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Israel's capital change could be IS turning point

By Yaoran Yu (People's Daily)    10:04, December 14, 2017

US Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the new capital city of Israel ignited waves of unrest and protest throughout the Arab world. Trump is the first president of the US to sign off on the 1995 Jerusalem Act, a law that allows for the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Former US Presidents Clinton, H.W. Bush and Obama signed waivers every six months while they were in office preventing the move in the name of international security and diplomacy. Six months ago, President Trump signed the waiver, but when it was time to sign it again last week, he decided to move forward on a campaign promise he made to Israel while campaigning for the Oval Office.

Arab leaders opposed the action, along with US allies in the region and beyond.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump had effectively scrapped the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan called the US a "partner in bloodshed" over the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call while he was in Brussels, and said the two-state solution remains the only path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

New conflicts and potential bloodshed between Israeli and Palestinian forces is an obvious concern, but now there could be much bigger one.

Situated on the Judean Mountains, Jerusalem is regarded by both Palestinie and Israel as their capital. It is also known to the world as the Holy City of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Photo: Xinhua

Historically, IS finds ways to emerge out of chaos, similar to what happened in Fallujah, Iraq in 2014.

War-torn locales serve as IS breeding grounds where they, along with other radical extremists, regroup and become stronger. With local authority rule crippled or gone as a result of conflict and military action, IS manipulates new recruits by instilling deep hatred and warped beliefs into their minds. It is a strategy that has served them well in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

IS is running out of time compared to the momentum they had three years ago. They have all but lost in Iraq and Syria. But the war against IS still remains. Victory in Syria and Iraq does not mean the battle against the group’s ideology is over. IS is capable of insurgency in other countries and regions.

In November, IS targeted a Sufi mosque in the northern part of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It was the largest IS attack on Egyptian soil and left 300 people dead.

In the US, a Bangladeshi man tried to set off a bomb at New York City’s commuter hub on December 11. The explosion injured four people, including the suspect. After the attack, Trump called for greater immigration reform.

Washington released a statement that said the US embassy will not likely to move to Jerusalem within the next two years. It was a calming signal at best, but doubtful it will quell future violence inspired by Trump’s actions with Israel.

It is time for Trump to reestablish the balance between political correctness and the Middle East peace process. Trouble in the Middle East does not serve US interests.

Trump’s Jersulem declaration is inconsiderate to other nations especially when the shadow of IS and its influence lingers on battered lands of the Middle East.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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