BIBI NETANYAHU: “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the following words at the US Embassy Dedication in Jerusalem today (14th of May):

“We have no better friends in the world. You stand for Israel and you stand for Jerusalem. Thank you.

Your presence here today is a testament to the importance of this occasion, not only for the Trump administration, but in a very personal way for you. For you, each of you, for the pursuit of peace, and for President Trump himself. Thank you.

Dear friends,

What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history.

All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful.

For me, being here brings back wonderful memories from my childhood. [Hebrew] So, I know some of you didn’t follow every word I said in Hebrew, and I’ll tell you that I spent the first three years of my life in this neighborhood, in Ein Gedi Street in Talpiot, which is not very far away. There were a few charming houses here, many open fields. I remember ambling in these fields with my brother, Yoni. He was six; I was three. He held my hand very tight. We’d walk to this wondrous house of Professor Joseph Klausner, the renowned Jewish historian who was my father’s teacher. I used to peer through the slats of the wooden synagogue where he and the great Israeli writer, Shai Agnon, used to pray on Shabbat. And David, I would approach this place right here, but only so far, because my mother told me, ‘You can’t go any further.’ This was near the border. It was exposed to sniper fire. That was then. This is now, today.

Today, the embassy of the most powerful nation on earth, our greatest ally, the United States of America, today its embassy opened here.

So for me this spot brings back personal memories, but for our people, it evokes profound collective memories of the greatest moments we have known on this City on a Hill.

In Jerusalem, Abraham passed the greatest test of faith and the right to be the father of our nation.

In Jerusalem, King David established our capital three thousand years ago.

In Jerusalem, King Solomon built our Temple, which stood for many centuries.

In Jerusalem, Jewish exiles from Babylon rebuilt the Temple, which stood for many more centuries.

In Jerusalem, the Maccabees rededicated that Temple and restored Jewish sovereignty in this land.

And it was here in Jerusalem some two thousand years later that the soldiers of Israel spoke three immortal words, ‘Har ha’bayit be’yadeinu,’ ‘The Temple Mount is in our hands,’ words that lifted the spirit of the entire nation.

We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.

We are here in Jerusalem, protected by the brave soldiers of the army of Israel, led by our Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, and our brave soldiers, our brave soldiers are protecting the borders of Israel as we speak today. We salute them all, and the members of our security forces, the Shin Bet and the Mossad, whose head is with us today. We salute you all, all of you.

Over a century ago, the Balfour Declaration recognized the right of the Jewish people to a national home in this land. And exactly 70 years ago today, President Truman became the first world leader to recognize the newborn Jewish state. Last December, President Trump became the first world leader to recognize Jerusalem as our capital. And today, the United States of America is opening its embassy right here in Jerusalem.

Thank you. Thank you, President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises. Thank you, President Trump, and thank you all, for making the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever. And thank you, a special thank you, to you, Ambassador Friedman. Thank you, David, for everything you do to bring our countries and our peoples closer together. Today, you have a special privilege. You are privileged to become the first American ambassador to serve your country in Jerusalem, and this is a distinct honor that will be yours forever. Nobody can be first again.

My friends, this is a great day for Israel. It’s a great day for America. It’s a great day for our fantastic partnership. But I believe it’s also a great day for peace.

I want to thank Jared, Jason and David for your tireless efforts to advance peace, and for your tireless efforts to advance the truth. The truth and peace are interconnected. A peace that is built on lies will crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality. You can only build peace on truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state. Truth, peace and justice – as our Supreme Court Justice here. Hanan Melcer, can attest – truth, peace and justice, this is what we have and this is what we believe in.

The prophet, Zechariah, declared over 2,500 years ago, ‘So said the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth.’

May the opening of this embassy in this city spread the truth far and wide, and may the truth advance a lasting peace between Israel and all our neighbors.

G-d bless the United States of America and G-d bless Jerusalem, the eternal, undivided capital of Israel.

