Friday, December 22, 2017

The Fate of Jerusalem

Yesterday, the world’s attention was focused like a laser beam on my neighborhood. That is, it was focused on a United Nations General Assembly vote rebuking the Trump administration for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Nikki Haley, the American ambassador, had already threatened the nations that were planning to vote against America and President Trump had congratulated her publicly on her strong words of support. Trump spoke during a cabinet meeting. One could not fail to note the dour expression of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Never has he spoken so forcefully and clearly on the topic. As everyone knows, it's time for Rex to go.

Anyway, what happened in Turtle Bay yesterday was more show than substance. It was great drama for those who wanted to trash the Trump administration—look Ma, the world no longer likes us—but in truth, as the Israeli website Debkafile, noted, the fate of Jerusalem was being decided elsewhere. It was being decided in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  and in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 

You see, Debkafile reports, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was not in New York for the momentous vote. He was in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi being excoriated (by his bankers) for his bad attitude. And especially for his flirtation with Turkish potentate, Erdogan.

Debkafile reports:

Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was conspicuously absent from his delegation’s corner. DEBKAfile’s sources picked him up 11,000 kilometers away at the Abu Dhabi palace of UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed (MbZ). Instead of collecting international pats on the back for the majority UN vote, he had been forced to endure a dressing-down from one of the most powerful and wealthy Arab leaders, who told him in no uncertain terms: The international struggle for Jerusalem is no doubt important and the UAE will of course be behind you. But first, you must stop beating on Donald Trump’s Jerusalem policy as though it is a declaration of war. Furthermore, Sheikh bin Zayed insisted, you had better break off ties this instant with Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, and distance yourselves from his anti-American abuse.

The world has been paying a lot of attention to the Saudi Crown Prince, but perhaps we should all pay some attention to the UAE Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed. At least before the world's foreign policy elites turn against them. 

As for the Saudi attitude, Debkafile reports on it too:

Abbas had been summoned to Riyadh the day before, where he was given an audience with King Salman. But before he was out of the palace door, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman gave him a bawling out which presaged the one he received in Abu Dhabi. Both Arab rulers made it abundantly clear to Mahmoud Abbas that to win their support on Jerusalem, he will have to back away fast from the front he has opened up with Erdogan against President Trump and the United States. The fate of Jerusalem was therefore determined Thursday in the Arabian Gulf region rather than New York where the UN vote was little more than a formality.

For those who are more interested in facts than in the circus at the UN, these reports certainly deserve note.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Begins to look like the Arab world is moving past the Palis. The Palis, however, are committed to brooding on all the injustices that have been heaped upon them, mostly by their "leaders" and the rest by themselves.