The timing of President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration coincided with years and decades long chaotic situation in the entire Middle East region. The traditional Arab players who used to influence the direction of events have become failed or quasi-failed states at best. This vacuum was filled by the non-Arab regional as well as international powers like Turkey, Iran and Russia. The U.S. role has diminished during the Obama presidency, especially in Syria. The Gulf states have been preoccupied by the hegemonic and expanding role of Iran and the threat of the Arab Spring established between other things, alliances of the willing with Arab, Muslim and some other non-Muslim and non-Arab countries.
The most challenging threats that are still persisting from the point of view of these powers are the following:
-Countering the Iranian influence in the region, which is considered to be the source of all evils
-Refuting the the legacy of the Arab Spring
-Combating the extremist and terrorist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood
The United States and Israel share these priorities with the Arab countries and offered their logistical and intelligence help. Cooperation became the name of the game in these complicated circumstances and the centrality of the Palestinian question shifted to those above mentioned issues.
It should be noted that the U.S. and the Israeli agendas are very different. They are targeting to achieve the best for their utmost national security; drain the energy and other regional precious resources and benefit from the strategic situation of the region.
Israel has been established by the end of the Second World War as the last settler colonial power. And it has been expanding since then in an unstoppable manner thanks to the unlimited and unjustified support of the United States. Israel is the country that has benefited most from this turmoil. And I would refer any one who wants to know more about the Israeli designs in this connection to the studies conducted by Oded Yunen in 1982, “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties,” and “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which is a policy document that was presented by Richard Perle in 1996 for the then Prime Mininster Benjamin Netanyahu. Both studies could be reached on the internet.
Having tackled the timing and the regional security environment, we should know who is behind this unprecedented act. To our knowledge no previous president since the the emergence of Israel , for seventy-long-years, took that risk.
In an article titled “Armageddon Bring It On: The Evangelical Force Behind Trump’s Speech,” penned by Allison Kaplan Sommer and published by Haaretz Dec. 10, 2017, the author explains that “the Jerusalem Declaration was meant to send a clear message to Christian evangelical voters and their leaders that this is victory and Trump is their man.”
The evangelical community desires to see Jerusalem under Israeli rule . They simply believe this decision will move the world closer to Armageddon and hence, the anticipated reaction from Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims was irrelevant and dismissed by Trump.
According to Diana Butler Bass, who is a progressive Christian commentator and pundit writes, “They want War in the Middle East . The Battle of Armageddon, at which Jesus Christ will return to Earth and vanquish all God’s enemies. For certain evangelicals, this is the climax of history and Trump is taking them there.” “The evangelicals believe Trump is God’s instrument to move close the Rapture, the Judgement, and the End.”
Here, we fall again with Christian Zionist visionary. The same background was behind Balfour Declaration one hundred years ago. And that is why some pundits have coined Trump’s Declaration to be “Balfour Two.” Christian Zionism is much older than Jewish Zionism and those American presidents who helped and supported Israel without reservation were devout Christians sticking to the verbatim explanation of the Bible as other faith fundamentalists do.
In fact, Trump has violated the status quo in Jerusalem, exactly like expanding the settlement enterprise, in moving further from the only possible solution, the two state solution, as underlined by the Haaretz in its Dec. 8, 2017 editorial. This editorial emphasized also that “It’s no coincidence that Israel is the only country in the world whose capital hasn’t been recognized by the international community. Jerusalem’s status remains a core issue in the negotiations for the final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Trump is showing us finally, the real face of the United States. He is telling us the truth. The United States is not an honest broker. It has never been and will never be. It is the unconditional collaborator perpetuating the Israeli occupation of Palestine and it will continue to do so.
But “How Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement Will Shape Palestinian Politics? “asked Ghaith al-Omari in an article baring this title published by Foreign Affairs magazine Dec 6, 2017. The answer he proposed is really blunt : “Dim prospects for Abbas and for Peace.”
In an another article published by The Atlantic, Dec 6,2017 and titled “The Jerusalem Announcement Won’t Really Hurt America’s Arab Alliance” and having the following tough sub-title, “Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the Muslim majority countries are in any real sense pro-Muslim.” For the author Shadi Hamid, most Arab countries won’t care much about Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which might seem counterintuitive. The official announcement though comes at an important and peculiar time when Arab regimes – particularly Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt – find themselves more aligned than ever with Israel on regional priorities. They all share, along with Trump administration, a near obsession with Iran as the source of all evils; a dislike and even hatred of the Muslim Brotherhood; and opposition to the intent and legacy of the Arab Spring.
The New York Times in its Dec 3, 2017 announced in an article titled, “ Talk of a Peace Plan That Snubs Roils Middle East.” According to Palestinian, Arab and European officials who have heard Mr. Abbas’s version of the conversation , Mohamed bin Salman presented a plan that is more tilted toward Israelis than even the proposals offered by the American government.
The Trump administration has proved to be the most anti-Muslim and the most pro-Israel one in the United States’ history. And this constitute an imminent threat to regional and international stability, peace and security. This decades long chaotic situation, civil wars, forced migration, violent non-state actors’ movements exerting demographic engineering and threatening territorial integrity on behalf of multiple sponsors, and changing tactics and strategies upon the demand of their patrons. All this should not make us forget Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people under any circumstances.
Finally, President Trump’s harmful, illegal, illegitimate and exceptional act necessitate exceptional conscious awakening to prevent and avoid the framing by mainstream hypocrite media, and regional and international institutions that failed to remedy to this situation for approximately seven decades.