Baruch atah A-donai Elokeinu melekh ha’olam shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigi’anu lazman hazeh [Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.]”

Will This Week Change The World As We Know It?

There are moments when we feel something pivotal about to begin. Since September 11th, 2001 when we saw the attack that destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City, the world has increasingly been moving towards an unmanageble level of chaos. Standard geopolitical structures appear to be collapsing, morals crumbling, and the once uni-polar post cold war world order has been rendered no more.

So why this week?

First let me make it clear, that I have never been someone who believes or espouses a Redemption process, which is immediate, but rather I have constantly striven to explain that the events of the End of Days are meant to occur over a period of time. The word “day” in the Bible can also be explained as a block of time as it is often used allegorically.  End of Days is plural on purpose. This connotes an actual process of time.

With this being said, the pressures within the world have now reached the point of explosion and this week appears to be the moment where all things erupt.

Make no mistake, I can be wrong and I hope I am, because the Final Redemption can come in many forms, but the next seven days appear to be setting up a war which many assumed would come eventually, but always hoped it would be sometime when they could better process its fallout.

So now let’s take a look at this week:

Today at 2pm eastern standard time, President Trump will announce his final decision on whether the US recertifies the JCPOA or better known as the Iran nuclear agreement or not. Most observers assume the President will not recertify the deal, thus reestablishing sanctions on Iran’s fragile economy.

May 10th begins the 51st commemoration according to the Hebrew calendar of the Six Day War.

May 12th is Jerusalem Day and it is also the official final day that the US has to recertify the Iran deal.

May 14th is the dedication of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.  The Arab street has promised to hold violent protests.

May 15th is Nakba day, which is the day the “Palestinians” protest over the establishment of the third Jewish Commonwealth of Israel.

While these events are going on, the Iranians are moving troops and missiles into their newest colony of Lebanon and strengthening their hold over southern Syria. Russia has also delivered more weapons to the Assad regime and warned Israel not to harm Russian interests even if there is a conflict with Iran.

It is true there has been a Jerusalem Day every year since 1968 and there have been “Nakba” rallies ever since the “Palestinians” decided they were some sort of people, but the mix of Iranian expansion, Trump’s decision on the JCPOA, and the embassy move has the region and the world on edge.

These times are filled both with wonder and chaos as we approach that moment when a more perfect world order is ushered in.  Until then we have no one to hold responsible on how these events affect us other than ourselves.  Our actions can elicit divine mercy, creating a smooth transition to a better world or one which causes the chaos that already abounds to increase to terrifying levels. This week will be remembered forever, but how events play out is in each of our hands.

The choice is ours.


Can One Man Make a Difference? Just Ask Israel

Donald Trump has been President for just over 5 weeks. Yet on many fronts there is little doubt a new era has been birthed. One of the most obvious is relations with Israel compared to the previous 8 years under Barack Obama.

From the beginning of the Obama administration he was determined to put the US on a different path with regard to the Muslim world. Indeed, the first foreign leader he called was Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Obama even made a point of telling Abbas his was the first call to a foreign leader, emphasizing his intent to signal a new direction for the US.

Obama furthered his effort at a new direction by making his first international speech in Cairo. During his address he lamented about how the Palestinians suffer “daily humiliation under occupation,” and criticized Israel for building “settlements.”

Plus, throughout his two terms, it was clear Obama did not like Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Right up to the bitter end the Obama administration went out much like it began, with a slap at Israel. The final kick in the stomach was UN resolution 2334, which singled out Israel’s construction of “settlements” as the main obstacle to peace.  The US was intimately involved in the language of the resolution, yet not a word was mentioned about ongoing Palestinian terrorism and murder of innocent Israeli civilians. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the US has veto power and could have killed the resolution. However, knowing this would be his last opportunity to make a statement against Israel, Obama directed the US to abstain from the voting, thus allowing it to pass, cementing his legacy as the most anti-Israel US President.

One Door Closes, Another Opens

Contrast this against the early stages of the Trump administration. Throughout his campaign he made it clear that the US had treated (Israel) its best Middle East ally terribly.  Since taking office the difference can only be described as startling.

