Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Trump: The rogue cop

Editorial 1

Palestinians had yet another bloodiest day on Monday. At least 55 Palestinians were killed and over 1200 wounded when Israeli forces targeted thousands of unarmed civilians protesting along Gaza frontier against opening up of US embassy in Jerusalem. American President Donald Trump is squarely responsible for this tragedy. For decades, the United States had been playing the role of a peace-maker between Palestine and Israel. Successive administrations in Washington urged a peace formula in which the two parties would negotiate core issues — establishing boundaries between the two states; protecting Israel’s security; deciding how to deal with refugees who fled or were driven away after Israeli statehood in 1948; and deciding the future of Jerusalem, which was expected to become the shared capital of Israelis and Palestinians. In December, last year, Trump declared a sudden change in the country’s 70-year old stand of “neutrality”. He declared to shift his embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem much against the world opinion including Americans. President Trump delivered the embassy as a gift without concession or condition to the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu. That is putting his government’s weight exclusively for Israelis. It could be said with convenience that by shifting embassy to Jerusalem, America has called a day to its ‘negotiator’s” role. Tayyab Erdagon, President of Turkey, has rightly said that the US has lost the moral position of a peace-maker and it is now part of the problem. Almost, at the same time as reports of Palestinian massacre by Israeli forces were pouring to the shock and numb of the world, Trump resorted to a live broadcast to share his moment of happiness with Israelis. He said he was committed to the “peace process” in the Middle East and congratulated Israel on its 70th anniversary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in absence of Trump, led American delegation to participate in Israeli celebrations. During the ceremony, they were seated next to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, who is a long-standing friend of the Kushner family. The move has put the peace in entire middle-east at the risk. Given the Palestinian will for home-state, the peace would become a rare thing in the region. As the holy month of Ramadan begins from Wednesday or Thursday fear of follow up tragedies could not be ruled out. There have been anti-Israel and anti US protests in Jordon and Turkey too. Turkey has announced three-day nation mourning.

Erdagon has also called for meeting of OIC (organization of Islamic Conference) to take view of the situation and formulate future action plan. However, the move is unlikely to make any impact. The Muslim world is vertically divided in two camps—one led by Saudi Arabia and other led by Iran. Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt—three major Arab countries—would in no way agree to any action plan that would suit Iran anyway. It is not possible to think of Trump’s Jerusalem move separately from his May 8 pull-out from the nuclear deal with Iran. That move was opposed not only by adversaries like Russia and China but also by allies like the EU, worried about its potential to put international security in further jeopardy. For major Arab countries, Iran is in no way different from Israel. They accuse Iran of practicing worse methods than Israel in controlling and crushing people in Syria. Iran is also supporting the rebels in Yemen, which pose direct threat to Saudi kings. The western countries, China and Russia too cannot do anything beyond expressing their anger against America through press statements. In that scenario it is unlikely that the Palestinians could get any relief or rest from Israeli occupation. Palestinians have to fend for themselves.