Tag Archives: US embassy in Jerusalem

UPDATING TRUMP’S MOVE IN JERUSALEM

BLOG 378 January 15, 2018

On December 6, President Donald Trump crossed the diplomatic Rubicon by declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish state and shutting the door on Palestinians claims. Of course, this action flew in the face of the Vatican and virtually every other country in the world. The Muslim Arab world responded as expected. Turkish President Recep Erdogan called Trump “a partner in bloodshed.”  The Hamas leader said the move reflected contempt for Palestinians feelings and holy sites. The condemnations went on and on.

What do these response mean?

An analysis in  the December The Jerusalem Post has proven to be true. Ben Lynfield noted that the Palestinians will not get a strong response from Arab states. The bitter reality for them is that key countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan are simply too dependent on the USA to get into a fight with the Trump administration. Cairo, Riyadh, and Amman will make no more than make accusatory verbal responses and then wait for the reaction of the street protesters to fade. The “sleeper” is Iran and concern for how to handle their current aggression. However, French President Emmanuel Macron said Trump’s action was dangerous to peace, defied international law, and would cause instability.

Gabriel Ben-Dor, a Middle East expert at the University of Haifa said, “The moderate Arab states will understand this is a compromise for Trump between his commitments and the practical realities. They’ll protest verbally, but that’s all.”

Critics will say that Trump’s move was personal, trying to divert attention from the multitude of personal scandals facing the White House. However, in his speech to the United Nations, Trump parted ways with the global idealism of all previous presidents back to George W. Brush.  American isolationists applaud such efforts while nations in the Middle East cringe in apprehension. Of course, Trump made this effort a campaign promise, but was he just dodging another bullet? Hard to say.

The crunch will come when (and if) the embassy is actually moved.

Trump’s response to this upheaval came on January 2, 2018 when he warned the Palestinians that he might cut off all assistance if they don’t show interest in making peace with Israel. Trump’s speeches and tweets are always a challenge to decipher as it is not clear what he means and the fact that the next day Trump may change his mind. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley clarified that Trump considered stopping additional funding until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table.

What’s next? Who knows!

Stay tuned.

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THE RULES ARE CHANGING Part III

Blog 328 December 5, 2016

temple_mount_jerusalem

            During the last two blogs, I’ve been evaluating attitudes and what is possibly ahead with the election of Donald Trump as the president-elect. With his hostility toward Alex Baldwin’s comic portrayals on Saturday Night Live, Trump appears to be as thin-skinned as projected earlier. However, the impact of changing administrations on the world is no laughing matter.

Obviously, Syria, Egypt, Russia, China, as well as Iran are considering the same questions. Iran has certainly taken Trump’s campaign rhetoric seriously. Within hours of his acceptance of the position, Iran demanded that the U.S. maintain what had been negotiated. The nuclear issue has to be at the top of the list in worries and considerations.

One of the largest open military secrets in the world is Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Even in the late ‘60s, the Pentagon was more than a little agitated about might be ahead. The National Security Archive at George Washington University recently released documents concerning the tension within the Nixon administration over Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons. A memo was sent to Melvin Laird (then Secretary of Defense) from Pentagon officials and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warning Israel’s nuclear capacity could destabilize the region. It is still not clear why President Nixon did not follow these advisers.

In this past election, the Republican Party has again revised the script. In their platform no mention was made of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. They declared Israel was not occupying Judea and Samaria. Trump has already declared he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Trump appears willing to end any US conflicts with Israel over the Iran nuclear deal and how West Bank settlements should be handled.

A new start indeed!

What can the public expect? First, Trump will have far more freedom to do as he pleases on these issues with a Republican controlled House and Senate. He holds all the cards. Second, a right-wing government in America will be able to function more in accord with a right-wing government in Israel. Expect open hostility to end. Third, Palestinian diplomatic warfare against Israel will be stymied. Israel is clearly in the driver’s seat again. Possibly, the threat from Iran may be decreased (note the word possibly). The hot rhetoric always continues for the home-town crowd, but genuine actions probably will be on the way down.

The Israeli left-wing has consistently declared that the state’s rule in the West Bank is a threat to the country’s future. Trump’s presidency will be a blow to this position within Israel. Israel won’t be backing off.

And Israel’s secret (which everybody knows) nuclear program will continue. THE BOMB remains a looming threat. Hmm. Interesting.

Stay tuned.

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