To hear Democrat and progressive legislators, and their counterparts in the media, tell it, a Palestinian uprising is coming straightaway as a result of President Trump’s decision Wednesday to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
The president’s decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital rejects decades of bipartisan policy and undermines our standing with Palestinians and regional partners. pic.twitter.com/5yU2jS0SEZ
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 6, 2017
MSNBC’s always-rational and cool-headed Rachel Maddow got her marching orders and reported that the US government “instigated a major international controversy” with the decision; and then goes on to deconstruct, from her perspective, why a two-state solution will now never work. She also helpfully offers her thoughts on the “cauldron” of protests, including Hamas calling for a “day of rage.”
Then there’s this graphic from NBC News:
Angry clashes erupted in the West Bank Thursday as the Middle East braced for violence over President Donald Trump’s contentious decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
In Bethlehem, Israeli police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators while Palestinians set tires alight and threw rocks in Ramallah. In Jerusalem, about 20 chanting protesters at the historic Damascus Gate were ordered to leave by police.
There were no immediate reports of injuries. But Friday, the Muslim holy day, could provide an important test when Palestinians gather for weekly mass prayers.
No immediate reports of injuries, but let’s hope for that on Friday, guys! Step up your game!
There’s little doubt the Trump administration was prepared for some pushback. Trump placed several phone calls to Middle Eastern leaders Tuesday in preparation for his proclamation. They expressed their concerns, and warned of consequences. But making reasonable decisions accepting there are factions that may take to the streets and express their disagreement is not the same thing as intentionally inflaming conflict.
The rhetoric coming from Western media outlets is a sight more inflammatory than anything coming from actual leadership in the Middle East (with a few notable and expected exceptions). In fact, as was noticed Wednesday on Twitter:
Is it just me or is the Arab government twitterverse surprisingly silent on this #JerusalemEmbassy thing? Statements seem v pro-forma too.
— Danielle Pletka (@dpletka) December 6, 2017
The commenters on this tweet rightly observe that this is likely due to the fact that the decision was vetted beforehand. Which we know it was.
It starts to look like the left-leaners in the West will fan the flames of conflict in the Middle East no matter how diligently and carefully the US tries to approach the existing situation there. And if no flames exist, they’ll simply create them with the excuse that it’s the way things have always been.
Hanging on to the past and stoking the fires of old conflicts would seem to be the opposite of progress. Odd tactical choice for so-called progressives.