Is Trump going to move to Jerusalem? - AKIF EMRE

Is Trump going to move to Jerusalem?

With the Middle East in complete chaos and tumult, certain common objectives and sensitivities are falling off the radar. Only recently, when the Middle East was in question, headlines such as Palestine, Israel and Jerusalem would come to mind. The primary matter of concern for Western countries was protecting an occupying regime that the Arabs wanted to “destroy.” Zionist propaganda was successful in turning the historical legend of victimization, the massacre of Palestinians, and occupying their land into a strategy of legitimacy.

Even though it is considered an occupying power in terms of international law, it received all sorts of support from Western countries, the U.S. in particular. Just as it received no pressure, at least in terms of implementing U.N. decisions, the decisions made were constantly vetoed by the U.S. The most unbiased of them preferred to keep silent in the face of Israel's fait accompli. This silence prepared the ground for its next breach, which, in time, became a status quo.

One of the most important bases of military or dynasty dictatorships in the Arab world was the Israel threat/problem. This issue also seems to have fallen off the radar.

However, neither international law nor historical and regional truths allow to overlook that Jerusalem has been occupied or its position. The matter is too important to allow Israel to make a fait accompli on its own. However, Israel was the one that benefitted most from the chaos and the state of the countries in the region, primarily Turkey. While developing relations with the countries in the region, one by one, despite its occupier status, it is in pursuit of achieving a strategic position with Gaza's offshore natural gas. Hence, using its energy weapon, it is trying to ensure that the countries in the region remain quiet and in fact take a supportive position in the face of Israel's policies.

It has established close relations with many countries in the region where there are almost no countries posing a military threat.

However, despite all these strategic steps, it has not been able to get the support it wants concerning the status of the occupied city of Jerusalem. As is known, the U.N. does not accept Israel's single-sided declaration of Jerusalem as capital as well as its presence on the lands it occupied after 1967. Hence, with the exclusion of a couple Latin American countries, the international community, primarily the U.S., rejected Israel's seizure of Jerusalem and refused to carry their embassies.

Despite this, a vast segment including mostly media, politics and culture circles, are carrying out a campaign that ignores the fact that Jerusalem is under occupation.

Even international news agencies try to create a de facto Israel capital perception in the language used in news from the region.

Israel, which is applying a permanent settlement strategy on the occupied territory, must be thinking that this time it is very close to achieving its objective regarding Jerusalem.

Up until now, a majority of the candidates running in the U.S. presidential elections made promises as part of their election campaign along the lines that they will recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, but once they settle into the White House, they forget all about it. Because they would come face-to-face with the regional realities as a requirement of American state strategy and shelf the matter.

During his election campaign, in addition to his Islamophobic discourse, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, too, promised that he would carry the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. In other words, despite U.N decisions, he had promised that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Will Trump also act like the other candidates or will he take such a dangerous step?

There has been no contrary discourse to date and steps have started to be taken in this direction. For example, three Republican Senate members have already even prepared a draft law. The president's attitude will determine the last say in such initiatives, which Democrat and Republican Party administrations have opposed until now.

Looking at his personal and political line, Trump is likely to support this draft law. The attitude he will take when faced with the American state strategy is important. Perhaps it will be more significant to ask, “Could the American state mind, which has knowingly led to all these chaotic formations in the Middle East, have left its traditional attitude regarding this matter as well?”

Jerusalem's religious, cultural and geographical position aside, taking such a political step means that a decision has been made to turn the century-old balance in the region completely upside down.

Because the Jerusalem issue does not consist of an arm wrestle between Israel and the stateless Palestine administration. For example, reactions that may result in the destabilization of the U.S. and Jordan, Israel's most loyal ally in the region, are inevitable. The majority of Jordan's population is of Palestinian origin and, as it was before 1967, it is considered responsible of the protection of Al-Aqsa. The latest proposal suggested by the U.S. on the Palestine-Israel dispute after Oslo was to discuss the status of Jerusalem after the two-state structure is established. It had suggested a monstrous solution like giving the ground surface of Al-Aqsa to the Palestinians, while its underground and air would be under Israeli control.

If a step is taken in the direction of officially giving Jerusalem to Israel, it could trigger several different dynamics in the region and the U.S. may not be able to prevent its likely outcomes. None of the countries in the region having neither the military power to stop Israel nor the issue on their agenda is no obstacle against different reactions. The new administration must be taking into consideration the likelihood that the current chaotic atmosphere in an environment, where new alignments are formed every time armed groups swarm, will effect Israel as well.

On another note, Turkey's ties with Israel and expectations from the Trump administration aside, it should be explained to all sides that Jerusalem is above all kinds of realpolitik contemplation.


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