Opinion America Is No Israeli-Palestinian Peace Broker After Trump's Jerusalem Move

23:50  06 december  2017
23:50  06 december  2017 Source:   usnews.com

Palestinian president warns US against Jerusalem recognition

  Palestinian president warns US against Jerusalem recognition The Palestinian president on Sunday warned that American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would jeopardize the White House's nascentPresident Mahmoud Abbas' comments came amid a diplomatic push by the Palestinian leader to rally international support against the possible American move later this week.

Peace Broker No More. Trump ' s Jerusalem declaration ends America 's role as a fair negotiator in the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. America is no longer a peace broker . (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner).

READ MORE: ‘Declaration of war’: Trump ’ s Jerusalem decision lights Middle East powder keg. For Israeli hardliners, there is no peace process – despite lip service. There is only a process of relentless dispossession of Palestinians , which first began in 1948.

An ultra Orthodox Jewish man rides a bicycle as US and Israeli flags are projected onto the walls of Jerusalem's old city, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.: America is no longer a peace broker. © (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) America is no longer a peace broker.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

President Donald Trump started his presidency with an ambitious agenda, one that included, among other things, bringing about an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord – a goal that has eluded for decades the world's most dedicated and experienced negotiators.

While the odds for success were not great to start with, it is fair to say that both Israelis and Palestinians (as well as many others in the region and around the world) were hoping that Trump, with his personal and national clout (real and imagined) would be able to inject a new energy into the process, enough to heave the parties over the significant barriers to any progress: borders, security, refugees and, of course, the status of Jerusalem, which has been left unresolved, and hotly contested, since the U.N.'s historic division resolution of 1947, a resolution that brought about the founding of the state of Israel.

Muslim states warn US against moving embassy to Jerusalem

  Muslim states warn US against moving embassy to Jerusalem An umbrella organization of Muslim countries said Monday that President Donald Trump's possible recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would constitute "naked aggression" against the Arab and Muslim world, as the ruling Palestinian party has called for mass protests against such a move by Washington.The Organization for Islamic Cooperation issued a statement condemning an anticipated announcement by the president, saying its 57 member states should sever ties with any state that transfers its embassy to Jerusalem or recognizes Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem.Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, but the international community doesn

Palestinian president says Trump ' s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel 's capital undermines two-state solution, undermines U.S. position as peace mediator. Palestinian rage over Trump ’ s Jerusalem move won’t turn into a Third Intifada. Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Furious Palestinians burn American flags and promise more 'days of rage' after Trump says Jerusalem IS Israel ' s capital and claims his move will HELP bring peace to the Middle East - despite worldwide condemnation.

But with Trump declaration Wednesday regarding the status of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, it is reasonable to assume that America's role as a peace broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has come to an end.

To understand the playing field in this conflict, here are several conditions that must be fulfilled if we want to entertain any hope for progress in conflict resolution efforts involving Arabs/Muslims:

  1. The third-party intervener must be seen as impartial (so both sides will agree to the process), and powerful (enough to drag the parties across areas of stuckness).
  2. Even if there is a pretense of direct negotiations between the disputants, in reality, most, if not all meaningful negotiations will actually take place through the auspices of the third-party mediator/arbitrator.
  3. One side in the conflict must assume the role of the perpetrator, while the other side assumes the role of the victim. There are no "no-fault" reconciliation processes in Muslim/Arab conflict resolution traditions.

If and when these preliminary conditions hold, there is no guarantee for a successful outcome, but absent fulfillment of these conditions, it is virtually certain that negotiations will not progress beyond certain steam-releasing rituals.

Netanyahu hails Trump's Jerusalem declaration as 'historic'

  Netanyahu hails Trump's Jerusalem declaration as 'historic' <p>Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as "historic" and a "courageous and just decision."</p>Netanyahu also pledged no change to the status quo at Jerusalem's highly sensitive holy sites in the city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

WATCH LIVE: Bethlehem RIOTS after Trump declares Jerusalem as Israel capital – LIVE WEBCAM. Critics believe the move will upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians .

President Trump clearly understood that his decision is not a mere formality in declaring a “new approach” to the Israeli - Palestinian peace process. What could be the international consequences of Trump ’ s move on Jerusalem ?

Since virtually none of these conditions existed to begin with, and certainly will not exist after Trumps' Jerusalem declaration, the odds for success, or even for modest progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace front, under American leadership are virtually nil.

Arguing about history or "historical facts," in this and many other conflict contexts, is a waste of time; both sides have a rock-solid grasp on what they see as the total truthfulness of their own narrative, and their opinions and perceptions are unlikely to change even slightly during or because of the negotiations process. Indeed, the role of the third-party intervener in such rituals is to create a third narrative (a third "history" if you will) that will allow both sides to feel that their narrative leads the pack, while allowing the other's narrative to exist in the same atmosphere at somewhat of an eye-level position.

Praise and Alarm From American Jews Over Trump’s Jerusalem Move

  Praise and Alarm From American Jews Over Trump’s Jerusalem Move While some Jewish leaders welcomed recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, many worried that the step would inflame tensions and make peace in the Middle East even harder to achieve.If he was hoping for thunderous applause from American Jews, President Trump may be disappointed.

Live updates (closed). Putin: US move on Jerusalem may ‘finish prospects’ for Israeli - Palestinian peace . Fifth day of protests in Middle East over Trump ’ s Jerusalem move .

Walking back criticism of embassy move , King Abdullah II says he' s 'reserving judgement' until Trump unveils peace plan. Why Palestinians care what Donald Trump thinks about Jerusalem . Israelis appreciated but mostly shrugged at last month' s US Embassy move , but Palestinians exploded in fury.

I'm sure that in the process of discussing this new policy twist, someone, somewhere, has mentioned that a possible outcome will be the end of America's role as a peace broker in this conflict; certainly, there was no shortage of Arab commentators who said as much in the past few days. The end result testifies to the failure of these narratives to make a convincing argument. I seriously question how many policy advisers in the White House know the above facts about Muslim/Arab conflict resolution, although I'm not certain at all that knowing the facts would have caused them to change their minds or actions.

So while we're in a predictions-making mood, here's another one: living with a sense of hopeless intractability, the state in which most Palestinians have existed for a long time, is bad enough, for them, for Israelis, and for the world; but it is much less dangerous than the sense of utter disillusionment and abandonment many Palestinians and others in the region will feel following Trump's declaration. Consequently, it will be realistic to expect some forms of violent reactions, doubtlessly resulting in spilled blood, further fury and nothing remotely resembling progress towards peace.

Now, that's nothing new in the region, and while it will pain and sadden a lot of people, it will not surprise them – certainly not as much as being able to witness actual progress taking place in Middle East peace efforts.

A great, if unsurprising, pity.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

Israeli undercover unit breaks up Palestinian protest .
An Israeli undercover unit infiltrated a Palestinian protest on the outskirts of Ramallah on Wednesday before dispersing it by firing into the air. AFP journalists witnessed the operation during the protest by around 100 to 150 Palestinians, including some who threw stones at Israeli soldiers, near a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.The operation saw a few dozen soldiers move from farther down the street towards the crowd.Suddenly, several men wearing keffiyehs or balaclavas, including one with a Palestinian flag wrapped around his head, pulled out pistols.

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