Massive worldwide Rallies Condemn US, Courtesy Trump Jerusalem Call

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Ayat Ahmad reports for Elbalad (Beirut, liberal) that Friday saw huge, angry demonstrations against the United States in the Palestinian West Bank, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere in protest of Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

AFP starts in Beirut but goes on to give us great footage of protests in places like Mogadishu and Tehran.

This AFP slide show is also revealing. The demonstrations against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, of course, could threaten US troops stationed in those countries:

In the West Bank, a general strike was called, including in schools, and Palestinian politicians called for wide participation in marches.

In the little town of Palestinian Bethlehem, Israeli troops forcibly cleared the streets, as AFP reported:

The biggest crowds came out in Gaza, raising the credibility of Hamas. CBC reports on the Palestinian protests:

CBC The National: “Trump’s decision on Jerusalem prompts airstrikes and protests”

In beleagured Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, Iran’s Press TV reports the population came out in force despite Saudi bombing.

Virtually every major Turkish city–Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, etc.– saw huge rallies against the United States. Turkey is a NATO ally.

This is not to mention the demonstrations in Berlin, London and elsewhere in Europe.

The US had already fallen dramatically in popularity around the world as soon as Trump was elected, and he’s done nothing to reverse the free fall.


The US needs allies to bolster its security in the world. It is not clear it will have any left by 2020.

11 Responses

  1. A real dealmaker would have traded stopping settlement building, as the price of recognition of Jerusalem as the Capitol –

  2. It occurs to me Juan that this is a feature not a bug – it is designed to be provocative and to incite violence, and is part and parcel to the GOP program. The policy is intended to prove the point of bigots that Muslims are some how inherently violent. So what do you do? One of the things that will most likely incite them against you. If reality won’t come to you then you make the reality.

    It’s the same principle on which the tax plan with its body blow to the ACA was forced through – create a revenue short fall so you can gut social security and medicaid down the road, and kick and scream about how the ACA is broken and needs to be eliminated.

    It will be the same with any GOP budget, that will underfund programs to make them less efficient and effective – then you can start screaming about the inefficiency of government and how it never works in order to gut it.

    Meantime the GOP becomes increasingly fascist, increasingly unmoored from any morality or any sense of reality, doubling down on the authoritarian they chose for highest office. I do not see how we escape this without either a seriously stupid war (say in Korea or Iran), nuclear holocaust (see Korea again), economic catastrophe that makes 2008 look benign (see the tax bill and rampant deregulation of the banking sector), or our republic intact (see the GOP and its leader as “blood and soil” authoritarians drunk with power and one party rule for which there simply is no bottom), or a combination of those thereof.

    Tremendous damage has already been done to this country. It has only just begun.

  3. So this is what Trump meant when he said he was going to make “America great again”. Hope his voters feel that greatness today.

  4. In his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump seems to have been badly misled by his pro-Israeli son-in-law Kushner and the latter’s protégé, Mohammed bin Salman. According to many reports by those who seem to be aware of behind-the-scenes deals between the two young princes, Kushner had promised MbS to provide him with the full backing of the US government and the Israeli lobby in the United States in his campaign against Iran if MbS could deliver a Palestinian agreement to Israel’s liking.

    After summoning the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and demanding his resignation, MbS also summoned the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Riyadh and presented him with the text of a proposal about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Allegedly, the proposal allows Israel to keep all the illegal settlements in the West Bank, establishing a non-contiguous Palestinian entity, as well as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while reviving the old nonsense about the Palestinian Authority having Abu Dis as its capital. Abbas reportedly said that the proposal was even worse that all former Israeli proposals that the Palestinians had rejected and that he could not put his name to it. MbS had told him that in that case he had to resign and allow someone else to reach an agreement with Israel. This seems to have been one of the reasons for Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    It is important to note that not only have all countries in the world, with the exception of Israel, opposed that decision, even many liberal Jewish organizations in the United States and Israel, including the J Street, also opposed it. According to Haaretz, in a letter to Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, 25 former Israeli ambassadors, academics and peace activists had also announced their deep concern about the move. It seems that Kushner and MbS have bitten off more than they can chew and that the move will backfire and will set back the cause of Arab-Israeli peace.

    • “In his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump seems to be badly misled by his pro-Israeli son-in-law Kushner and the latter’s protege (Salman)………..”

      In fact, the genesis for declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital comes from an evangelical advisory council that counsels President Trump on religious matters important to America’s evangelical leaders.

      Christian Zionism was the driving force to Trump’s declaration – not Jewish-American pro-Israel political interests.

  5. Over decades the principles that lay behind the establishment of the UN have either been abandoned or turned to variously meaningless mantra. They were supposed to provide security, and a consequent sense of security that would enable all peoples to live not just simply in an absence of war but in a state of positive peace and harmony. As soon as it was understood that some nations were prepared to ignore the resolutions and agreements that formed the physical structure of those otherwise abstract principles the sense of security began to erode and when they became selectively and blatantly flouted security itself gave way to lawless danger. The present fate of Jerusalem serves to expose the abandonment of those principles in favour precisely what they were designed to control and one day eliminate. What Trump’s Jerusalem action means to many is not only a setback to negotiations over Palestine, or the fact that it flies in the face of UN Resolutions (181 and 472 specifically) but that any notion of practical world peace and harmony has been relegated back to a philosophical abstraction. If you have no sense of security you seek to look after yourself, your family, your community, your nation. I believe there are dots there that could be connected to illuminate resurgent nationalism, racism, and the sprouting weeds of fascism.

  6. That popularity chart explains the dividing point between the party that believes that the ordinary people of the outside world are generally good, and the party that believes that the ordinary people of the outside world are inherently evil. Leaders are another matter; both parties believe that “our guys” must be kept in charge overseas, leading to our endless hegemonic interventions.

    But this difference matters when the Republicans intend to escalate America into an outright state of war with the rest of the world to obtain the electoral benefits of xenophobic paranoia. Because then it’s no longer about the American people supposedly being threatened by a leader who can be replaced. Then it’s about a “clash of civilizations”, or Holy War for the less snobby. Then it’s World War 2, or 3. It’s about entire peoples pitted against entire other peoples for whose “way of life” gets to survive.

    Which is ironic, because that’s exactly how growing numbers of indoctrinated Republicans feel about Democrats. And once there’s a war with an entire world of enemy peoples, then the Republicans will have the justification to stamp out every American who is too foreign, too cosmopolitan, too different as obvious enemy sympathizers.

    I guess after that crackdown is carried out, we will helplessly find out whether they were serious about actually eliminating foreign societies.

  7. The Republican base is motivated by fear, and loves displays of dominance over their political foes. Trump’s declaration plays to both of these: it shows contempt for “liberals” and “the establishment”, and will very likely trigger some terrorist strikes that will confirm the Republican base’s fears. Any such terrorist attacks will be blamed on a failure to ban travel by “the Others” – and will be used as an excuse to implement more bigoted policies. Fox News will, or course, also blame liberals and President Obama for any attacks.

  8. Trump is essentially emblematic of the erosion of America qua world leader.
    Now is the time, more than ever, for a country or an international coalition to emerge to nudge America aside from its America’s hubristic insistence that it knows best.
    The best hope is for America to dramatically downsize its influence via gunboat and missile diplomacy. I fear that will happen only when pigs fly.

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