U.S. allies in the Arab world are weighing in, each rejecting the decision Wednesday (Dec. 6) by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The kingdom of Jordan was one of the first, with spokesperson Mohammad al-Momani telling official state news agency Petra, “All unilateral moves that seek to create new facts on the ground are null and void.”
Egypt’s foreign ministry rejected the decision to move America’s embassy to Jerusalem, adding that recognition of the city the capital of Israel did not change its legal status.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called the decision “dangerous” and said it threatened the credibility of the United States as a broker in the peace process. Aoun added in a statement that President Trump’s decision has reset the peace process back by “decades,” threatening regional stability and perhaps global stability as well.
The office of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a statement, “The Palestinian cause will stay alive among Arabs until the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. . . The future of Jerusalem is not determined by a state or a president but is determined by its history and by the will and determination in the Palestinian cause.” Assad’s office posted the statement on his official social media feed, according to Ynet.
In Tunisia, the country’s UGTT labor union called the decision a “declaration of war” and urged “mass protests.” In a separate statement the Tunisian foreign ministry said the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel “seriously threatens to undermine the foundations of the peace process.”
In a statement carried by MAP, Morocco’s foreign minister reiterated the “constant support and full solidarity of the Kingdom of Morocco towards the Palestinian people so they can recover their legitimate rights.” The U.S. charge d’affaires was summoned to the foreign office, where “deep concern” was expressed over the president’s decision, according to the MAP state news agency.
Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, called the decision a “death sentence” for all who seek peace and a “dangerous escalation,” according to Qatar’s Al Jazeera.
Turkey condemned the move as “irresponsible.” The country’s foreign ministry issued a statement Wednesday saying, “We call upon the U.S. Administration to reconsider this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid uncalculated steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem.”
Palestinian Authority representative to Britain Manuel Hassassian told the BBC in a radio interview Wednesday that the declaration “means a kiss of death to the two-state solution.” Speaking in advance of the president’s speech, Hassassian was clear that violence was bound to follow.
“He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims; hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel,” he said.
Fatah central committee member Mohammed Dahlan said in a statement from the United Arab Emirates — where he has lived since his ouster from the Palestinian Authority by Mahmoud Abbas in 2011 — that he was calling for “withdrawal from the absurd and endless negotiations with Israel after the principle of inviolability of the status of Jerusalem has been breached. I call for ending all forms of coordination, especially security coordination, with Israel and USA.”