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Trump Jabs Pen Into Mideast Hornet’s Nest

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Initiates Relocation Of U.S. Embassy In Israel To Jerusalem

Just about a week ago, President Trump Retweeted 3 rabidly anti-Muslim videos originally posted by a Right-wing hate group. Now he’s taking a more hands-on approach toward advancing his off-kilter world vision. Trump’s power move was interpreted as incendiary by America’s friends and foes, both in the Middle East, and around the world. Their arguments, varying in degree of fervor, mostly boil down to this: in taking a hard-line stance, Trump is slamming the door on moderates on all sides, and re-energizing extremists. The Washington Post reports Defense Secretary James Mattis was also very much against it.

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan warned the move will play right into the hands of terrorist groups and “lead to public outrage in the entire Islamic world, dynamite the ground for peace and ignite new tensions and clashes in our region”. The Islamic militant group Hamas said Trump had opened “the gates of hell”. British Prime Minister Theresa May called Trump’s action “unhelpful”.

Trump nevertheless insists “it’s the right thing do to” and “has to be done”. You can see in the clip below.

But even if you agree it’s “the right thing to do”, it is most certainly does not have to be done. Check that. “It has to be done” only if you want to get innocent people killed.

We are not so cynical to believe that this is Trump’s true endgame. But we predict anyone who steps up to challenge Trump on his Mideast policy will have to do it on the grounds that we need a saner approach. Trump will then attack that person as “weak”, “a loser”, “all talk, not action”, scream “America First” and “Make America Great Again”, and a lot of people will love him for that. Maybe enough to carry him to another victory.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves: Trump said he still wants to do “great deals” with both Israelis and Palestinians, and he’s not choosing sides. Except his very action consists of totally just choosing a side.

Israeli forces on patrol in Jerusalem’s Old City

Trump said his new Embassy will be a “magnificent vision of peace,” and stressed he wasn’t making any kind of comment on what future borders might look like. At the same time, he gave no hint of how Palestinians might fit into his vision. We also happen to believe Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel. And another part of Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Palestine. To us, that would be a vision of peace. Just as an example.(Maybe you disagree with us, that’s fine). But at least give us some idea of what you’re thinking about when you say something like that.

And in case we didn’t understand how deeply Trump despises diplomacy, (we’re convinced he sees “doing deals” as a completely separate thing), he starts the speech and insists several times throughout that we need “very fresh thinking” and “a new approach”. That’s fine: we’re all in favor of doing something different. That doesn’t mean you have to show up with a blowtorch. Check that. Unless you want to hasten Armageddon.

(This story originally appeared in “The Chaos Report” Newsletter. Subscribe at https://thechaosreport.com/subscribe/?scr=Medium)

Trump Jabs Pen Into Mideast Hornet’s Nest was originally published in Indivisible Movement on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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