Those who believe a new occupant of the White House will act over the Israel-Palestinian conflict had better shake off their illusions
4th March 2020
America’s health care, its poor, its black and Hispanic minorities and the contest between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders don’t amount to a hill of beans in the Middle East.
And many American voters – save for pro-Israeli lobbyists, liberal Jewish groups and disparate Muslim organisations – don’t care a hill of beans about the fears of Israel and the Arabs. But both Muslims and Jews in the region have been carefully studying what the three remaining Democrat contenders have said about two-state solutions, Israeli colonies in the West Bank and the US embassy, currently in Jerusalem courtesy of Donald Trump. It’s time we did the same.
First of all, despair all ye who think the Democrats are going to reverse Trump’s disastrous transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Those who believe that a Democrat president will simply roll back on Trump’s disastrous policies – not just over the embassy but anywhere else in the Middle East – had better shake off their illusions. History doesn’t go backwards. None of the Democratic candidates would commit to reversing Trump’s embassy decision when asked; only Sanders spoke vaguely of returning it to Tel Aviv. The rest chickened out by suggesting, rather outrageously, that the existence of the embassy in Jerusalem would become part of future Israeli-Palestinian negotations – something which was never part of the original Oslo negotiations nor any UN resolution.