From J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami:
In just two tweets yesterday, the president swiftly undercut all those who bent over backwards to give him the benefit of the doubt around his Jerusalem speech – claiming it was carefully crafted so as not to prejudge the outcome of negotiations about the city’s status.
Unlike the president, the overwhelming majority of the world’s nations has made clear: Jerusalem isn’t “off the table.” It’s a final status issue to be resolved by the parties and an agreement to end the conflict will have to result in a capital for both countries in Jerusalem.
The only thing the president has accomplished by saying he’s taking Jerusalem “off the table” is to ensure he’ll have no place at the table where the conflict will be resolved diplomatically and a peaceful, secure future for the Jewish or Palestinian peoples ensured.
In threatening to cut off future “huge” payments to the Palestinians, the president is actually posing a direct threat to Israel’s security and well-being. American aid supports training for Palestinian security forces who have been partners of the IDF in preventing terror.
The president also has succeeded in creating an atmosphere in which Israel’s right-wing politicians and the settler movement are now racing without inhibition toward annexation and a one-state nightmare that undermines Israel’s security, democracy and Jewish nature.
Israel’s friends will always remember Harry Truman as the president who helped bring the democratic state of the Jewish people into existence. Donald Trump seems to be working overtime to be remembered as the president who brought that vision to an end.
President Trump continues to flick lighted matches on the smoldering powder keg that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.