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No, Palestinians did not protest at the UN by dancing dabke Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

No, Palestinians did not protest at the UN by dancing dabke

The video went viral on social media platforms [Twitter]

Date of publication: 2 February, 2018

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Sorry folks.

Things have not been going well for US President Donald Trump ever since he decided to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

After the US made an unprecedented threat to fellow members of the international community ahead of a dramatic vote at the United Nations, Washington came out looking decidedly worse for wear.

Those who vote against President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital risk diplomatic retaliation and losing American financial aid, warned the US.

Yet despite the threat, some of the biggest recipients of US aid - namely Muslim or Arab countries - went ahead and voted against the decision.

Key Arab allies, led by Saudi Arabia, all banded together against the US

So it was no surprise when a tweet circulated claiming that the Palestinian representative defiantly whipped out his mobile phone and played a song at the UN in response to US ambassador Nikki Haley's announcement of aid cuts - it went viral.

People loved the response.

In fact, the tweet garnered over 12,000 retweets.

Only problem is… it did not happen.

The video actually appears to be an old one, taken in 2013 when Mohammed Assaf, winner of Arabs Got Talent, performed "Raise the Koufiyeh" at the UN marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The dabke, a traditional Palestinian tap dance, is normally played at weddings. There are numerous variations played across the Levant region, but the basic Palestinian step follows a formation of two side steps and a kick.  

It's not all bleak for the Palestinians, however. Palestine froze ties after Trump broke with decades of US policy in December by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and declaring he would move the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States had disqualified itself as a mediator. "We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process," he said at the time.

Abbas' office defiantly added that "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine, and is not for sale for gold or billions" with other senior officials adding that they will not be "blackmailed" by Trump's threat of aid cuts.

It may not be time to celebrate just yet - but as Trump finds himself increasingly isolated on the Jerusalem issue, Palestinians can hope that at the next meeting, their representative will have cause for dabke finally.

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