Trump has made it: even if he didn’t mention borders, he didn’t speak about Jerusalem as a sole “entity,” he didn’t divide it into West and East and explained that the future lies in the hands of the both parties in case, and only in case, they wish to create two states for two peoples; and also is decision to move the U.S. embassy was made a bit softer when he said that it will take time to build it.
“It’s in the best interests of peace,” explained Trump. Because achieving peace — he courageously inferred — requires a 360 degree turn, it must begin from existing truths on the ground. Therefore, he said, Palestinians shouldn’t consider belligerent that which at the end of the day prepares them a future in which they too will enjoy. The premise is so clear: the previous paths taken have been disastrous: Trump spoke in unequivocal terms without leaving any room open to the narcissistic peace process predicated on the borders of a war of aggression to which Israel was subjected to in 1967 and that won, and that called for the “end to the occupation” of a state that has never existed.
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, he said, it’s so easy to see, even if for 70 years presidents representing the United States, including Obama, have opted to remain anchored to the “internationalization” decreed by the UN in 1947, and therefore have declined to officially recognize it despite always promising to do so. Yes, fear won, and even now the uproar is likely to cover up the simple truth that could be drawn from this just position, which restores to Israel the feeling that it is seen as the democratic and continually threatened state that it is, and to the Palestinians, the awareness that they won’t obtain anything if they continue on the path of rejection, criminalization, and delegitimisation. The bias don’t work all the time. Sometimes they fail.
Donald Trump in fact concluded yesterday one of the several tortures that the international community inflicts upon Israel: to disavow its capital since 1950 and the beating heart of its people for 3000 years, where the Prime Minister and its government works, where all international delegations come if they want to talk about business, security, agriculture, archeology, high-tech, etc. Trump stated this simply by saying: I was just there.
Trump called upon all not to change the status quo and to facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides: this is also new, given that for example Europe, as Obama also attempted to do, wishes to decide which will be the future borders for both the Israelis and Palestinians. It sets aside the senseless demonization that has throughout these years not only blocked Israel’s recognition, but also backed it into a corner at the UN where it’s has been subjected to an onslaught of biased and arbitrary resolutions, that is, until the reasonable and beneficent arrival of Nikky Haley; who unabashedly condemned the political farce in which UNESCO decreed that Jews are an epiphenomenon unworthy of historical mention, while Islam can claim even the Western Wall.
Will anything change starting tomorrow? Nothing visible but the symbolic panorama, that is so great and important; nothing, much apart from the mood, Jerusalem continues to be the capital of a democratic state where all citizens have the same rights and peacefully coexist despite the Palestinian never ending terrorism. Threat of violence, and terrorist violence itself are the usual strategic weapons of the Palestinian side, again, this time, unnoticed and uncondensed by the European Union officials, who prefer to condemn Trump’s decision to go out of the closet. But the general public feels a new breath of air, has seen its daily reality accepted, and now lives in the capital where for 3000 years its people resolved to return.
Will hell break out now? It’s unlikely. Much of the Sunni world shares fundamental strategic interests with Israel, we probably won’t see Saudi Arabia’s King Salman or Egypt’s General Sisi at the conference that Erdogan wants to organize next week. It’s also difficult for the Palestinians, apart from Hamas’s eagerness to start a real war, to organize a new Intifada. Of course tomorrow, Friday, will be a day of unrest at the Mosques. As for the rest, let’s wait and see. Perhaps yesterday marked the first day of a genuine peace process.
Translation by Amy Rosenthal
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (December 7, 2017)