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Truly a ‘red line’

Jan 08,2017 - Last updated at Jan 08,2017

Jordan has warned that any move by the incoming US president to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would have “catastrophic” repercussions and inflame Arab and Muslim countries, as well as affect relations between the US and its regional allies, including Jordan.

President-elect Donald Trump had pledged during his election campaign to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, in open defiance of UN resolutions, international law and decades-old American policy.

Three Republican senators last Tuesday unveiled similar legislation; they introduced the “Jerusalem embassy and recognition act”, a blatant snub to the international community, which does not recognise the occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem after 1967.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani said that any such move would constitute a “red line” for Jordan and would” inflame the Islamic and Arab streets”.

Unfortunately, Trump has been constantly showing disregard for international norms, and more, and a mere warning — however legitimate — cannot be expected to have much of an impact on him.

Much more needs to be done, not only by Jordan, but by the entire Arab and Muslim world, to convince Trump that such an ill-advised  change of policy by his country would undermine not only the long-standing cooperation between the US and the Arab and Muslim worlds but also any sincere effort to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict now in its 50th year.

If Trump believes that the Arab and Muslim reaction is only rhetoric, he will have no incentive to change his provocative stance on Israel and the future of Jerusalem.

 

The upcoming Arab summit in Amman should be the forum where this serious issue is discussed and where participants — perhaps some non-Arab Muslim countries could be invited for the purpose — come up with a stance that is forceful and meaningful.

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