Donald Trump is not a man who hangs about. This summer was all it took to get here. From Qatar, to the Gulf Cooperation Council to Yemen to the Islamic Military Alliance to Lebanon to the Saudi-UAE economic alliance. All of this has been building up to this point. And today, we are on the brink of the greatest bloodshed the Middle East will likely ever see. Quite possibly the whole world. And what better way to ‘commemorate’ the 30th anniversary of the first intifada than recognising a unified Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.How seriously, therefore, should we take the global reaction to Trump Town’s finest hour? Unsurprisingly, the international community has suddenly found its collective voice. With everyone warning the showman president that this time he has gone too far. Yet, frankly, we don’t buy it. From pretty much anyone. For this is at best manufactured dissent. With no one questioning how the wily old Trump has conveniently made the murdering of the Middle East peace process all about him — as opposed to the illegal Israeli militarily occupation of Palestinian land that has thus far lasted for half a century. But then it would be rather rude to bring this up now.After all, no one is interested in being reminded of how this community of peace-loving nations has from the very beginning been entirely complicit in ensuring that the Palestinians remain the only people without a state; refugees in their own land. In the past, we have suggested that the UN should have packed up shop following its spectacular failure to prevent the war of aggression against Iraq. But today we admit that we misspoke. For that day should have been the eve of Israel’s being granted world body membership — while the Palestinians have been battling ever since for that same courtesy. To say that a further injustice has been dealt to the Palestinians simply won’t cut it. The real crime is that it might be too late to do anything about it. Meaning that if any nation actively broke off ties with Israel, as Turkey has threatened, they can at best expect to be economically ghosted by the US, the EU and the rest of the usual suspects, meaning the rich Arab nations. At worst, they risk finding themselves in the axis-of-evil bracket. Already much of the western media has termed yesterday’s protests here in Pakistan as Islamist rallies. When, more accurately, these were of the good old fashioned anti-American variety.And the Muslim world bears the greatest culpability when it comes to Palestinian suffering. Which is why the Arab Spring was bound to fail — because if revolution in the Middle East has never succeeded in liberating these lands then it will never happen inside national borders. Admittedly, fast-food intellectuals such as a certain Thomas Friedman might well be bowled over by the suave and fully loaded Saudi Crown Prince. But we are not fooled by such cosmetic liberalism; not while a whole people are living in military shackles. Indeed we find it extremely telling that there have been tweets coming out of Saudi Arabia that have disowned the Palestinian issue as the primary Arab cause. Some pundits have noted that this is a more likely indication of state sentiment than the lip service posturing that is playing out before the cameras. Especially given how ‘religiously’ the Kingdom monitors social media use. Apart from the Palestinian leadership, the only Mideast voices that are sincere in their mourning of the death of the two-state solution are Iran, Syria and Iraq. But this has more to do with their being at the receiving end of American warmongering. For, in truth, President Trump has many friends in the region: namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. And they will not sell him down the river the way they have the Palestinians.Thus Pakistan has taken an important first-step in officially ‘rejecting’ the Jerusalem question. That we have done so alongside China only strengthens our position. But it is not nearly enough. In short, we should immediately and unequivocally withdraw from the Islamic Military Alliance. Because it is now clear why the latter was established and just why it was, from the very beginning, touted as the Muslim NATO. And Gen Raheel will have to take one for the team. Pakistanis would thank him more than ever before. *Published in Daily Times, December 8th 2017.