For example, he has called the Iran nuclear deal “the worst deal ever negotiated,” and has already imposed new sanctions on Iran.

His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry for how he handled Israeli-Palestinian issues. “Israel is, always has been, and remains our most important ally in the region” according to Tillerson. He characterized UN resolution 2334 as an effort to “coerce” Israel to change course, further stating, “that will not bring a solution.”

Trump’s Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley has already come out swinging against the overwhelming anti-Israel sentiment which dominates the organization. After attending her initial Security Council meeting and witnessing the absurd obsession it has with Israel she said “the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. “ Additionally she stated “the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.” She went on to say “we will never repeat the mistake of resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel.” Haley called the UN’s double-standards “breathtaking.”

In fact President Trump is so upset at how unfairly Israel is treated by the UN, there is some discussion that the US may be considering withdrawing from the UNHRC. Could anyone imagine Obama doing this?

Trump has also indicated he will move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. However, this is still under discussion.

In another clear effort to demonstrate US-Israel relations have changed Trump invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to a meeting at the White House. (He also invited Netanyahu to his inauguration)The chemistry between the two of them was obvious and in stark contrast to the strained relations with former President Obama.

Let the Parties Decide for Themselves

During a press conference Trump moved the peace process in a heretofore new direction by backing off the long-standing US policy pushing for a two-state solution. He made it clear the position of the United States is to have the two parties negotiate a solution between themselves, saying “I want the one both parties want,” referring to a deal.

This doesn’t suggest the US is against a two-state solution, because Trump has indicated he would be fine with it.  However, in a clear departure from the Obama administration’s attempts to strong arm Israel, the Trump administration is saying let the two sides negotiate their own deal.

Such a stand by the US sends a blunt message to the Palestinians that Israel has every right to expect them to come to the table without pre-conditions, and has the freedom to tell the Palestinians what their conditions are for a resolution to the conflict, without being bullied by the US. Abbas has made it known he isn’t happy about this by stating his commitment to a two state solution and demanding the world recognize Palestine. In my view Abbas missed a golden opportunity to demonstrate some flexibility and strike a deal during the 8 years of the Obama administration, which was clearly more favorable toward the Palestinians.

For example, he could have urged Abbas to amend the charter of his Fatah Party by eliminating the language requiring Israel’s destruction, as a gesture toward being a genuine peace partner. Moreover, he could have cut off US aid because Abbas uses US money to pay huge salaries to terrorists who have murdered Israelis. These are just two examples of how Obama could have been more even handed with the Palestinians. He did neither of these.

On several occasions Obama tried to almost force Israel to accept a two state solution. He showed more interest in promoting self-determination and dignity for the Palestinians, than understanding Israel’s obvious need for security and a genuine peace partner willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

While it is still very early in the administration of Donald Trump, there is little doubt as Bob Dylan once sang “the times they are a-changin’.

View more of Dan Calic’s articles on his Facebook page.


[watch] Netanyahu: “Jerusalem is The Capital of Israel, US Embassy Should Be Here”

In an attempt to deflect criticism that it is Israel delaying the US Embassy move Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said the following:

“I’d like to mention again that our core alliance is with the United States”, Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly government meeting, “there is no substitute for this alliance. Our relations are strong and getting stronger.

“At this opportunity I’d like to state unambiguously that our opinion has forever been and is today as well, that the US Embassy should be located here in Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and it is proper that not only the US embassy move here, but that also all embassies should move here. I believe that as time goes by, most will come here to Jerusalem.”

In the same statement, the Prime Minister addressed the Regulations law that retroactively legalizes many of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

“Tomorrow we will present the Regulation Law to the Knesset. This law is meant to normalize, once and for all, settlement in Judea and Samaria and prevent repeated attempts to hurt Jewish settlements.”

Now that Trump is President Can Israel Seize the Moment?

There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat.

And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

– William Shakespeare, in Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3.

