President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared that “it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” calling the move “a long overdue step to advance the peace process.”
In response to the move, the Palestinian Authority and numerous Arab nations have launched a propaganda offensive based on lies and misinformation. Most of the dishonest talking points have not been countered by the news media. Below, in no particular order, are six of those lies that must be called out.
1 – The embassy move does not impact the PA’s ability to create a state.
Contrary to the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda claim that Trump’s move negates their ability to form a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem, the U.S. moving its embassy to the city does no such thing. It is illogical to argue that the presence of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem impacts the PA’s statehood plans in any way.
The only thing standing in the way of the PA having a state is the Palestinians’ own abject refusal to accept numerous statehood offers while rejecting Israel’s very existence. Indeed, the Palestinian Authority has rejected every single Israeli offer of a state. Those state offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007 and more offers were made in 2008. It was recently reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quietly made another such offer in 2014. Most of the statehood offers included a Palestinian capital in eastern sections of Jerusalem.
In all of these cases, the PA not only refused generous Israeli offers of statehood and bolted negotiations without counteroffers. In some cases, they responded with major escalations of violence, infamously including the murderous Second Palestinian Intifada in 2001.
Far from impeding their statehood claims, Trump’s embassy move might serve to pressure the PA into negotiations, understanding that momentum is moving away from their direction if they don’t act. Of course, if the PA wanted a state living in peace alongside Israel they would not need to be pressured into accepting such a concept given that Israel has always been a willing partner for peace and has already made offers numerous times.
2 – Abbas claims that Trump withdrew from the so-called peace process when he did no such thing.
Abbas dishonestly claimed that Trump’s decision was a “declaration of the withdrawal of the United States” from the so-called peace process.
Perhaps Abbas didn’t catch Trump’s actual speech, in which he explained the move was meant to further the so-called peace process.
Trump stated: “I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.”
I further responded to Abbas’s “withdrawal” claim on Twitter:
Abbas, you have zero credibility. YOU withdrew from the peace process by signing a unity deal with Hamas, refusing every statehood offer and inciting against Israel.
— Aaron Klein (@AaronKleinShow) December 6, 2017
3 – PA warnings about violence are really threats against the U.S.
The PA and numerous Arab countries have been warning that Trump’s Jerusalem decision could lead to an escalation of violence. These “warnings” seem not only to justify a violent reaction but to almost encourage violence in response to Trump’s announcement. The statements serve as implied threats against U.S. interests and should not be tolerated. The warnings only serve to expose the radicalism of those who annunciate such barely veiled threats.
4 – The embassy move will not isolate the U.S.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett correctly pointed out in a statement emailed to Breitbart News:
On May 15, 1948, the United States, led by President Truman, was the first nation to recognize the newly declared State of Israel. The rest of the world quickly followed. The President did so despite the huge pressures from within.
Today, Trump showed real leadership and I fully expect allies of Israel to eventually follow the president’s example. Already, the speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Job Ndugai, stated of Trump’s decision, “I believe it will be followed suit by several African countries, Tanzania included, to move said quarters from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
5 – The Palestinians claim Trump’s decision to recognize Israel’s capital will change facts on the ground. This while hypocritically constructing illegal housing units on Jewish-owned property that have already changed facts on the ground by grabbing land in Jerusalem.
While Trump’s decision does not impede the Palestinians’ statehood bid (see #1 above), the Palestinians have been busy constructing illegally on Jewish-owned property in Jerusalem.
The illegal Palestinian construction has worked to generate facts on the ground, creating de facto Palestinian neighborhoods inside peripheral Jerusalem that are virtual no-go zones for Israeli civilians. The illegal housing has impacted previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Numerous Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals designated these very areas future Palestinian territory due to the large concentrations of Palestinians living in them.
In 2007, this reporter extensively investigated those areas and found Jewish-owned land was utilized to illegally construct Palestinian apartment buildings, a refugee camp and a United Nations school.
I reported at the time:
The properties in question include about 270 acres in the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Qalandia and Kfar Akev, located near an old Israeli airport, and about 50 acres in a north Jerusalem suburb known as Shoafat, which is adjacent to the Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev.
The lands were legally purchased on behalf of JNF using Jewish donations in the early 1900s, immediately after the organization was founded in 1901 with the specific charge of repurchasing and developing the land of Israel for Jewish settlement.
A tour of Qalandiya and Kfar Akev found dozens of Arab apartment complexes, a Palestinian refugee camp and a United Nations school for Palestinians constructed on the land.
I also reported in 2009 these de facto Palestinian enclaves in peripheral Jerusalem neighborhoods have become virtual no-go zones for Jewish Israelis due to security concerns. The Jerusalem police confirmed at the time that security arrangements discourage Israeli Jews from entering the neighborhoods. Those security arrangements are still in effect today.
6 – The Al Aqsa Mosque is not threatened by Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.
The Palestinians have been making this ludicrous claim in their protests against the U.S. policy pronouncement. They don’t explain how an embassy move – in a few years from now, and to an unknown location as of today – threatens the mosque located on the Temple Mount.
The only threat to the Mosque complex are the Palestinians themselves, at least as far as freedom of worship. Israel allows the Jordanian and Palestinian-controlled Waqf to serve as custodians of the Temple Mount and grants Muslim worshipers access to the Mount 24 hours per day, seven days a week with the exception of rare instances of security threats.
Jewish and Christian visitors, however, are restricted by the Waqf from visiting the Mount except on small tours for about two hours per day. The Waqf does not allow non-Muslims to pray on the Mount or bring holy objects to the site; whereas Muslim prayer is unrestricted. Waqf representatives closely monitor non-Muslim visitors to the site and are known to boot those engaging in prayer.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program,” Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.