Today, on the same day as Johnson's separate comments, which risk angering the Israelis and the Trump administration, Pope Francis again spoke out on the issue and reiterated the need for the preservation of the old "status quo" in a shared Jerusalem when he addressed global diplomats. Palestinians can't resist and we don't want to go to war. But the more impactful motivating factor seems to be politics.
They said in remarks that the Arab ministers fully agreed to work together to counter the U.S. decision and its repercussions and support the Palestinian "brethren" to achieve their legitimate rights, including the right to freedom and to set up their independent state on June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Meanwhile, the nearly-one million Jewish refugees in 1948, as well as their children and grandchildren, are not considered refugees by the United Nations and are not allowed to return to their homes in Arab lands. One part of the bill, however, was withdrawn.
"The general trend is to focus on how to deal with the emerging situation, considering Palestine as a state under occupation and requesting full United Nations membership for Palestine, which requires extensive global support", he said. "As the President has said repeatedly, the administration is firmly committed to pursuing a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians", the US official said on condition of anonymity. This would be just fine with the Israel right wing, which believes that Jews have a God-given right to all of biblical Israel.
The sources added that Trump could increase the cut to $180 million if the Palestinian Authority fails to get the message and rejoin the peace process. The total amount it has received from the USA since 1994 has run up to $5 billion.
In December, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a decision recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced plans to relocate the U.S. embassy to the city. Trump reacted in typical Trump fashion, making the situation only worse.
The majority of U.S. troops left during the previous Barack Obama administration, but the United States continues to invest more than USA $5 billion annually in economic and military aid to Baghdad, seeking to prevent this strategic nation in the Middle East from disintegrating on behalf of the religious and political divisions that have given impetus to numerous insurgencies, including the most recent of the so-called Islamic State. He lacks intellectual curiosity, a serious flaw in any president.
Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said five Palestinians were injured on Saturday after Israeli police attacked a demonstration in Jerusalem that set out in protest against Trump's decision on Jerusalem. "No to violence, no to weapons" is the official Palestinian policy, asserted Al-Ahmad.
"A peace process and a credible conclusion to that process can't happen without the USA - they know that - and once the plan is revealed, it will speak for itself", a senior White House official said.
Bill Stewart writes about current affairs from Santa Fe.
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