Before President Trump announced yesterday that the U.S. would move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jeruselum, officially recognizing the ancient city as the country’s capital, there were heated discussions among his advisors and with allies over the action.
Trump’s Secretaries of State and Defense, and key allies in the Arab world warned him it would not facilitate a peace process, and in fact would set it back.
However, Vice President Mike Pence, U.N. Representative Nikki Haley, and Trump’s son in law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, who has been put in charge of brokering peace in the volatile Middle East, supported the move.
Kushner, whose efforts to bring the two sides together to date have been an embarrassing failure, assured the president and others that even after this long-discussed action, “a (peace) deal is still possible.”
“White House officials say a key test will come later this month: whether (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas cancels his planned meeting with Pence,” reported the Washington Post just before Trump’s announcement.
As violent protests have sent much of the Middle East into protests, riots, and flames, Trump, Pence, and Kushner have their answer.
Pence is now “unwelcome in Palestine,” a senior Palestinian official told Reuters, and the meeting that the Vice President asked for on December 19 is canceled.
“In the name of Fatah,” said the official, who is close to Abbas, “I say that we will not welcome Trump’s deputy in the Palestinian Territories.”
Abbas’s Fatah movement is filing a complaint with the U.N. Security Council and calling for a strong reaction from the entire Arab League, reports the BBC.
“We are going to declare the United States disqualified as co-sponsor of any peace process or political process,” Fatah spokesman Dr. Nassar Al-Kidwa said. “In our mind, it has lost its ability to do or perform any efforts in this regard.”
While some right-wing Israeli’s hawks – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and their supporters, including billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul and big Trump donor Sheldon Adelson, along with some Evangelical Christians like Pence, have hailed the announcement, most see it as a mistake.
The vast majority of Americans, Jews, and sane world leaders (France, Germany and the U.K. among them) have said it is a huge, unnecessary mistake – the equivalent of throwing flammable liquid on a fire you are trying to put it out.
And of course among Arab allies from Saudi Arabia, Jordon and elsewhere, it is a disaster that makes it difficult for them to reveal any friendship with Trump or his government.
“Many of Washington’s closest allies,” reports the BBC, “have said they disagree with the move.”
Among Arabs, who claimed East Jerusalem as their capital, there was an immediate backlash. That included denunciations of Trump’s action by leaders of Pakistan, Indonesia, and other majority Muslim countries.
“There are fears the announcement could lead to a renewed outbreak of violence,” added the BBC. “The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has already called for a new intifada or uprising.”
A leader of Hamas declared “that the announcement had left the decades-long peace process ‘buried forever,'” according to CNN.
Even Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an authoritarian Islamist who Trump has courted as a friend, warned that what the president has done was “throwing the region into a ring of fire.”
So what was Trump thinking? Mainly, it seems, he wanted to keep a promise he had made during the presidential campaign, as if that was a sacred trust, even though he has forgotten, disavowed, reversed and ignored many of this other campaign promises.
With no experience in diplomacy, world affairs (beyond business) or government, the question is whether Trump’s unfitness for office is rearing its ugly head again.
“Several advisers said he did not seem to have a full understanding of the issue.” reports the Washington Post, “and instead appeared to focused on ‘seeming pro-Isreal,’ in the words of one, and ‘making a deal,’ in the words of another.”
Instead, he has made it impossible for the U.S. to even have a seat at the table if there is a deal to discuss. He has inflamed the already dangerous Middle East even more for no significant gain. He has proven to the Arab world he can’t be trusted.
All of this has the global deplorables celebrating from Iran to North Korea to Venezuela.
Trump continues to prove that he is not only the worst, most heartless, unqualified and greedy president in modern history but also the stupidest.