Trump’s shift of US policy on Jerusalem is a perfect example of a policy of supporting a predatory project that benefits Israel but is likely to harm U.S. interests all over the world.The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the US could easily be seen by Jewish fanatics as a green light to destroy Al Aqsa, which would, as they expect, seem a “minor local matter”. In India, Indira Gandhi’s 1984 destruction of Amritsar’s Sikh Golden Temple is a perfect example, for them.
The status of Jerusalem has long been a red line for Palestinians, as well as Arab and Muslim populations around the world that are religiously bound to support their cause. With the Middle East already dealing with several major crises, the decision to change the U.S. position on this subject now is likely to inflame tensions both within Israel-Palestine, as well as the broader region. Responding to Trump’s planned announcement, the State Department has instructed embassies worldwide to boost security, warning of possible violence in the days ahead.
Trump’s move on Jerusalem came in the context of deepening pressure on Palestinian leadership from D.C. The House of Representatives on December 5 passed a bill approving the suspension of aid to the Palestinian Authority, while recent reports have claimed that Saudi leaders have delivered ultimatums to their Palestinian counterparts in a bid to force them into accepting the Trump administration’s proposals for a negotiated end to the conflict — proposals that are said to be wildly at odds with Palestinian national aspirations.
“The peace process — whatever that is and whatever is left of it — was built on agreements that included a certain set of American guarantees about how the U.S. would approach final status issues, including the question of Jerusalem,” said Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. “It now looks as though the Trump administration is trying to ram an agreement down the throat of the Palestinian Authority that would be disastrous for them and is using a number of different threats, such as the status of Jerusalem, as a means of doing this.”
In 1947, the United Nations devised a plan to divide Palestine under British mandate into three entities: a Jewish state, an Arab state, and Jerusalem — the third of which would have a unique status as an “internationally-controlled city”. The Jewish leaders accepted the plan, but the Arab world rejected it. Following the British withdrawal in 1948, a war broke out wherein Zionist settlers seized the west of the city, while Jordanians and Palestinians took the east.In the next conflict, in 1967, Israel seized control of East Jerusalem and later annexed it, in moves never recognized by the international community.
The predominantly Palestinian population in the east lives under full Israeli control but cannot vote in parliamentary elections. It is not only observers outside the conventional mainstream who have noticed that by its murderous assault on Lebanon in 2006 and simultaneously on Gaza, Israel finally exposed, for even the most deluded to see, the total bankruptcy of its very founding idea.
Racism has always been the lifeblood of Israel. Zionism rests on the fundamental belief that Jews have superior national, human, and natural rights in the land, an inherently racist foundation that excludes any possibility of true democracy or equality of peoples. Israel’s destructive rampage in Lebanon and Gaza is merely the natural next step in the evolution of such a founding ideology. Precisely because that ideology posits the exclusivity and superiority of one people’s rights, it can accept no legal or moral restraints on its behavior and no territorial limits, for it needs an ever-expanding geography to accommodate those unlimited rights.
Racism underlies the Israeli-U.S. neocon axis that is currently running amok in the Middle East. Since 2000 the inherent racism of Zionism found a natural ally in the racist imperial philosophy espoused by the neoconservatives of the Bush administration. The ultimate logic of the Israeli-U.S. global war, writes Israeli activist Michel Warschawski of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem (July 30, 2006) is the “full ethnicization” of all conflicts, “in which one is not fighting a policy, a government or specific targets, but a ‘threat’ identified with a community” — or, in Israel’s case, with all non-Jewish communities.
The United States would, rightly, be blamed for encouraging Israel to annex East Jerusalem and all that follows. This is why previous US administrations, even when they pandered to the most hardline elements of the powerful Jewish-Zionist caste within their own ruling class (and their fellow travelers), hesitated to actually do this. Obama paid lip service to this idea when he was trying to get elected but shied away from it in power.
Now Trump, whose regime is, even more, servile to Zionist interests, has actually done it. At the same time as he is trying to destroy Obama’s Iran deal. Meanwhile, many of his most odious followers almost worship Israel’s form of racism and call themselves ‘white Zionists’. Political Zionism truly is playing a major, vanguard role in the world reaction.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy and position of Regional Rapport.
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Mohammad Basir Ul Haq Sinha is a journalist and social activist from Bangladesh. At present he heads the Inter Press Network,a think tank on press freedom,human rights and strategic analyses. He obtained Masters' in International Relations from the University of Dhaka.