Palestinian agitators embarrass selves with puny turnout for 'day of rage' over Jerusalem embassy move

Those "experts" who long have warned of "violent chaos" if the U.S. moves its embassy to Jerusalem have been exposed as a bunch of hysterical ninnies, at best, in the Age of Trump.  The fury of the "Arab street," the purported seething anger over America recognizing the reality that Jerusalem is Israel's capital, is a chimera in the era of Iran, ISIS, and a booming high-tech Israel in a de facto alliance with a reformist Saudi monarch.

To be sure, the leadership of Hamas, Hezb'allah and the Palestinian Authority need there to be violence, and they have the resources to produce some.  But all they could come up with were comparatively puny riots on Friday – after Arabs went to mosques and heard fiery sermons.  The violence afterward was just vicious enough to provoke an Israeli response and produce scary photo-ops for CNN and the rest:

In fact, there was no spontaneous violence directly after President Trump announced the embassy move, as would happen if there really were seething anger.  You see, it was raining then, so naturally, people stayed indoors, because nothing says rage quite like an unwillingness to get a little wet.  It required planning, and urging, and maybe a little pressure in order to produce a pitifully small turnout in the West Bank and Gaza.

CNN reports on the scale of ginned up gatherings:

An Israeli army statement said what it called violent riots had broken out in about 30 locations across the West Bank and Gaza. The main disturbances in the West Bank were in Hebron, Al-Arroub, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Qalqilya and Nablus.

About 3,000 protesters were involved in the West Bank unrest, with 28 people arrested and about 65 injured, it said.

In Gaza, about 4,500 Palestinians were demonstrating at six locations along the border with Israel, the army said, with protesters rolling burning tires and throwing rocks at IDF soldiers.

"IDF soldiers are responding with riot dispersal means," the military said.

Population figures for the West Bank and Gaza are disputed (like everything related to the Palestinians' claims), but one reasonable estimate reported in left-leaning Haaretz has 2,657,029 Palestinians in the West Bank and 1.7 million in Gaza.

That means that just over one tenth of one percent of West Bank Palestinians turned out for demonstrations – after a day of cajoling by Palestinian Authority agitators.  In Gaza, where even more violent, radical, and fearsome Hamas presumably urged rioters on, turnout more than doubled Gaza as a percentage: massive two and half tenths of one percent of the population turned out.  Both turnouts happened right after Friday mosque services and sermons.

Hezb'allah doesn't really need street demonstrations in the territory it dominates in Lebanon.  It has a military force to use, and it fired off some of its Iranian-supplied missiles on Israel.  The object, once again, was photo ops – pictures demonstrating poor Arabs suffering at the hands of mighty Israel, as the anticipated retaliatory air strikes at the missiles hit the civilians among whom Hez places its rockets, so as to use their suffering for propaganda.

Richard Baehr suspects that the Palestinian leadership "may fear that Trump will get ticked off and there will be real repercussions for inciting violence. They have feared nothing from prior presidents on violence related to this particular conflict."  If he is correct, as I suspect, this means that President Trump has indeed changed the calculus of the Palestinians, letting them realize that their intransigence from now on has a cost.  For decades, they have rejected any compromises because there have been only gains, not losses, when they escalate.  Those days are over.

President Trump knows hardball negotiations and feels no guilt at all at pressing for the interests of the United States and its allies.  Now that the world is seeing the brand-new American posture, we can expect the behavior of our foes to change.  I am not yet "tired of winning," and I expect more gains to be made in the Middle East over the next three years than have been made in the last three decades.  No less than Osama bin Laden noted that when people see a "strong horse," they naturally are attracted.

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