As expected, President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel capital city and relocate the US embassy there is a serious violation to the legit interests of the Palestinian people, as well as the Arab and Islamic nations. It has triggered the immediate condemnation of the international community.
The statements of several world leaders, both political and ecclesiastical, provide a wide picture of the unease before an event that will definitely stir things up in the Middle East, the most volatile area in the world. Besides, it represents a new escalation in the long-term Israel-Palestine conflict. Among the latest reactions, Hamas leader called for a new uprising (Intifada) against Israel, as he said Trump’s statement on Jerusalem were a “declaration of war.”
Before an announcement that clearly undermines the attempts to bring peace to the region and leaves with no arguments the US’s Arab allies, we should ask ourselves: What is the basis of Trump’s most recent move?
First of all, it is crystal-clear the influence of the pro-Israel lobby. That vast pressing ecosystem demanding unconditional support of the US to the Middle East country and is composed of several organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC.
No other group has influenced more on the American foreign policy: Jewish lobby has perfectly managed the geopolitical importance of Israel to the National Security of the United States as the key elements to hold what they call threats in the regions, especially Iran. It is so close their relation that since the emergence of Israel as a state in 1948, the small nation has been “the greatest receptor of US aid since WWII,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
Individual contributors to the presidential campaigns have been paramount. People like multimillionaire Zionist Sheldon Adelson and his wife contributed with 35 millions USD the presidential campaign of Donald Trump to the White House, and 5 other millions USD to the organization of the inauguration. We can even mention family-related influence as Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is Jewish and a regular contributor to the pro-Israel cause.
We cannot ignore either the impact generated by this announcement in Trump’s electoral base, which led him to an irrefutable win a year ago. In this case, we would be talking about the Evangelical community, central proponent of that American national identity which the President boasts to “make great again.” It is a base that went to vote in group and has proven to be loyal to the President and back and sympathize with everything he does.
According to an opinion article released by The Economist, “over the past 20 years, religiously inspired support for Israel (and for hawkish Israeli policies) has been a powerful impulse on the conservative side of American politics. The idea that God’s purpose is at work in the ingathering of the Jewish people is dear to the hearts of the 80% of evangelical voters who solidly opt for Republican candidates.”
Paula White, a megachurch pastor from Florida who is a member of the president’s faith advisory council, said: “Evangelicals are ecstatic, for Israel is to us a sacred place and the Jewish people are our dearest friends.”
Those sentiments, The Economist adds, are typical of an inner circle of evangelicals that helped to bring Mr. Trump to power and that has pressed him to keep his Israel-friendly promises.
The announcement is also faithful to the philosophy that things must change is they do not work. Trump declared that he was putting an end to a failure approach that has not reached peace in order to keep bigger and bigger distance from his predecessors in the White House. And the twist is right up to his alley as it is his style to run policy as a reality show.
Everything is coherent. Furthermore, the current administration is not in favor of multilateralism, as it was evident in the recent US quits from UNESCO and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, or the disrespect shown by Ambassador Nikki Haley to the UN when she described UNGA as a theater in the recent voting on Cuba’s blockade. Such UNGA had approved Palestine as a non-member observer state, same status as The Vatican. This agreement encouraged many countries to recognize Palestine and began diplomatic relations.
Although the current US administration has not proven to be backed by a programmatic platform in foreign policy, its leaders seem to be convinced that the international architecture created by the US after WWII is not functional anymore to run the fate of the world. It is “a waste of time,” commented Nikki Haley at the UN. Where are we supposed to go from now on? American First has won round one no matter what the rest of the world may think. But it certainly had a political cost: the US leadership regarding the international community has been seriously damaged. And the solution for an Israel-Palestine conflict moved even further.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff