By: Dr Muhammad Khan
President Trump’s controversial decision of declaring Jerusalem as capital of Israel has raised some fundamental questions about the international structure and significance of global institutions. The first and foremost query is that, President Trump’s announcement is against the UN resolution that, Jerusalem will not be under any country; rather it will have an international status. This act is against the laid dawn international norms and UN Charter, which clearly support the rights of every individual and nations.
Trump’s announcement underestimated the role of United Nations as an international regulating body and strengthened the impression that, US can do anything which may even violate the UN Charter. Secondly, the decision shows a clear US inclination towards a country that has a bitter track record of aggression, invasion and human rights violation in Arab heartland. This act strengthened the impression that as a super power US the invasion, aggression and human right violations, which run counter to even US constitution apart from UN Charter.
The third and most significant question arises about the election or selection of Mr Trump as the President of United States. Some of the tough decisions which his predecessors could not undertake needed a man having the character traits of Trump, the most impulsive and assailant. The decision about the Jerusalem as capital city of Israel and shifting of US embassy there and many other decisions like an aggressive posture towards North Korea, warning Pakistan over Afghan imbroglio, US meddling into Middle East and threats to scrap the Iranian nuclear deal. Even a little sensible President could have taken some time to ponder over, before signing the documents.
This question leads us towards a reality about US global policies for the continuation of its super power status. It is beyond doubt that, there has always been a consistency in the US policies and White House has to act as a signatory body. The formulation of the US policies takes place at various institutional levels. For example, US Congress passed the bill, declaring Jerusalem as Capital of Israel in 1995, once Bill Clinton was US President. Clinton was known for his civility and excited for a Two-States solution of the Palestine and Israel. He and his followers resisted signing the document, until it was signed by President Trump, who promised this during his election campaign.
But, during these 22 long years (1995 to 2017) US policies in Middle East has brought the region in a chaotic situation. Had the document signed earlier, there would have been massive reaction and a very strong retaliation from the Arab world. This could have even paved the way for a united resistance from Arab world and Iran. In these over two decades, Middle East was ruined through direct and indirect involvement; Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria were physically attacked and others were weakened through conspiracies and indirect involvement. Creation and heightening of ideological differences, promotion of inter-state and intra-state rift and above all, the nourishment of terrorists’ outfits like Al-Qaeda and ISIS further destabilized the Middle Eastern region.
Bringing these terrorists organizations at the horizon has put the real issue of Middle East (Palestine issue) under carpet. So much so, the Palestinian struggling for their UN mandated right of self-determination are being declared terrorists. Furthermore, a situation has prevailed where Palestine issue is not at the centre stage of most of the Arab countries. Some of the Middle Eastern countries have even established secret relationship with the state of Israel to penalize other Muslim countries. Few Arab states are in the process of massive purchase of the latest arsenal from United States; an unprecedented dependence over US on the security and state matters. This massive and latest armament will not be used against Israel at least.
Indeed, this all was aimed at de-capacitating and reducing the chances of a united and a strong resistance from Middle Eastern countries, once US was to take this decision (Jerusalem as capital of Israel) and many other decisions which would pave the way for a Greater Israel in the Greater Middle Eastern region. As observed in last few days since the announcement of this US decision, there has been symbolic reaction from most of the Middle Eastern countries. Except Turkey, the Muslim world is mysteriously quite. As of Arab world, there will be cautious response from OIC too. Compare to Muslim world, the European Union and rest of the world has shown their serious concerns over the US decision.
Unlike the appeasing statement of US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who said, Trump decision will advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Britain and EU countries feel, “These decisions are awkward for the prospects for peace in the region.” In fact, this a major US step for the Greater Israel, which will subsequently control the entire Middle East and areas up to Kashgar, the Greater Middle Eastern region. The question arises, when there would prevail a foresight among the Muslims. The entire Muslim world is poised to take on each other rather confronting the external challenges jointly. Since the Muslim rulers have failed, therefore, it is time for the Muslim statesmen, scholars and acumen evaluate the geostrategic developments and make counter strategies accordingly.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.