Donald trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was expected to lead to large-scale rioting in the Muslim world. Probably Trump had his finger on the pulse and now one can see, that except for violence in Palestine, nothing much has happened in other places.

True, some statements have emanated about the US decision from Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and other Muslim nations but there has been no violent protest. The city of Jerusalem was also calm and Friday's prayer went without a hitch, according to the New York Times.


In Palestine, the call by the terrorist organization Hamas, to mark the beginning of "intifada" with a mass uprising against Israel has been largely ignored. Having said this, there is genuine anger among Palestine Arabs over Trump's decision and they marked the call by Hamas for a "Day Of Rage" by agitating and throwing stones at the Israeli police. Two rockets were also fired that brought an immediate reaction from Israel. Overall the Arabs have realized that earlier two attempts for Intifada had failed and the only result was that hundreds of Arabs were killed. The Palestine Prime Minister Abbas does not favor a third uprising. He has realized it will lead nowhere.

One reason for a comparative lower violent response could be that Saudi Arabia has not come out openly against Trump's decision.

There are indications that the Saudi monarchy under King Salaman is looking for a global role and there are undercurrents of cooperation with Israel against Iran, which is perceived as a bigger threat. CNN has reported that the Saudi's are wary of rising Iranian power and consider it a threat to their dominance in the region.

In such a scenario, the decision of Trump is not a big thing for Saudi Arabia.

Day of rage

The call to mark Trump's announcement as a "day of rage" did not ignite Palestine Arabs, like earlier. Many marched towards Israeli positions but the violence has been markedly lower. In any case, the Secretary of State, Tillerson, has said it will take two years to shift the embassy, because of the logistic problems involved.

Trump's decision is a recognition of the de facto situation, as Israel already considers Jerusalem as its capital.

Last word

Trump has also said he favors a two-state solution, but this also is unlikely to take place as there is no meeting ground between Palestine Arabs and Israel. Both claim substantial territories and Jerusalem is the bone of contention. It will be interesting to watch how the Palestine Arabs adjust to the new reality, especially as their biggest benefactor Saudi Arabia, is silent.