Day: December 11, 2017

Netanyahu Urges Europe To Follow Trump’s Move In Recognising Jerusalem As Isreals Capital

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged the European Union to follow U.S. President Donald Trump’s lead and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but EU ministers shook their heads at Trump’s move.

Netanyahu, arriving for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, said Trump’s move made peace in the Middle East possible “because recognising reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace.”

 

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But even Israel’s closest European allies such as the Czech Republic warned Trump’s decision was bad for peace efforts, while France insisted Jerusalem’s status could only be agreed in a final deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Asked by reporters about Trump’s decision to switch the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said: “I’m afraid it can’t help us.”

Netanyahu, who has been angered by the EU’s search for closer business ties with Iran, said Trump’s move, condemned by the Palestinians and by Europe, should be emulated by them.

“It’s time that the Palestinians recognise the Jewish state and also recognise the fact that it has a capital. It’s called Jerusalem,” he said, after flying into Brussels from Paris after a meeting on Sunday with France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

“I believe that, even though we don’t have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future. I believe that all, or most, of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.”

Last week, the Czech foreign ministry said it would begin considering moving the Czech Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which many in Israel saw as an endorsement of Trump’s move.

But Prague later said it accepted Israel’s sovereignty only over West Jerusalem.

Read more at REUTERS

 

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EU, Muslims And Arabs Condemn Trumps Decision On Jerusalem

Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator.

The European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and its repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Major U.S. allies came out against Trump’s reversal of decades of U.S. and broad international policy on Jerusalem.

France rejected the “unilateral” decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem’s status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.

France rejected the “unilateral” decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem’s status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.

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Israel, by contrast, applauded Trump’s move. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a pre-recorded video message that it was “an important step towards peace” and it was “our goal from Israel’s first day”.

He added that any peace accord with the Palestinians would have to include Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and he urged other countries to follow Trump’s example.

Trump upended decades of U.S. policy in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risks aggravating conflict in the tinderbox Middle East.

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The status of Jerusalem is home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths. Its eastern sector was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for the capital of an independent state they seek.

Israel deems Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital dating to antiquity, and its status is one of the thorniest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a pre-recorded speech, said Jerusalem was the “eternal capital of the State of Palestine” and that Trump’s move was “tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator.”

The last round of U.S.-brokered talks foundered in 2014 over issues including Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and Israeli accusations of Palestinian incitement to violence and refusal to recognise it as a Jewish state.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which has dominated Gaza since soon after Israel ended a 38-year occupation in 2005, said Trump had committed a “flagrant aggression against the Palestinian people”. Hamas urged Arabs and Muslims to “undermine U.S. interests in the region” and to “shun Israel”.

 

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Protests broke out in parts of Jordan’s capital Amman inhabited by Palestinian refugees, with youths chanting anti-American slogans. In the Baqaa refugee camp on Amman’s outskirts, hundreds roamed the streets denouncing Trump and urging Jordan to scrap its 1994 peace treaty with Israel. “Down with America…America is the mother of terror,” they chanted.

Angry Palestinians switched off Christmas lights at Jesus’ traditional birthplace in the West Bank town of Bethlehem and in Ramallah. A tree adorned with lights outside Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, where Christians believe Jesus was born, and another in Ramallah, next to the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, were plunged into darkness.

All Palestinian factions called for a general strike and protest rallies at midday on Thursday.

“LEGALLY NULL” DECISION

The Saudi Royal Court issued a statement saying that the kingdom followed “with deep sorrow” Trump’s decision and warned of “dangerous consequences of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem”.

The statement described the move as “a big step back in efforts to advance the peace process”, and urged the U.S. administration to reverse its decision and adhere to international will.

Egypt, which forged the first Arab peace deal with Israel in 1979, brushed off Trump’s decision and said it did not change Jerusalem’s disputed legal status.

Jordan said Trump’s action was “legally null” because it consolidated Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Trump’s Jerusalem decision was dangerous and threatened the credibility of the United States as a broker of Middle East peace. He said the move would put back the peace process by decades and threatened regional stability and perhaps global stability.

Man Spots Himself In Fianceé’s Family Childhood Picture

They say we all cross paths with the person we ultimately settle down with before meeting them, but one couple have been able to pinpoint the exact moment that happened – with pictorial evidence.

Upon looking back at an old childhood family photo of his fiancée, a man spotted himself in the background.

Verona Koliqi, who lives in London but is originally from Kosovo, was visiting a beach in Montenegro with her family a decade ago when the photo was taken.

 

When she and her fiancé Mirand Buzaku examined the photo of the children on the beach, they noticed a young boy floating on a lilo in the sea behind the Koliqi and her family.

“He noticed the kid in the back had the same shirt, shorts and floaty as him,” Koliqi said.

 

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“We analysed further and confirmed with family members that it’s him photobombing my family photo.”

The couple didn’t believe it could be possible at first – after all, what are the chances that they were both on holiday at the same place, at the exact same beach, at the same time? – but Buzaku’s family members confirmed that they’d been there when the photo was taken.

They never actually met as children and it wasn’t until the summer of 2016 that the couple’s paths crossed again in Kosovo – a year later they were engaged.

 

After sharing her story on Instagram, Koliqi’s post has received over 30,000 likes and many gushing comments.

Many people decided to share their own stories of coincidence and love.

“My boyfriend and I discovered that we were unknowingly were at the same small concert (which maybe 50 people attended) about four years before we met,” one person wrote.

“It’s wonderful and no coincidence. You’re meant to be!”

 

Independent.co.uk