When the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948 United States President Harry Truman recognised the country eleven minutes after the event, even as news of its birth was yet to reach most of the new nation’s citizens. Such was the hurry on the part of Harry Truman.
That act set on course a reverse patron – client relationship never seen before in the history of international politics /relations. United States since then has unquestioningly the back of Israel in all matters in its relations with its Arab neighbours and adversaries. The only time this American devotion took a dip was during the Suez crisis in1956 when President Eisenhower forced the invading trio of Britain, France and Israel to evacuate Egyptian territory. That spasm of conscience subsided soon enough, the United States long ceased paying attention to international law in its approach to the Arab – Israeli conflict.
United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338, each passed following an Arab-Israeli war, encapsulate international consensus on how to achieve peace between Israel, the Palestinians and Arab countries. Grounded in international law prohibiting acquisition of territory by force, the Resolutions demand Israeli withdrawal to its internationally-recognised borders in return for Arab recognition and normal relations – the land-for-peace construct.
Israel has since then engaged in sophistry in its interpretation of the resolutions; greatly encouraged by the United States which has become its arsenal and economic fountain. Additionally, the United States has employed all kinds of pressure to whittle down Arab unity and support for the Palestinians such that today they don’t have the meaningful backing of any Arab country – destroyed as the Arabs have been by the U S invasion of Iraq and the civil war in Syria. The Palestinians are isolated, left at the mercy of a dominant Israel intent on eliminating their footprints in Palestine and herding them into US-style Reservations.
The Trump presidency will go down in history as the period of maximum benefits for Israel in its relations with the United States. A throwback to the Fascist era of the 20th Century, President Donald Trump, even before getting elected made it his duty to antagonise and demonise all manner of underprivileged peoples – racial and religious, but especially Arabs and Muslims. The opening line in his declaration for the contest for president was a call for “a Muslim ban.” And a basket of promises for Israel if he became president – all of which flout international law and consensus on the Middle East conflict.
Trump has been in office since 2017 and Israel has never been happier. Donating East Jerusalem to Israel, he has now added Syria’s Golan Heights and is working on a Kushner Peace plan which will usher in Pax Israeliana over the Middle East – all the while boasting about how he had taken the core issues “off the (negotiating ) table.” The former TV show host can’t see the contradiction in his stance: approving Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights and vigorously opposing similar action by Russia in Crimea.
United States under President Trump is increasingly becoming a disruptive force in international affairs and a threat to world peace. For a man who avoided military service like the plague, Trump should be a pacifist, yet he stomps the world stage Rambo-like, threatening the rest of the world, mouthing the inanity “all options are on the table.” A new arms race is brewing under this unreconstructed president, this 21st Century Mongol
M T Usman, Kaduna