JERUSALEM — Some of the festive cheer was missing last weekend at a public Christmas tree lighting near the site where Christians believe an angel proclaimed Christ’s birth to local shepherds.
“Our oppressors have decided to deprive us from the joy of Christmas,” Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the former archbishop and Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, told the crowd in the town of Beit Sahour in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “Mr. Trump told us clearly Jerusalem is not yours.”
The Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there has provoked widespread opposition among Christians across the Middle East. When Vice President Pence arrives next week on a trip touted as a chance to check on the region’s persecuted Christians, he will be facing an awkward backlash.
[Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli capital in reversal of U.S. policy]
The pope of the Egyptian Coptic Church, who leads the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East, has called off a scheduled meeting with Pence in Cairo. The Chaldean Church in Iraq warned this week that the White House move on Jerusalem risks sparking regional violence and extremism and demanded that the Trump administration respect U.N. resolutions on the city.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST
Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem burned posters of President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening in furious protest against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Christians burned posters featuring Donald Trump’s face and the text “Jerusalem, Palestine’s heart, is not up to negotiations,” joining hundreds of other Palestinians who gathered in Gaza and Ramallah to burn similar posters and U.S. flags, according to the Daily Mail. The Palestinians protested Trump’s imminent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which Trump is expected to officially announce in a Wednesday address at 1 p.m.
Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Palestinian state said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem will “destroy the peace process and the two-state solution.”
Each U.S. president since the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 has signed a waiver every six months during their terms delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as capital and the move of the U.S. embassy. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem will put the U.S. in full compliance with the act, but several other Palestinian officials and world leaders echoed Hamdallah, saying that the move will preempt any peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE DAILY CALLER
The decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital increases the odds of violence because it deepens Palestinian despair.
For Donald Trump, Muslim barbarism is a political strategy. It inspires the fear and hatred that binds him to his base. Muslim barbarism is so politically useful, in fact, that, when necessary, Trump creates it.
During the presidential campaign, he invented mobs of Jersey City Muslims who had celebrated 9/11. After the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, he invented a conspiracy in which “many, many people, Muslims living with them, in the same area” had been in on Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s plot. This February, he invented a terrorist attack in Sweden, which he blamed on the fact that Sweden “took in large numbers” of you-know-whos. Just last week, he invented a Muslim migrant’s attack on a crippled Dutch boy.
But on Wednesday, Trump outdid himself. By announcing that America recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he didn’t just invent Muslim violence. He provoked it.
The U.S. consulate in Jerusalem is warning Americans to avoid Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank. The State Department is warning of violence at U.S. embassies. The violence may not come right away. As Jerusalem expert Daniel Seidemann told my colleague Emma Green, it’s usually “the real or perceived threat to sacred space”—especially the Temple Mount, which contains the Al Aqsa mosque—that triggers immediate bloodshed.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE ATLANTIC
(RNS) — A great action movie demands a final battle scene, a cosmic clash between the forces of good and evil. Donald Trump — ever the showman — knows this.
All politicians are skilled at casting themselves as heroes in the political dramas they write. But what sets Donald Trump apart is his unique ability to create and cast a villain.
On Wednesday morning Donald Trump returned to an old favorite for that role: Muslims.
The president shared three disturbing videos on Twitter that portray Muslims as violent, cruel, and intolerant, though there are questions about what was really happening in the scenes. But they were purported to depict a Dutch boy on crutches being cruelly beaten by (we are told) a “Muslim migrant”; a scene artfully titled “Muslim Destroys a Statue of the Virgin Mary!”; and a horrific episode in which “Islamists” throw a young man off of a roof.
And that is it. That is all Trump needs.
Using three brief videos he has pulled back “the veil” on the villainous Muslim — as it were — and exposed his truly evil nature. Sufficiently outraged, the audience (read: electorate) will demand the rise of a courageous hero.
FULL ARTICLE FROM RELIGIOUS NEWS SERVICE
On the morning of November 29, 2017, the President of the United States re-tweeted a series of videos allegedly depicting Muslim acts of violence against Christians and Christian symbols. They had originally been posted by a member of the far right, nationalist Britain First group. It was an outrageous act of bigotry and hatred on the part of the President. It may also prove to be an act of incitement—a further act of incitement, I should say. After all, this was no isolated incident. It’s part of a clear pattern of hateful rhetoric and action directed at a specific religious community that has already contributed to a dangerous environment for American Muslims.
During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The reason he gave was terrorism. “We cannot let this evil continue,” he declared during a speech in Florida in September 2016. “Nor can we let the hateful ideology of radical Islam . . . be allowed to reside or spread within our country.” For Trump, as for many of his followers, there existed a fundamental connection between Muslims and terrorism (or “radical Islamic terrorism” as he made sure to call it at every opportunity).
Driving the connection home even more forcefully, he declared in August 2016 his intention to “screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles — or who believe that sharia law should supplant American law.” Sharia, or Muslim religious law, Trump was saying, and terrorism were inherently related. Terrorists are Muslims. Muslims are terrorists. Where could there be a place for such a demonized group within Trump’s American national community? What are the consequences of such a message being relentlessly driven home?
FULL ARTICLE FROM HISTORY NEWS NETWORK