NBC: Trump’s ‘Betrayal’ of Palestinians ‘Killed’ Peace Process

Reporting live from Jerusalem on Thursday’s NBC Today, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Richard Engel made it clear that he was only interested in pushing the Palestinian narrative opposing President Trump’s decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital. He sympathized with their “outrage” and “sense of betrayal” over the decision.

“As you can probably see, clashes and civil unrest have broken out here on the West Bank.... Palestinians, they say, will not give up on their right to Jerusalem, no matter what President Trump says,” Engel proclaimed. He then seemed to justify the violence: “In a day of rage, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip expressed their outrage, frustration, and sense of betrayal by the United States.”

 

 

The reporter argued that they had good reason to feel betrayed: “Palestinians had been promised for years in international negotiations that Jerusalem’s final status would be settled through diplomacy. Only to see President Trump reverse decades of U.S. policy and recognize Israel’s claim that the city is its capital.”

Engel even claimed that Trump had somehow upset a decades-old peace process that had long been abandoned:

A profound shift appears to be underway. Nearly 25 years ago, President Clinton brought Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for the Oslo Accords, with the U.S. as a moderator-in-chief. Now, many Palestinians say that peace process is over. That President Trump killed it when his administration took sides on the most fundamental and emotional division in the region, the status of Jerusalem.

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In reality, the Oslo Accords fell apart 17 years ago, when a series of violence incidents occurred in September of 2000. In 2015, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that his people “cannot continue to be bound by these agreements.” That particular peace process was long dead before Engel asserted that Trump “killed it.”

On Wednesday, Engel took to MSNBC to preemptively condemn the President’s decision, calling it “profoundly unsettling” and fretting over Palestinians being “deeply disheartened by this move.”

Thursday’s biased segment was brought viewers by Xfinity, Cheerios, Walmart.  

Here is a full transcript of the December 7 report:

7:11 AM ET

HODA KOTB: Also this morning, there is new fallout over President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The move sparked outrage even before Wednesday’s official announcement and the chorus of critics grew louder overnight. NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel as more on all of that. Hey, Richard.

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning. As you can probably see, clashes and civil unrest have broken out here on the West Bank. We are on the outskirts of the Palestinian city of Ramallah. These protesters have begun setting fires, they’re burning tires to create a smoke screen. And they are throwing stones and other debris. It’s difficult to see, but behind the smoke are Israeli troops, and they have been firing volleys of tear gas occasionally to drive the demonstrators back. All these protesters say they are here for one reason. Because Palestinians, they say, will not give up on their right to Jerusalem, no matter what President Trump says.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “Day of Rage” in Middle East; Call for Violent Protests in Wake of Trump Announcement]

In a day of rage, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip expressed their outrage, frustration, and sense of betrayal by the United States. Demonstrations quickly led to clashes with Israeli troops, anger boiling over. Palestinians had been promised for years in international negotiations that Jerusalem’s final status would be settled through diplomacy. Only to see President Trump reverse decades of U.S. policy and recognize Israel’s claim that the city is its capital.

DONALD TRUMP: I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

ENGEL: After he said that, Palestinians switched off the lights on the Christmas tree in Bethlehem’s Manger Square. This morning, more passive resistance, Palestinians closed their shops across Jerusalem in a general strike.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [PALESTINIAN PROTESTER]: We’re here today, we’re condemning the American president Donald Trump decision by declaring Jerusalem as the state of Israel.

ENGEL: A profound shift appears to be underway. Nearly 25 years ago, President Clinton brought Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for the Oslo Accords, with the U.S. as a moderator-in-chief. Now, many Palestinians say that peace process is over. That President Trump killed it when his administration took sides on the most fundamental and emotional division in the region, the status of Jerusalem.

Israel is on high alert. Security officials warn violence could escalate, but say they can handle whatever comes next. Israelis say the peace process wasn’t working anyway.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: For there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.

ENGEL: Israelis thanked President Trump for accepting their historic claim to Jerusalem, despite warnings from across Europe and from some of Washington’s closest allies, that the move puts peace in the Middle East at risk.

And the clashes here do not seem to be letting up. If anything, they are intensifying. More people are arriving, they are bringing in more stones. And it is not just here, there are several locations in the West Bank that look just like this right now. It is the most – the largest scale violence we’ve seen in this part of the West Bank in several years. Back to you.

KOTB: Alright, Richard. Richard Engel, stay safe there.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Yeah, absolutely, Richard.


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