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Editorial for “ideaSpektrum”, German language weekly Christian magazine

Dear readers!

“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” This sentence of US president Donald J Trump set the world in turmoil. Countries such as the Czech Republic and the Philippines spontaneously expressed their approval. But that drowned in the bustle like the fact that the exactly same message had come out of Moscow just eight months earlier to the day.

Naturally, Israelis were happy that an American president approved a decision their own government had made on December 13, 1949. Well, it was Israeli journalists who called Trump’s declaration the “last nail to the coffin of the peace process”. On the other hand, as many told themselves, up until now had all US presidents suspended the implementation of the “Jerusalem Embassy Act” which their congress had passed on October 23, 1995. But this restraint had not promoted the peace process in any way.

Palestinians do not have any possibility to express their opinion freely certainly not when Europe behaves more Palestinian than Arafat would have dared to. Should under these circumstances any Arab in Israel and especially the Palestinian Authority be able to state publicly that the official status of Jerusalem seems a luxury problem whose emphasis can only be understood as blatant cynicism, considering the bloody “Arab Spring” all around. One young Palestinian from East Jerusalem dared to say these days that a Palestinian uprising smolders because the insurgents are being well paid. But I do know this young man since he was a little boy. His father has been a good friend of mine for the past two decades. And he was just sitting there, frustrated and shrugging silently. Maybe the silence and shrugging of the majority should be attached a similar importance as the few vociferous demonstrators and stone throwers?

In fact, the silence might be much more significant than what has been said in this whole process – not just by ordinary people, but also by the most powerful man in the world himself. Trump was remarkably outspoken about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the two-state solution. At the same time, he did not say a word about the indivisibility of Jerusalem, in striking contrast to his predecessors Clinton and Obama. He did not say anything about the future of the borders, the future of Jewish settlements or the future of Palestinian refugees. Anyone can think about this silence what they want.

Trump’s Jerusalem statement bears all the disastrous features of ambiguity of so many declarations and documents concerning the Middle East conflict. What fruit it will bear on the ground remains to be seen. In any case, it has already revealed how anti-Jewish the majority of the world public feels.

With warm greetings from Jerusalem,

Johannes Gerloff

The Author

By Published On: December 11, 20172.3 min read

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