Arabs and Muslims hoping to hear directly from Donald Trump on his new policy on Jerusalem on Wednesday must have been shocked to witness the United States president deliver an Israeli speech instead. The tone was Trump, but the words and spin were all Binyamin Netanyahu.
If there was ever doubt in the Arab mind about Israeli tail wagging the US dog, it dissipated with Trump's latest statement on Jerusalem. Within minutes, the Israeli premier appeared smug on television to thank the American president for recognising Jerusalem as capital of the "Jewish state", and encouraged others to follow suit.
Mahmoud Abbas was furious. H accused the Trump administration of rewarding aggression and inflaming religious extremism. It was a humiliating moment for the Palestinian president who long placed his bets on Washington and the peace process only to see it destroyed with one speech.
For all practical matter, the speech is the product of President Trump's closest advisers since before he became president and the trio entrusted for the "Peace Process": David Freedman, Trump's ambassador to Israel, Jason Greenblatt, his diplomatic ambassador at large, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. The three New Yorkers are ultra-Zionists and stand to the right of Benjamin Netanyahu on the questions of unconditional support for Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. They are actual sponsors of illegal settlements themselves.
Trump's announcement is a violation of international law, to cite French President Emmanuel Macron. The speech in its totality is a declaration of war on Palestinian rights, wrapped in peace rhetoric. It's devoid of any mention of Palestinian plight or US commitment to a two-state solution. Which explains the appearance of the UN Secretary General briefly right after the speech to insist that there's no alternative to two states solution with Jerusalem as capital of both states.
However, it's Iran that has come out on top this week, thanks to Trump's Netanyahu emulation.