If I am not for myself, who is for me?…And if not now, when?

– Hillel the Elder, Ethics of the Fathers, Ch. 1:14.

In his first few days of his presidency, Donald Trump has acted with remarkable resolve to promote a number of his more strident campaign pledges, and to dismantle much of the edifice his predecessor had hoped to leave as his “legacy”.

Robust resolve

Thus, Trump moved to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which the New York Times dubbed “Obama’s signature trade achievement”.

Similarly, he instigated measures to begin rolling back “Obamacare”, the centerpiece of Obama’s domestic policy; approved the construction of two large oil pipelines (Keystone pipeline between the US and Canada, and Dakota Access Pipeline), which Obama had vetoed; cut funding of charities providing abortion services abroad, reinstating a 1984 Bill, which Obama had rescinded; and ordered a freeze on hiring federal government workers (apart from the military) in an “effort to reduce government debts and decrease the size of the federal workforce.

Then, later this week Trump “signed directives to begin building a wall along [the] US border with Mexico and crack down on US cities that shield undocumented immigrants ….”

Likewise, he is reported to be drafting directives to be implemented in the coming days [that] would…suspend the entry of any immigrants from Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and African countries Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen while permanent rules are studied

So, regardless of whether one commends or condemns these policy decisions, they certainly reflect a firm—indeed, a seemingly unswerving—commitment to his campaign pledges no matter how controversial or contentious—with one notable exception.

Rare reticence

Indeed, to date, there seems to be only one central pre-election commitment, on which the new administration appears uncharacteristically hesitant in embracing: the promise to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Readers will recall that in October 1995, the US Congress passed a law (The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995) with broad bi-partisan support—including from Obama’s vice president Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry—that, in effect, recognized Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty and explicitly called for the relocation of the US Embassy to the city by May 1999. The bill, however, included a proviso, permitting the president to issue a waiver holding up the relocation of the embassy should he deem it in the US national interest. The waiver is renewable every six months and since the legislation of the bill, every president—both Democrat and Republican, since Bill Clinton—has exercised the waiver option. Indeed, 36 such waivers have been issued in the past, eight by Obama, the last of which was in December 2016, and is due to expire in June 2017.

Accordingly, all Trump really needs to do to fulfill his pledge to relocate the US embassy to Israel’s capital is, well…nothing. Indeed, he need take no proactive measures at all! He does not need to build a wall, lay a pipeline, pass new legislation, or sign a contentious executive order. All he need do is let the current waiver lapse, and allow the existing 1995 legislation to take effect.

Yet for some reason, it is precisely on this issue that the new administration is displaying rare reticence in moving briskly forward to deliver on its clear commitments.

Disturbing lack of enthusiasm…from Israel

Of course, not all this regrettable reluctance can be blamed on the Trump administration.  After all, the Israeli government itself has not been overly enthusiastic in promoting the embassy relocation.

Indeed, reflective of Israel’s lack of fervor in applauding Trump’s pledge was Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s offhand apathy in addressing the prospect at the recent Saban Forum in Washington last month. When asked by the moderator, CNN’s Jake Tapper, what he thought of Trump’s declaration that he would move the US Embassy in very short order to Jerusalem, Liberman was distinctly dismissive, indicating that he was skeptical as to the prospect: “you know, [what] we see before in every election is the same promise to remove the Embassy to Jerusalem. But I think that we will wait and we will see…”

Then, virtually providing the administration with the justification to renege on its commitment, or at least significantly postpone it, he stated:  “… we have many other issues…. We have enough challenges all around Israel. I think that it will be a mistake…to take the Embassy as the focal point…we have many items on our common agenda. I think that maybe the Embassy will be one of the points…”

With such lethargic endorsement from the Israeli government, there would be little room for surprise if the new commander-in-chief does not push his proffered relocation vigorously forward.

