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French press review 8 December 2017


Le Monde splashes with an image of protesters burning photographs of Donald Trump on the streets of Gaza, in the Palestinian Territories.

Its headline proclaims this the diplomatic turning point for the US president and an editorial on the front page says Trump has ignored all the warnings from observers and heads of state, even that of Pope Francis.

Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel confirms, for anyone who was still in any doubt, that the American president will not hesitate to transgress any taboo, says Le Monde.

It is clear that Donald Trump's United States is content to decide unilaterally, ignoring the advice of its closest partners, says the paper.

His White House is dismantling a system of international relations which was constructed by the US after the Second World War.

Trump's announcement on Jerusalem is, quite simply, says Le Monde "a rape of diplomacy".

'Lightning in a sky already heavy with storms'

The right-wing paper Le Figaro also chooses a front page editorial to condemn Trump’s decision.

“Donald Trump has chosen to unleash lightning in a sky already heavy with storms,” it says.

The paper notes that the move has, perhaps ironically, united Sunni and Shia Muslims, as well as the Chinese, Russians, Europeans – even Britain.

However, the world is united only in anger.

The paper says the fate of the Middle East is being decided in the steel belt of Pennsylvania.

Trump is using these callous moves to galvanize his blue-collar base and distract from his Russian troubles.

“Some would say that nothing was going well in the Middle East,” says Le Figaro. “That the Israeli-Palestinian question was deeply bogged down.

"This is true. And it needed a kick. But Trump's lack of vision is appalling. His decision is not part of any political solution.”

'The death warrant of the Palestinian people'

Liberation’s editorial takes the top spot on page three and strikes the same tone.

“Since Wednesday, we have witnessed the bankruptcy of the entire international community,” thunders the left-wing daily.

The decision “has ruined the legitimacy of the United States as a leader of the West and credible intermediary between Israelis and Palestinians.

"But also the credit of the United Nations and Europe, which have never managed to provide much other than palliative care.”

Trump has also, without realizing it, done a terrible evil to Israel, says the editorial, who will now be the beast of even the moderate Muslim world.

"Above all, he has probably signed the death warrant of the Palestinian people who, year after year, see the erosion of a little more of their territory, their history, their youth, their access to holy places, their energy, economic and cultural influence and the credibility of their leaders.”

And all this for what? To satisfy, in the United States, those blinded by religion and, in Israel, an extreme right that governs by fear and withdrawal.

Ultimately, decries Liberation, Trump has declared the bankruptcy of reason and the return to the preeminence of religion.