As I write this report on the controversial situation in Israel and Palestine, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the office of President Putin craft their response to the catastrophe unfolding in the Middle East. The world is watching and awakening to the cruel reality of America supporting an apartheid state of Israel, and a leadership there which seems capable of anything. Turkey and South Africa have already taken the lead in condemnation of the massacre and the breach of international laws that unfolded in Gaza and Jerusalem this week. Now the world waits on the response of the world's most influential leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Donald Trump's ambassadors to Jerusalem, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, are splashed across world headlines today. They appear, to all sentient forms of life on Earth, as a Barbie and Ken of justifiable genocide. Make no mistake here, what America's leaders have set in motion is nothing less than a caveat for murdering all Palestinians. While Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump basked in the entertaining fanfare of the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem, 50 miles away in the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops shot and killed at least 58 Palestinians protesting at a move which they see as denying their rights to a shared holy city. Women and children, reporters, and aid workers have been murdered by snipers on the border, and thousands have been injured.
The bigger situation is this, both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital city. This has been the defining truth of the generations-old Israel–Palestine conflict. Now Donald Trump has tipped the balance without so much as a consultation with the Palestinians or the Arab world at large. In one fell swoop, a controversial U.S. president has made the ultimate controversial policy move – a move which may ignite a new holy war. No media analyst I can name has recognized the real significance of this blasphemy against the Muslim and Christian world.
Going against the greater world congresses, Trump has put America in danger on a dozen fronts here. First, most nations have agreed that Jerusalem should be corpus separatum or an international city to be administered by the UN. Without unraveling the long and complex history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, suffice it to say Trump has just denied the human rights of a whole people. And to further exacerbate the situation, Israel’s IDF forces have sealed the fates of hundreds of Palestinians protesting Israeli occupation with deadly and force against unarmed civilians. The world wakes this morning to hear an American president proclaiming “God wills it” as if he were King Richard the Lionheart steadied for a new crusade. The travesty unfolds as I peck out these words.
When President Trump announced U.S. intentions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying:
"We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which includes the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."
Many misconstrued this statement to mean Russia had somehow taken Israel’s side. But the reality was that Russia condemned any move that would leave out the Palestinians’ right to have East Jerusalem as their capital. When Trump announced his decision, demonstrations broke out in Iran, Jordan, Tunisia, Somalia, Yemen, Malaysia and Indonesia, and even outside the U.S. embassy in Berlin. Today, as images of all-out carnage in Gaza sweep over candy-coated photos of Trump’s son-in-law slash foreign policy adviser Jared Kushner and the pretty Ivanka, I sense a boiling outrage via social media. And watching the sly Bibi Netanyahu gloating only serves to castigate Israel and the U.S. further. What a mortal blow to peace this unfolding drama is. Now the world waits for Vladimir Putin. The great pragmatist is about to take center stage, most everyone is anticipating the Russian leader’s moderate wisdom or his chess playing lore to resonate from the Kremlin. But I and other analysts and experts believe this could be a defining moment for Putin and for the world.
Russia, along with her allies and friends, has been under assault for decades now. The World War III that journalists and university professors casually talk about, it’s been raging since before Vladimir Putin took office. Its victims are the multitude, but few look at the economic disaster in Greece or Spain, or IMF sanctions on civil societies across Europe as battles in a real war. Likewise, dead children in the Donbass region of Ukraine are not categorized as casualties of this war. Neither are the millions and millions who are dead, dying, or impoverished by U.S. wars and interventions from Kabul, or Baghdad, Tripoli, or Damascus, let alone from the Gaza strip considered. Russians broken by the West's attack on the ruble, they are labeled victims of sanctions. Romanians, Greeks, Italians, or Spaniards forced to accept a fate of horrendous poverty, they are NATO allies – at best. Even U.S. citizens are casualties, their trillions and trillions in debt leaving their American legacy unattended to pay off crooked business and political leaders, or to build more machines of death. The stench of the graft, skullduggery, lies, and deceit, theft, killing, and the hell storm unleashed as “business” by our leaders – it’s stifling the breath of God Almighty. Trump and Netanyahu proclaim their allegiance to God, while murder and mayhem play out in the living hell they created for an entire people. And Jerusalem the holy city is the capital of all this. But one man is on the threshold of true greatness – and it is not the American billionaire or Israel’s crooked dealmaker.
The entire Arab world waits. Europe is leaning in. Asia looks on, and Latin America wonders what Vladimir Putin will say to the ultimate attack of hegemony. And I think it is time for the ultimate moderator and pragmatist to seize this day. I think Vladimir Putin will recognize the magnetic polarity of this situation. I think this is the reason he is talking to all the CIS countries, to India, and to a great many other leaders this week. Let’s consider the “moment” here.
- Reaction to the “Jerusalem-Gaza” drama comes first from Cairo-based Arab League, comprising 22 member states. This group has urged the international community to oppose what it considers an "unjust decision" and the ongoing "Israeli occupation" of Jerusalem.
- South Africa has already pulled its embassy staff from Israel in protest.
- Turkey has condemned the Trump-Netanyahu catastrophe and has pulled its diplomatic staff
- Egypt's al-Azhar religious institution has urged the international community to use "all peaceful means" to "dismiss positions of countries that sided with the Zionist entity," referring to Israel.
- The United Nations is condemning both the Jerusalem fiasco and the Gaza nightmare. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called for the immediate stop of Israeli live fire targeting dozens.
- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif called the US embassy opening in Jerusalem "a day of great shame".
- Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri wrote on Twitter that he regrets "this decision that is igniting the anger of millions of Arabs, Muslims, and Christians".
- Kuwait has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting for Today.
- Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement that the embassy move to Jerusalem violates international law and several UN Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 476 and 478.
- Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, called on Israel to respect the "principle of proportionality in the use of force" after Israeli soldiers shot and killed dozens of Palestinians in Gaza.
- And the rest of the world sits on the precipice, waiting.
Meanwhile, most of the Arab world finally sense the inevitable collapse of the Middle East order being orchestrated by the U.S. and Israel. Leaders once vehement to support the United States now awaken to the reality that World War III is waged with different ground rules than previous wars.
So, the time is right for Putin and Russia to step in. This opportunity may never present itself again. Trump and Netanyahu may have inadvertently crushed the liberal world order they puppet for, by overreaching boundaries in Palestine. I think Mr. Putin will recognize this chance, and that he will seize it. The “time is ripe,” as they say. Whatever “goods” he has on Netanyahu or Trump, however many coalition partners he can summon, it’s time for the world’s most influential leader to practice the unconventional. It’s time for a great surprise in world détente. At least this is my assessment of the situation.