Monday, January 08, 2018

Inside Story - Does Egypt Support Donald Trump's Jerusalem Move?

After US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the condemnation from the Arab world was swift and strong. But is everyone on board? Egypt is denying a New York Times report of pressure on Egyptian media to play down opposition to Trump's decision.

In leaked phone recordings, a senior intelligence officer reportedly told leading TV talk show hosts to influence their viewers to back the decision, contrary to widespread condemnation among Muslims.

The newspaper quoted Intelligence officer, Captain Ashraf Al Kholi, asking hosts "how is Jerusalem different from Ramallah"? It’s the base of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank. Captain Al Kholi was quoted telling the talk show hosts that an intifada could revive Hamas and wouldn't serve Egypt’s national security interests.

Saudi Arabia is also being criticised for what's seen by some as a weak reaction to Trump's policy change. As King Salman publicly denounced Trump, the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, was reportedly urging Palestinian leaders to accept the change.

What does the apparent shift mean for the future of Jerusalem?

Presenter: Laura Kyle | Guests: Sami Hamdi, editor of International Interest; Mustapha Barghouti - Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative; Nicolai due-Gundersen - Middle east specialist, Kingston University, London