In the realm of bad ideas, this is king
Keeping a promise to Likudniks and Christian Zionists, Donald Trump is set to announce that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
This is not just a bad idea. This is a catastrophic one, the ramifications of which, while not certain, can be gamed out.
The Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as their capital in any final peace settlement between themselves and the Israelis. By this action, Trump removes the US as an honest peace broker. One can debate whether the US was ever a real honest peace broker; but even if it was mostly fiction, this recognition dismisses that fiction with finality. The Palestinians have no reason to even consider anything the US has to say now.
In the wider Arab and Muslim world, Jerusalem is Islam's third holiest city. That Trump would so cavalierly recognize Israel's claim over the entire city will inflame Muslims. Both friends and foes will turn with renewed animus towards the US.
One almost has to think that Trump, reptilian brain that he is, seeks a Middle East conflagration to take away attention from his conspiratorial collusion with Russia to steal last year's election. Flying missiles do tend to distract from domestic ills.
The alliance between the Israeli right and the Christian Right is one of the most cynical and dangerous alliances in modern geopolitics. The Christian Zionists support Israel not out of any true love for the State, but because of its prophesied role in its End Times eschatology. The Christian Right sees Israel merely as a tool in the coming conflagration which will see the Second Coming. And if the Second Coming needs a little push, well then, so be it. (I've always thought it odd that Jesus needed prodding to return to Earth. It seems as if the Christian Right has a lack of faith as to his good intentions.) Likudniks, of course, scoff at the reasons behind Christian Zionist support, but accept it nevertheless, as it's a powerful bloc in the Republican Party. They may scoff as much as they want; when the tanks start rolling, the fire will be all too real.
With this ill-considered action, Trump is promising to unleash Hell in a region which needs few excuses for the bracing cleansing of a general war. I would love for Palestinians to engage in peaceful civil disobedience; what an example to the world that would be. But, realistically, you will see images of burning American flags and mass violence on the West Bank and in Muslim capitals around the world. With this one act, Trump may just engender a jihad against the US.
This is what always concerned me the most. That a man with no diplomatic skills would upend 70 years of Mid-east policy for some ephemeral political gain. Of all his destructive actions, this may turn out to be the worst.
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