Plethora of invalid arguments
A plethora of bad reasons have been advanced for not moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Typical of such baseless arguments was the one articulated by an Op-Ed piece in Haaretz, in which the writer warned: “Relocating its embassy to Jerusalem would mean the U.S. taking a partisan stance on a central and sensitive issue, a source of controversy between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the international community.

But of course, quite the opposite is true. By not relocating the embassy even to the western portion of Jerusalem, the US is, in fact, taking a partisan stance against Israel! For, in effect, this endorses the Palestinian/Arab position disputing Israeli sovereignty over any part of the city, including the portion that was under Israeli control prior to the 1967 War. After all, if the US does not dispute Israeli sovereignty of the city within the pre-1967 lines, surely there should be no reason to refrain from establishing the embassy there.  Or am I missing something here?

After all, the western portion of Jerusalem is, undisputedly, the functioning capital of Israel, in which the national parliament, the prime minister’s office, all the government ministries (apart from agriculture), and the Supreme Court are located. Thus, any demand that the Palestinians have a legitimate claim to any part of it, would immediately torpedo the chances of an agreement. Accordingly, by implicitly sustaining grounds for such a claim, abstaining from relocating the embassy in western Jerusalem, in effect, constitutes a partisan pro-Palestinian stance.

By contrast relocating the embassy would send a strong even-handed message that the US will not tolerate exorbitant and unreasonable Palestinian territorial demands.

Invalid arguments (cont)

But perhaps the most common argument advanced for not relocating the embassy is because the Arabs and Muslims will get really mad!  The threat of uncontrollable rage due to grievous insult (which would not provoke any other segment of humanity to similar conduct) has frequently been raised as reason to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities. It has already almost completely curtailed free speech in much of Western Europe and Scandinavia, where Muslim thugs are free to ravage the domestic population in the name of moral relativism and cultural diversity.

Clearly, giving into to Arab/Muslim extortion because of threats of violence is a slippery slope. Once you capitulate on one issue, there is little reason not to capitulate on another.

Indeed, if the menace of Muslim mayhem can coerce nations to forgo free choice, what is to prevent further far-reaching demands—such as universal application of Shariah law, the discrimination against females and the persecution of gays?

Accordingly, rather than constituting a reason for refraining from establishing the US embassy in Israel’s capital, the threat of violence is precisely the reason to do so—and to convey to the Arab/Muslim world that brandishing “uncontrollable rage” is an unacceptable—and counter-productive—mode of conducting international relations.

Respite not redemption

The election of Trump was a huge stroke of good fortune for Israel. Indeed, just how dire its position might have been, had Hillary Clinton been elected to continue the Obama legacy is vividly conveyed by two recent incidents.

The first is the surreptitious transfer of almost a quarter billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority by the outgoing president in the final hours of his incumbency, in defiance of a congressional hold on the funds.

The second was a jarring disclosure made last week by former director-general of Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs, Ambassador Dore Gold, of an astonishing admission by Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice, that “even if Israel and the Palestinians reach an agreement, it is possible that the United States would oppose it” – because it might not do justice to the Palestinians.

These disturbing revelations starkly expose the blatant pro-Palestinian proclivities of the outgoing Obama administration and of the designated surrogate successor Clinton-administration.  Accordingly, Israel can be excused for feeling a huge sense of relief at the outcome of the November elections. However, a word of caution is called for. For all the potential advantages entailed in the Trump victory, it is, for the moment merely a respite, and still far from redemption.  To attain that, there is yet much work ahead.

Catalyst or constraint?

Indeed there can be little doubt that the Trump victory harbors the potential for great opportunity for Israel.  For not only is the incoming administration free from innate malice and anti-Israel bias that characterized the manifestly Islamophilic propensities of the previous one, but much of Trump’s inner circle are unabashedly pro-Zionist, and together with the wider Republican Party, are unshackled to the failed “two-state” paradigm.

At last, after almost a quarter century, Israel has a real chance of being able to free itself of the deadly debilitating tentacles of this pernicious paradigm–and to choose a new path that will allow it to extricate itself from the perilous cul-de-sac into which it has been led—and allowed itself to be led.

