Trump throws fuel on raging inferno
Donald Trump prides himself on carrying through on both his threats and his promises … no matter how uncomfortable they make others feel. The American president appears to care little for the niceties of diplomacy or even public opinion, save for the views of the people who put him in office.
That is why, in a move which could have serious implications, Trump has announced that the US now recognises the divided city of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. He promised his supporters, in his election campaign, that he would do so – and he has.
Presidents before him promised the same, with their eyes on both the conservative Christian community in the US and the powerful lobby group of rightwing Jews … but when they stood in the Oval Office in Washington, realpolitik made them pull back.
Trump is only enforcing a law passed in the US some years ago, but which successive American presidents have kept at bay by signing hold orders on it every six months. The reasons usually cited are to do with “national security”.
There are those who argue that Trump may have jeopardised American national security because the move has inflamed tensions across the Middle East and, say some commentators, the situation will play into the hands of terrorists and extremists.
Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been welcomed by few countries because many view it as sabotaging any efforts at solving the Palestinian question, and especially the proposed “two state” solution.
Trump’s camp believe recognition will clear away the hypocrisy surrounding the peace process and will make further negotiations much more realistic.
We don’t know if that is true, but we do think Trump’s move could be like pouring more fuel on an already raging and unquenchable fire.