Trump tries to con­sol­i­date his gov­ern­ment’s power at home and abroad by sup­port­ing Is­rael’s am­bi­tions though it fur­ther up­set the bal­ance in the Mid­dle East

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page - FAHRETTiN ALTUN

THE DO­MES­TIC pres­sure Trump is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and his hopes for sup­port from the Is­raeli lobby are two ma­jor fac­tors be­hind his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sup­port for Is­rael

The Is­raeli ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ues to mur­der Pales­tini­ans in front of the eyes of the world. Af­ter U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s an­nounce­ment this past De­cem­ber that he rec­og­nized AlQuds as the cap­i­tal of Is­rael and that he would be mov­ing the U.S. em­bassy there, Is­rael has been fol­low­ing much more ag­gres­sive pol­i­tics. It is ob­vi­ous that the Ne­tanyahu ad­min­is­tra­tion re­garded this de­ci­sion by the U.S. as an op­por­tu­nity to co­a­lesce its own power and to in­tim­i­date its do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional op­po­si­tion.

How­ever, the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the in­creas­ingly cruel poli­cies dis­played by Is­rael is not sim­ply about Ne­tanyahu con­sol­i­dat­ing power for his own ad­min­is­tra­tion. The en­tirety of the Is­raeli state re­gards Trump’s de­ci­sion as an enor­mous op­por­tu­nity and is us­ing it to up Is­rael’s sym­bolic and prac­ti­cal gains in the re­gion.

An­other fac­tor mo­ti­vat­ing Is­rael was also Trump’s an­nounce­ment of pulling out of the nu­clear deal with Iran. Since the first day Trump en­tered the pres­i­den­tial race, he con­tin­u­ally stated that he would put “strength­en­ing Is­rael and stop­ping Iran” in the cen­ter of his Mid­dle East poli­cies. And in truth, he has been tak­ing steps in this path ever since the day he be­came pres­i­dent.

Since 1945, the U.S.’s Mid­dle East pol­icy has con­tin­u­ally put Is­rael in a priv­i­leged place. The U.S. ex­pended great efforts to pro­tect Is­rael’s in­ter­ests in the re­gion. It sup­ported Is­rael’s oc­cu­pa­tion pol­icy to­ward Pales­tine and ig­nored its op­pres­sive ap­proach. What’s more, it gave more mil­i­tary and eco­nomic sup­port to Is­rael than it did any other coun­try.

How­ever, until 2016, “sup­port­ing Is­rael” was never the ab­so­lute pri­or­ity of the U.S.’s Mid­dle East pol­icy. The U.S. tried to sup­port Is­rael by still look­ing out for the in­ter­ests of its other prox­ies and with­out fully re­veal­ing the amount of sup­port it was ac­tu­ally pro­vid­ing.

There were two fac­tors that the U.S. con­sid­ered in its post-1945 Mid­dle East pol­icy. The first was the bal­anc­ing of Rus­sia, and the sec­ond was con­trol­ling en­ergy sources. As of to­day, can any­one ar­gue that the U.S. con­trol­ling en­ergy sources in the Mid­dle East or its efforts to bal­ance Rus­sia are unim­por­tant? Of course not. But there is a difference. The U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion no longer cares about hid­ing the amount of sup­port it pro­vides Is­rael. More­over, it also does not care that the sup­port it is pro­vid­ing Is­rael is dam­ag­ing its bal­anc­ing pol­icy to­ward Rus­sia.

On the other hand, it is also true that the in­creased sup­port the U.S. is giv­ing Is­rael has a pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion with its efforts to con­trol en­ergy sources in the re­gion. But is this enough of a rea­son for the U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion to pro­vide this sup­port in such a coarse man­ner? I don’t think so. And in fact, the un- con­di­tional sup­port the U.S. is pro­vid­ing Is­rael is se­ri­ously dam­ag­ing its re­gional in­flu­ence and Rus­sia’s hand is strength­en­ing against the U.S.’ in the en­ergy fight in the East Mediter­ranean.

The do­mes­tic pres­sure Trump is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and his hopes for sup­port from the Is­raeli lobby are the ma­jor fac­tors be­hind the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sup­port to Is­rael. Un­doubt­edly the in­flu­en­tial and ide­o­log­i­cally evan­gel­i­cal po­lit­i­cal ac­tors in the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion are be­hind the ap­pear­ance of this pol­icy.

The pre-ex­ist­ing Is­rael pol­icy in the U.S. is one that will cause losses for both Is­rael and the U.S. in the long term. Cur­rently, the U.S. and Is­rael are fol­low­ing a pol­icy that will deepen the chaos in the Mid­dle East. The strat­egy to es­tab­lish a hege­mony over chaos harms the re­gion’s coun­tries and peo­ple. Along­side this, how­ever, it also brings the prob­lems of rad­i­cal­ism, ter­ror­ism, fa­nati­cism and di­vided states to global pol­i­tics.

As long as the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity con­tin­ues to ig­nore the cruel pol­i­tics ap­plied by Is­rael to Pales­tini­ans and the mas­sacres it is per­pe­trat­ing there, no peace or calm will be es­tab­lished in the Mid­dle East. If the Mid­dle East does not ex­pe­ri­ence peace and calm, this will threaten the West the most. Let us all know that any­one who does not speak out against Is­rael’s mas­sacres are a party to them.

Demon­stra­tors take part in a protest de­mand­ing the free­dom and dig­nity of Pales­tine, Man­hat­tan, New York City, May 16.

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