Islamic Nations Rebuke U.S., Israel Over Jerusalem

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned Israel and the United States following the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital last week, and called on the Islamic world to back an independent Palestinian state (Middle East Eye) with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The response, during which Turkey also threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel (Al Jazeera), came at a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul on Wednesday. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas rejected a role for the United States as a mediator for the region (Guardian), saying the decision by U.S. President Donald J. Trump was a “crime.” Twenty-two heads of states, including from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Iran, and Jordan, attended the gathering (VOA).


“We see from the lack of response in the Arab Middle East to Trump’s announcement that there will be no real consequences for the White House. The ‘Arab street’ is still crushed from the regimes’ violent response to the uprisings of 2011, while the Arab leaders are preoccupied with the ongoing crises in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen,” Lisa Goldman said in an interview with Foreign Policy Interrupted.

“Erdogan is waging an all-out war against American assistance to the Syrian Kurds, who are fighting successfully against the Islamic State. Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is therefore an excellent opportunity for Erdogan to conduct his war against Trump under cover of a Muslim consensus,” Zvi Bar’el writes for Haaretz.

“Abbas was already walking a political tightrope: he is in the middle of a delicate reconciliation process with his rivals in Hamas, and he faces a public deeply skeptical of his leadership and of the United States’ role in the peace process,” Ghaith al-Omari writes for Foreign Affairs.