U.S. President Donald Trump had announced last December that Washington recognizes the city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, provoking worldwide condemnation. The logical continuation of that recognition was to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, and it seems that this is also happening. As a matter of fact, the president ordered to move the embassy as early as May 14, i.e. the anniversary of the foundation of the State of Israel, back in 1948. There is no doubt whatsoever that Trump is acting as if the Palestinians don't exist, and the U.S. doesn't care about their expectations anymore.
One may believe Palestine or the Palestinians don't count, but neither Palestine nor the Palestinians will disappear into thin air when ignored. Trump's stubbornness is harmful to everyone who hoped to reach a peaceful resolution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli government seems to be enjoying Trump's attitude right now, but in the long run, is all this in favor of the Israeli people?
The U.S.'s recent decisions on Jerusalem had only contributed to further isolate Israel in the region, and reduced the Israelis' room for maneuver in the future. In order to feel less isolated, we know that Israel is trying to build new partnerships in the Eastern Mediterranean, like the one with the Greek Cypriots, but these efforts trigger new antagonisms, too. The bottom line is, instead of acting like a country that seeks doing the best for itself, Israel seems to be acting as if it cares for America's interests more than its own interests.
International public opinion's perception of the U.S. is very negative since Trump was elected, so cooperating with him doesn't help with Israel's image internationally. The U.S.'s clout, credibility and prestige are eroding with every passing day, especially in the Middle East. Besides, the Jerusalem move brought together the Muslim world, because this is one of the few subjects Muslim countries across the world can agree on easily.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the U.N. to recognize Palestine as a full member, a step forward from its current non-member observer status, in an effort to ease the injustice the Palestinians are suffering from. The U.S. may of course use its veto power within the U.N. Security Council to block such a move, but every U.S. veto is a justification for a veto from Russia or China on a different matter. Therefore, the Palestinian issue is limiting Washington's diplomatic opportunities, as well.
In a time when the war in Syria doesn't seem to near its end, and when new war scenarios that includes Egypt are circulating, it is hard to understand why the U.S. is not working to ease the tension, but does the exact opposite. Moreover, the situation of the Palestinians and the decision on Jerusalem are putting Saudi Arabia in a difficult position, too. The Saudis remain silent on Palestine for the sake of their privileged relationship with Washington, but in return, this helps Iran to expand its zone of influence. In the meantime, Turkish-Israeli relations deteriorate, Russia and the EU get closer to the Palestinians, and Egypt is isolated in the Arab world. This doesn't seem like a positive environment for the U.S.
The Israeli-Palestinian issue is not limited to Jerusalem's status or the recognition of Palestine, there is no doubt about that. Nonetheless, should Palestine become a full-member of the U.N., the Palestinians will at least get some diplomatic tools to resolve a number of issues at the table.
Israelis and Palestinians will continue to live side by side, and when a major power supports only one of them to the other's detriment, this makes them both insecure. Let's hope that Palestine, as a legitimate and recognized state, will one day adhere to the U.N. and fully enjoy the rights that international law provides.
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