No, Mr. Trump. Jerusalem is Not Israel's Capital. Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia writes to US President Donald Trump

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Sun, 12/10/2017 - 16:05
Jerusalem, December 2017

 

 

[Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia is not a liberal nor a radical. He is as conservative as you get - having served between 1977 and 2001 as the director general of Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency (al-Mukhabarat al-a'amah). He has also been Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Kingdom and the United States. This is a letter that he has written to US President Donald Trump regarding Trump's pledge to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is worth considering that this establishment figure in Saudi Arabia has put his marker down on the table. Let there be no illusions: Saudi Arabia seems to have pivoted fully towards Israel. But nonetheless, I am posting this to put it on the record]

 

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No, Mr. Trump. You are making the “same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past.” By your act, you repeat your predecessor Truman's “failed assumptions” and repeat his "failed strategies", when he, against the advice of his secretary of state, the distinguished General George Marshal, recognized Israel as a state, precipitating an historic injustice that has allowed that state to become the oppressor of the Palestinian people and the illegal occupier of their and other Arab Lands. Bloodshed and mayhem followed Truman's opportunistic act to make electoral gain; bloodshed and mayhem will definitely follow your opportunistic attempt to make electoral gain.

No, Mr. Trump, Your course of action is not "in the best interest of the United States of America". By this action, you have abandoned your promise to the Muslim people of the world, in Riyadh, “to offer partnership based on shared interests and values - to pursue a better future for us all.” Where is the partnership that you promised in your unilateral and misguided act.

No, Mr. Trump. Jerusalem is not Israel's capital. Your country was one of the architects of resolution 242 of the Security Council which clearly states the "Inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war"; which is a cardinal principle of International Law; reaffirmed by subsequent UN Security Council resolutions. East Jerusalem is conquered by war. Your failure to acknowledge this fact is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate and inject “fake news” into a reality that all the world knows and accepts, except you, Mr. Netanyahu, and the right-wing extremists in Israel, your country and other countries.

No, Mr. Trump. Israel is not the democracy that you applaud. Just ask the Muslims and Christians who live there and suffer discrimination and denial of  their rights. You can also ask the Muslims and Christians who live under the brutal military occupation that Israel imposes on them and allows its citizens to steal their lands, assassinate their men, and incarcerate their children, women and elders.

No, Mr. Trump. Your act belies your statement that it is “not intended in any way to reflect a departure from your strong commitment to facilitating a lasting peace agreement.” How you reached that conclusion is beyond any logical and sensible progression of the thought process. How can you facilitate a lasting peace agreement when you adopt one party's illegal territorial claim? How can you claim that you are “not taking a position on any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested boundaries” when you have conceded Israel's unjust claims otherwise?

No, Mr. Trump. Your action does not “reaffirm your administrations longstanding commitment to a future peace and security for the region.” Instead, your action has emboldened the most extreme elements in the Israeli society by justifying their bravura claims of all of Palestine because they take your action as a license to evict the Palestinians from their lands and subject them to an apartheid state. Where is the peace in that? Your action has equally emboldened Iran and its terrorist minions to claim that they are the legitimate defenders  of  Palestinian rights  in the face of American and Israeli imperialist aims. Where is the future peace and security for the region in that? The now much diminished terrorist international gets a rejuvenation boost from you and reenergizes its recruitment of volunteers to broaden their murderous attacks on innocent civilians, worldwide. Where is the peace and security in that?

No, Mr. Trump. How can you call for calm, moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate when your act is the balm on which they thrive. It is the sustenance on which they feed. It is the oxygen which they breathe.

No, Mr. Trump. Do not send your Vice President to us. He is not welcome. If you want to rectify your misbegotten and cavalier act, you can issue a statement recognizing the Palestinian state and its capital in East Jerusalem. Otherwise, forget whatever sweet words you blandish at us. Native inhabitants of what is called America have coined the phrase “White man speaks with  forked tongue”. We have known that phrase since 1917.

Our King, Crown Prince, government and people condemn your act and our King advised you to retract it. For the sake of world peace and security, I hope that this time you listen to his advice.

Turki AlFaisal