Trump’s Jerusalem decision deprives US of leverage in peace talks, Trump sheds a presidential mask, Leave no one behind in the global clean energy transition, Rape by Myanmar’s armed forces must be addressed, The West’s hand in the Libyan slave market

A roundup of global commentary for the Dec. 25, 2017 weekly magazine.

Evan Vucci/AP
President Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. Mr. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of US policy and risk potentially violent protests.

The Japan Times / Tokyo

Trump’s Jerusalem decision deprives US of leverage in peace talks

“U.S. President Donald Trump announced [recently] that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel...,” states an editorial. “While Trump’s decision is a symbolic victory for Israelis, that does not make it a wise move, tactically or strategically.... The move reflects political and strategic calculations. The political ones are straightforward. Trump promised relocation and he needs to keep his base happy.... As a foreign policy matter, the verdict is less clear. Apart from Israel, no other government backed the move.... For those who worry about the end of the peace process, the truth is that there is not much of a peace process today.... Trump’s decision deprives the U.S. of leverage it could use in those talks....”

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

In declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital, Trump shed a presidential mask

“Now that US President Donald Trump has fully adopted the Israeli right-wing political discourse on Palestine, the Palestinian Authority is in a very tough spot...,” writes Ramzy Baroud. “Trump’s announcement [recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel] has ... laid to rest the illusion that the US was ever keen on achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbours.... The Fateh movement of President Mahmoud Abbas declared a ‘day of rage’ in response.... Way to deflect attention from the real crisis at hand: the fact that the PA has miserably failed by leasing the fate of Palestine to Washington.... Trump has ... shed a mask that every US president has worn for decades.”

EUObserver / Brussels

During the global clean energy transition, no one should be left behind

“The world is changing at an unprecedented pace...,” writes Maros Sefcovic. “When it comes to energy, change is ... rapid with profound implications on our entire societal and economic model. I often refer to the energy transition as the ‘6Ds model’ [decarbonization, diversification, decentralization, digitization, democratization, and disruption].... The last D is tricky. Disruption is indeed important but it means that the process will be more difficult for some regions than for others. The challenge is particularly present in coal-intensive regions which will have to reinvent themselves.... Europe’s ability to lead the global energy transition depends not only on the front-runners. Our success also depends on the inclusiveness of this change, on ensuring no one is left behind.”

The Daily Star / Dhaka, Bangladesh

Rape by Myanmar’s armed forces must be addressed

“The horrific use of rape by Myanmar’s armed forces, both sweeping and methodical, as found out by The Associated Press (AP) while interviewing Rohingya women, is appalling,” states an editorial. “It must, however, be remembered that this is not the first time that such atrocities – that can only be described as war crimes – by the Myanmar armed forces have come to light.... We understand that all countries have their own geopolitical interests in every matter. However, what is difficult to fathom is how that can supersede the most basic humanitarian aspects that Myanmar has clearly violated.... The crimes committed against the Rohingyas must be addressed through the international criminal justice system....”

Daily Monitor / Kampala, Uganda

The West has a hand in the Libyan slave market

“Despite all the aggressive marketing of the ‘Africa rising’ mantra, the results on the ground tell a different story,” writes Nicholas Sengoba. “The latest contradiction is the case of the ignominious slave market in Libya.... Most of Africa ... has become the mouth of a shark.... Now the Western media is reporting the story like it is about heartless Africans setting on their brethren without moral remorse.... [I]t is not that straight forward.... Africa pays through the nose, especially in servicing interest on loans... Even if an African government means well, it finds itself financially constrained.... The result is that the young population becomes restless and seeks solace in crime, armed struggle.... They seek greener pastures in Europe....”

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