iran. Iran. After decades of pretending to care about the Palestinian cause and creating the Golem that became radical Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia is scared. They’re scared of Iran taking their power. They’re scared the terrorism they fomented all these years could bite them in the ass.
And Saudi princes don’t like any ass biting unless it’s in the confines of one of their slave filled harems. While there are still no diplomatic relations between the Saudis and Israel, it’s no secret they are working together more and more behind the scenes.
This doesn’t bode well for the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia has two choices: Pour more money into Palestinian terror and allow Iran to increase its power in the region. Or play nice with the Israelis to strengthen their kingdom and make that paper.
It’s a pretty easy choice.
From Israel’s perspective, this could be as good of a time as any for the US to recognize Jerusalem as its capital. First of all, by doing so, the US has taken away some negotiating power from the Palestinians. That should be attractive to America’s only ally in the Mideast.
But most of all, this move brings the inevitable to the forefront. A showdown regarding Jerusalem was always going to happen. It’s easy to understand why people would be suspicious of the President’s motives. But in the long run, this could be an excellent power move for the State of Israel.