Quo Vadis To Jerusalem Taking Trump’s Road?

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By 2018-01-13

By Arman Navasardyan, Ph.D

On 6 December Trump came up with a sensational programme speech that became one of the most significant political events of the passing year. He stated that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the USA is moving its embassy there.

Trump's assurances that the decision will bring peace to the 70-year simmering Israeli-Palestinian confrontation and that Jerusalem will increasingly prosper as the democratic centre of three religions has caused a genuine storm throughout the region.

The UN Security Council special session, with just one vote for, voted against that decision. Foreign Ministers of the Arab League States (ALS) assembled in Cairo demanding Israel to liberate the lands occupied from Palestinians and Arabs in 1967. The resolution, however, was snippy. Arabs proved once more to be unable to act jointly under a force majeure conditions.

Besides, the situation has changed. Vast majority of Palestinians don't want to fight and suffice with simply crowded demonstrations, setting tyres and Trump's pictures on fire. As to the Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas's accusations addressed to Trump that 'he opened gates of hell' and other threats, they are nothing more than rhetoric aphorisms.

The thing is that the militant Palestinian group Hamas is losing its sponsors. Saudi Arabia, for instance, is not just unwilling to fight Israel, moreover, it is reconciling with the latter against Iran. Egypt is not pleased with the third intifada, either. However, the biggest loss for Hamas is abstraction by Iran. Tehran's cooling attitude towards the movement is explained by the latter's flirt with Iran's enemy Gulf countries and, namely, with Riyadh. The Sassanids never forget such things and never do they forgive.

As to Europe, it doesn't welcome military actions of Hamas, either. France and other countries did criticize Trump's decision, however, they are sick and tired of terror acts so that they will defend only Palestinians' soft power actions, and that's all.
On the background of these political developments, as to be expected, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears on the stage. He appears to play a diplomatic farce, behind which his pink ambitions are outlined: to become the leader of the Great Middle East. Or perhaps a new caliph and then the leader of the third world? Who knows?

Russia connection

Erdoğan is trying to fasten Russia to his plans. (When Erdoğan lavishes спасибо (thanks) in Putin's address and boasts his friendship, Yerevan of the 1960s come to one's mind when during street fights the parties invited people with 'certain authority' to make a psychological influence on the rivals and to win in case of a fight. That practice was called 'to get guys').

Making a speech in Istanbul, at the special summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) formed at his initiative, Erdoğan puts Israel and the USA to pillroy for 'violating international law', pressing and terrorizing the Palestinian people. Then Erdoğan demands Jerusalem to be granted the status of Palestine's capital, absolutely 'forgetting' that it is actually a violation of international law and UN resolutions.

Two days later, moving further forward he states, "We have already declared East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine." "... Soon Turkey is going to open its embassy in Jerusalem." This was the last nail hammered by Ankara into the coffin of its relations with Israel.

And when during the Istanbul Endspiel Erdoğan snaps his fingers at Washington he reminds of the famous little character from Krylov's fable who 'raises a great rumpus' at the elephant. (I. A. Krylov, Elephant and Pug.)

Indeed, some really interesting scenes were played in Istanbul where Aliyev's diplomatic saltomortale stands out when, being one of Israel's closest partners, he appeared in the vanguard of those denouncing the latter. (I would give much just miraculously to be present at Netanyahu-Aliyev encounter and to see the latter's expression at that moment.)

... Coming back to Trump's statement, it should be noted that some experts assume his decision was the result of lack of the President's political experience, his impulsive and indiscriminate temperament which borders on adventurism, emotional outbursts and affection, and so on.

Not contesting such an analysis of the American President's moral features, it should be noted that the comments on his decision are simplistic and encompass neither deep political motives of the issue at stake, nor core strategic aspects of American diplomacy.

Trump effect

Donald Trump's decision is actually a well-balanced programme deliberated over and approved by Washington brain centres.

Let us try to view the issue from two positions.

After the presidential elections US President's position and rating began to fall catastrophically because of objective and subjective reasons threatening with an impeachment and making him take up urgent steps.

Thus, the main target of Trump's 'Jerusalem game' was aimed at pleasing the large Orthodox Jewish-American Republican electorate for whom seeing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is an 'idée fixe', an absolute religious category.

Trump had promised them to make that 'donation' and kept his promise which found a positive response in various layers of the American society. (Whenever the country's president keeps a pre-election promise is highly appreciated).

In this field Trump is also trying to keep his pre-electoral promise: 'America first'. It must be noted that by the end of the Syrian Odyssey Russia, headed by Putin, assumes a dominant role.

Meanwhile Washington is losing its position and influence in the Arab world. It is not fond of the behaviour of the alliance Russia-Turkey-Iran so much that the White House seems even not to notice certain serious disagreements within this alliance. It is most important under these conditions to push Moscow aside.

Having that in mind Trump visited Saudi Arabia in May and, to the music of 'al-arda (traditional male-only) sword dance', created a 'mini' or 'Arabic' NATO aimed against Iran.

That didn't work. Currently a new game is being played on the big Middle East chess board planned by the USA, with new pieces, new combinations. Trump's December statement was preceded by the royal coup according to the scenario of his son-in-law and advisor Kushner, developed at Israeli think-tanks and Mossad bunkers. Result? A new, incredible union is born that analysts couldn't even imagine in the pre-Trump period. It is the Saudi Arabia-Israel military-political alliance whose aim is to augment geopolitical position of Washington and Israel and to realize their plans, namely struggle against Iran in the Middle East. Time will show how successful it is.

About the author:

*Arman Navasardyan, PhD, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Source:

This article was published by Modern Diplomacy

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