By Robert A. Vella

There is no city in the world as contentious as Jerusalem.  If someone wanted to start a war, or to inflame deadly conflict between peoples, they couldn’t choose a more efficacious thing to politicize.  And, that is precisely what the megalomaniac resident of the White House appears to be doing.  President Trump has announced his intention to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  If you do not understand the significance of this symbolism, please read on.

Jerusalem is a sacred place for the three main Abrahamic religions (i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).  Since the State of Israel was recognized by the United Nations in 1949, foreign embassies were typically located in Tel Aviv as a matter of diplomatic course.  When Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War, Zionist pressures to reclaim the entire city began to intensify.  In 1980, Israel’s legislature (i.e. the Knesset) established Jerusalem Law and proclaimed it as the nation’s capital.  Subsequently, the U.N. Security Council overwhelmingly declared the law “null and void” and instructed all member states to relocate any diplomatic missions from Jerusalem.  This firmly reinforced the status of Tel Aviv as Israel’s center for foreign embassies.

The 1980s also saw a major political realignment in the Middle East.  Following the oil shocks of the 1970s, the historic Camp David Accords, and the momentous Iranian Revolution, Sunni Muslim nations (led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey) broke with their Shiite Muslim neighbors (led by Iran) and loosely aligned with the U.S.-Israel alliance.  This was purely a pragmatic move done to boost economic development in Arab countries and to secure sophisticated armaments from the powerful American defense industry.  From the U.S. perspective, the realignment furthered its anti-communist Cold War strategy against the Soviet Union.

It should be noted here that the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIL, ISIS) arose as an extremist Sunni Muslim theocratic movement in the wake of the disastrous Iraq War of 2003 and the failed Arab Spring of 2011.

Trump’s egregiously ill-conceived announcement regarding the U.S. embassy in Israel is analogous to throwing a monkey wrench into the rotating gears of an already malfunctioning engine.  Saudi Arabia and Turkey – currently the two most prominent Arab nations – are reacting with profound indignation, and Muslims everywhere are understandably enraged.  Any U.S. policy which could potentially shift the animosity between Sunnis and Shiites against America and Israel should be considered as idiotic at best.  Furthermore, it plays straight into the geopolitical poker hand held by Russia’s Vladimir Putin whose influence in the Middle East is strengthening especially because of the calamitous Syrian Civil War.

Trump’s motives, if there’s any lucidity to them at all, appear narrowly focused towards appeasing his fundamentalist Christian supporters.  To that aim, any domestic political benefit he might gain will surely be short-lived.  Conversely, this terribly foolhardy maneuver could result in the gravest of consequences.  When a leader of any kind would risk so much for so little reward, their competency and perhaps even sanity must be called into question.

Further reading:

Here’s why U.S. plan to name Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is raising tension

World reacts to Trump move on Jerusalem

Muslim nations plan snap summits on Trump’s Jerusalem move

Related story:

Germans think Trump is a bigger problem than North Korea

11 thoughts on “Trump stirs the boiling kettle of the Middle East, and its scalding liquid could burn everyone

  1. Yes, his actions undoubtedly catered to his fundamentalist Christian(?) supporters, but no doubt his arch-enemy played a role as well. You are probably aware there was a point in Obama’s term that he considered this action BUT changed his mind (as did Bush and Clinton before him) due to the very ramifications you speak of.

    ANYTHING that has Obama’s name attached to it is fair game to this sad excuse for a leader of the free world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think one missing piece in this geopolitical puzzle is the insidiously evil intentions of war profiteers to make a “killing” in a war that could come of this disgustingly insane action.

    This is a big deal and should scare the shit out of every person on the planet other than war contractors like Eric Prince and the executives of firms like KBR, Raytheon and Bechtel as well as those in the oil industry.

    Liked by 1 person

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