AJC Urges EU Ministers to Denounce Incendiary Abbas Statements on Israel

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The Palestinian president on Wednesday again blasted Donald Trump in a fiery and emotional speech, saying the USA leader's decision to recognize contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "sinful" and "ill-fated".

There could be several factors at play in Trump's decision to accelerate the move.

Still, Jordan's king faces a particular conundrum, as U.S.

CAIRO | Vice President Mike Pence lands in Cairo for the first leg of his Mideast tour on Saturday with a scaled-back itinerary that reflects a changed Middle East diplomatic landscape in the wake of President Trump's decision to move the U.S. Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. Just two days before Trump took office, President Obama warned: "I don't see how this issue gets resolved in a way that maintains Israel as both Jewish and a democracy, because ... you end up having one state in which millions of people are disenfranchised and operate as second-class occupants, or residents".

It is not clear why the Times omitted the anti-Trump curse from its account of the Abbas speech (whose complete text seems to have not yet been posted on the internet). He accused Israel of sending drugs to Palestinian children. He added: "Jerusalem will be a gate for peace only if it is Palestine's capital, and it will be a gate of war, fear and the absence of security and stability, God forbid, if it is not".

An evangelical Christian with strong ties to the Holy Land, Pence this time comes packing two key policy decisions in his bags that have always been top priorities for him: designating Jerusalem as Israel's capital and curtailing aid for Palestinians. Some Israeli newspapers, as well as Jewish leaders in the US and Europe are asking if Trump and family put personal interests ahead of the U.S.'s.

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Jordan, with its deteriorating economy and rising unemployment, is bracing for the fallout from the cuts in USA funding for the United Nations agency that has for decades provided education, health and welfare services to some 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants in the region.

For its part, Al-Azhar strongly condemned the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, describing it as an "illegitimate and reckless step" and an unacceptable attempt to falsify history. The leaderless condition of the Palestinian people today is reflected in how the three most dramatic examples of pubic political action in recent years have occurred without any meaningful input from the PLO, or from the Palestinian Authority which administers limited services and regions in the West Bank and Gaza where Israel gives it permission to do so.

J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group that has focused its criticism on the Israeli and US governments in recent months, called the speech "unacceptable". He also blamed the Jewish state for the rise in terrorism.

"He's gambling that Abbas will succumb to Arab pressure - led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt - to engage with Israel". The final status of Jerusalem (Al Qods) was left to future negotiations between Israel and Arab states.

The conventional wisdom is that among American presidents, President Trump is the staunchest Israel supporter ever.

The Cairo conference was organized by Al-Azhar, the primary seat of learning for the world's Sunni Muslims.