The question now is whether the Israeli political class can rise to the occasion, and grasp the opportunity that destiny has provided it. Will the nation’s leaders display the intellectual daring and the ideological resolve that the hour calls for?  Will they be able to cast off the prevailing constraints of political correctness and forge new and sustainable paradigms for the conduct of the nation’s affairs, taking advantage of the new benign winds in Washington? Or will they, as it seems, remain captive to old molds of thought—and thus prove to be a constraint, rather than a catalyst, impeding rather than inducing the chances that the Trump administration may well afford them—if they were to strike out in a bold new direction?

“There is a tide in the affairs of men…”

More than ever before, Israel’s destiny is in its own hands. The outcome of the US elections has given it a real chance to shape its destiny. The crucial question now is whether it will seize the moment or let it slip away?

Almost six months before the Trump inauguration, shortly after the Republican Party had removed its endorsement of a two-state model, I published a column entitled What if the GOP wins?,  in which I called on the Israeli “Right” to prepare for the possibility of a Republican victory and formulate a credible alternative to the discredited two-state prescription.

However, I cautioned that haste to discard this failed two-state formula should not lead to the proposal/ promotion of alternatives that are no less inimical than the ideas they were designed to replace.

Accordingly, I urged that to reap the potential benefits that the Trump phenomenon entails, “Israel must prepare.  It must formulate a cogent, comprehensive paradigm to replace the two-state folly, which addresses both its geographic and demographic imperatives for survival—lest it promote a proposal that threatens to make it untenable geographically or demographically—or both.

It must be a proposal that ensures that Israel retains its vital geo-strategic assets in Judea-Samaria and at the same time drastically reduces the presence of the hostile Arab population resident there—preferably by non-coercive means such as economic inducements…which, of course, is what brought the bulk of the Arab population here in the first place.”

This is now becoming an urgent imperative, lest we miss the flood tide and find ourselves “bound in shallows and in miseries” that such a lapse will inevitably entail.

BREAKING NEWS: Trump Begins Discussions on Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem

Channel 2 in Israel is reporting that Trump is set to announce the US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday.  Supporting the report’s veracity, the White House confirmed that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and President Trump discussed the initial stages of the embassy move in their first telephone call at 1:30pm EST.

Menawhile, Palestianian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Jordanian King met in order to coordinate strategy to try thwart the planned move.

YNET is reporting that Dr. Hayel Dawood, Jordan’s Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs, gave an interview to Palestinian media after the meeting. He said that Trump’s stated intention to relocate the embassy was “a dangerous development that requires an offensive position against it.” He added that the relocation “constitutes a death blow to Washington’s role as a fair mediator in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and disregard for international resolutions that consider Jerusalem occupied territory.”

Not Clear Who Can Stop Trump

With all of the noise coming out of Rammallah and Amman, they have little power or leverage to stop President Trump from moving the embassy. Both the PA and Jordan are artificially created entities that depend on outside help to keep stable. The other countries in the region either don’t care or have other issues that are for more pressing to deal with.

Arabs Threaten War if Trump Moves US Embassy to Jerusalem

In light of Trump’s announcement to nominate David Friedman as the next US Ambassador to Israel, Arab leadership in Judea and Samaria under the Palestinian Authority has threatened war and chaos over the fact that the appointment likely means Trump is very serious about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“I look David Friedman and Trump in the eye and tell them — if you were to take these steps of moving the embassy and annexing settlements in the West Bank, you are sending this region down the path of something that I call chaos, lawlessness and extremism,” Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat said, according to AFP.

The Palestinian Information Center reported that Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Higher Islamic Council in Jerusalem declared that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would be a declaration of war.

“If we assume that this alleged pledge has been realized and carried out, this means that America recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jews and has thus declared a new war against the people of Palestine, and also against the entire Arab and Muslim nations,” Sheikh Sabri stated.

The fiery comments don’t seem to have deterred the inocoming Trump administration’s determination about moving the embassy.  The only question is how and which date.