Lebanon's Christian and Muslim leaders denounced the "unjust" decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and demanded that it be reversed. "And once they review the president's remarks clearly, they will realize that nothing has changed in terms of being able to reach an historic peace agreement", he said.
The question also is to what degree Gulf leaders have their ear to the ground. But this is not what happened.
"Moreover, attempts to Judaize Jerusalem and alter its Arab, Islamic, and Christian identity will unleash further violence and extremism; for the city is holy to the followers of the three monotheistic faiths", Abdullah said.
Their repressive policies and the Middle East's dissent into chaos and violence as a result of the counterrevolution has dampened appetite for renewed mass anti-government protest despite calls for a third intifada or anti-Israeli uprising by groups like Hamas, the Islamist group in Gaza, and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Lebanon. Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan just flunked a test. The Turkish president-cum-caliph with a tart tongue has flown off the handle over the U.S. foreign policy turn toward Israel, demonstrating why he is an unreliable ally.
They appealed to the Arab and international communities "to pressure the U.S. administration to undo this decision, which lacks the wisdom that real peacemakers need". US officials, including United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, have struggled to explain how the statement furthers the peace process without alienating Mr. Trump's domestic base that endorses the Israeli claim to all of Jerusalem. "We lose the core of our faith, because everything began in Jerusalem". Last week, two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike.
While unwilling to risk their relationship with Washington despite deep-seated passions evoked by the controversy over Islam's third most holy city, Arab leaders, paradoxically, have so far failed to exploit the wiggle room offered by Mr. Trump's statement.
King Abdullah has called Trump's decision a "dangerous" move and a threat to peace, saying "there is no alternative to Jerusalem as the key to ending the historical conflict in the Middle East".
Trump's declaration does not in any way foreclose the Palestinians' aspiration to establish their own capital in East Jerusalem, while maintaining the unity of Jerusalem as a single city and as a microcosm of Israeli-Palestinian peaceful coexistence.
They noted that the international community "has adhered to the resolutions of the United Nations, which consider Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank to be occupied territory", so most countries have "refrained from establishing embassies in occupied Jerusalem".
"With this decision, Israel was rewarded for all the terrorist activities it has carried out". The EU can, in fact should, use its financial aid to the Palestinians and its extensive trade with Israel as a lever to effect significant change in the Israeli-Palestinian political climate, which is a prerequisite to substantive and successful peace negotiations.