Transcripts for the news stories on The Morning Brew for December, 7, 2017.
The Middle East, Israel, and Trump’s Decision
After asking the State Department to start putting into motion the move of the Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the decision itself has garnered mixed responses and feelings from the surrounding countries. One such reaction was sending out warnings of possible violence issued from the Israeli government. As of yet, there have been no serious incidents of violence, but Friday is a Muslim Holy day and will be a litmus test for when the Palestinians gather for their mass prayers.
Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, has put out a call to Palestinians to launch an uprising on the holy day stating, “The American decision is an aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries,” he also told his supporters “to be ready for any orders.” and “We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision.” This is the same Hamas group that killed hundreds of Israelis using suicide bombings and other tactics in the early 2000’s. Their stronghold is located in Gaza, and it has been confirmed to have a large arsenal of rockets capable of attacking Israel. Overnight protests in Gaza included angry youths burning American and Israeli flags, tires, and Trump posters. The Israeli Military is planning to station several battalions on the West Bank in anticipation of “possible developments”.
In lieu of this move, the United States as asked Israel to temper its response to the the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. This is due to the expectations of backlash and potential threats to the facilities and people the United States has there. Reuter’s was privy to a document by the State Department. The document states “While I recognize that you will publicly welcome this news, I ask that you restrain from your official response.” and “We expect there to be resistance to this news in the Middle East and around the world. We are still judging the impact this decision will have on US Facilities and personnel overseas.”
As would be the case, Arabs and Muslims all through the Middle East are saying it is an incendiary move on the US’s part to move Isreal’s capital to Jerusalem, making assertions that this shows a possible abandonment of the US to be a leading role as a peace mediator in the region. The EU and UN also condemned the decision saying there will be an impact on any hope of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. France flat out rejected a decision and made an appeal for the region to stay calm. Britain joined the EU and UN in saying this will not help peace efforts, and Germany says that only a two-state solution will resolve Jerusalem’s status. Prime Minister Netanyahu stated in a previously recorded message this was “an important step toward peace” and it was also “our goal from Israel’s first day”. He also urged other countries to take Trump’s example.
Australia Makes Same Sex Marriage Legal
Australia’s Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday. This is after years of resistance. The House of Representatives had the last approval, with only four votes against the bill. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was quoted as saying, “This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving, and filled with respect. For everyone of us this is a great day.”
The newly enacted law extends legislation that already exists, which provided equal rights to same-sex couples in the areas of government benefits, employment and taxes, and changes the definition of marriage to “the union of two people.” The new law also recognizes these same marriages from other countries.
Putin Says “No” to Boycotting the Olympics
Russia will not keep its athletes from competing in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. President Putin says they can compete if they so wish to, tamping down calls for a boycott of the Games. This comes after the IOC banned the Russian team from the Olympics after evidence was found of manipulating the anti-doping system. Russians may still compete in the events, but they will do so under the Olympic flag and their country will not be credited with any medals if the athletes win any. Putin was quoted as saying, “Without any doubt, we will not declare a blockade; we will not prevent our Olympians from taking part (in the Games), if one of them wants to participate in a personal capacity.”
Putin turns his sights to Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory. Though he did not name Grigory explicitly, President Putin said the decision of the IOC was “mainly based on the testimonies of a person whose moral and ethical attitudes and psychological state raise many questions.”
Until next time, question everything
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Categories: Morning Brew Archives