Apparently, the new trend in politics world wide is for leaders of nations to interfere with the results of the elections in other nations. It has already been proven that Russia played a role in both Brexit and in the U.S. election of Donald Trump. And now, perhaps Trump feels a need to “pay it forward” by interfering in Israel’s upcoming election. Or, was Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu part of the scheme by Russia to elect Trump and he’s now repaying the favour? Either way … he is blindly delving into a situation that he does not understand and where he has overstepped his bounds.
Briefly, Israel seized the Golan Heights area from Syria back in 1967 during the Arab-Israeli War. Israel annexed the area in 1981 and has claimed it as their own ever since. However, Israel’s right to the land has been in dispute and the United Nations does not recognize Israel’s claim, as it is contrary to U.N. resolutions that reject the seizure of land by force. Washington has recognized the Golan Heights as Syrian territory under Israeli occupation since the 1970s, subject to a negotiated settlement between the two nations still technically at war.
Donald Trump, however, signed a “proclamation” recognizing Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights. Just to be clear, he can recognize or not, and it makes little or no difference. Well, it makes no difference in any real sense. What it does do, however, is makes Netanyahu look good to his people, and that is helpful to a man who is under criminal investigation, especially when there is an election coming up. And, it gained Trump some high praise from Netanyahu …
“Mr. President, over the years, Israel has been blessed to have many friends who sat in the Oval Office, but Israel has never had a better friend than you.”
He went on to compare Trump to Cyrus the Great, Lord Balfour and Harry S. Truman, and called him a “very special ‘man’”. Oh please.
This isn’t the first favour Trump has done for Netanyahu, either. He pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear agreement, which had long been a thorn in Netanyahu’s side, and more recently relocated the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that increased tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and put Palestinians at greater risk. Experts in Middle-Eastern policy fear Trump’s proclamation may heighten the already existing tensions in the Golan Heights.
Like Trump, Netanyahu has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and is not only under investigation in his own country, but has been indicted on a host of charges, including bribery and corruption. Additionally, he is locked in a tight race against Benny Gantz, a former army chief of staff. The latest polls have Gantz’s Blue and White party leading Netanyahu’s Likud.
“While the entire democratic world sees Trump as an unfortunate historic accident, a harmful, childish imp, for Netanyahu, the U.S. president is … his own private Santa Claus, all year long.” – Yossi Verter, Haaretz
The Middle-East is difficult to understand, and it is a volatile area where one seemingly small thing can lead to violence. Donald Trump does not understand the situation, has not bothered to try to understand it, and did not even consult, apparently, with his advisors who might have given him better advice. No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump’s decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark. Trump panders to Netanyahu in much the same way he panders to Russia’s Putin. One has to ask the question: Why? Trump does nothing unless there is something in it for him. Think about it.