Trump dropped another bombshell on Twitter last week when he wrote that the US should recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, something that none of his predecessors had previously dared to do despite the US’ premier military-strategic partnership with the self-professed Jewish State. The announcement was met with global condemnation from everyone apart from the Israelis themselves, with the world reminding the US how such a move would blatantly violate international law.
Trump definitely won’t be deterred by that, and the hoopla that his announcement made might arguably motivate him to see his suggestion through partly to spite the Globalists who he’s convinced have weaponized international norms for decades in order to guilt the US into voluntarily reducing its own power for the sake of “political correctness”. Whether an accurate depiction of reality or not, there’s no debating that this is indeed Trump’s worldview and powerfully influences his foreign policy.
Having gotten that out of the way, Trump doesn’t want to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights just to troll the world, but because he intends to achieve several interconnected near-term and long-term domestic and international goals. Most immediately, he and his team are aware that this will give a boost to his close friend Netanyahu ahead of Israel’s early elections next month.
The incumbent’s victory is important for Trump not only for friendship’s sake, but because “Bibi” (as he’s popularly called) is indispensable to the so-called “Deal of the Century” that his administration is trying to negotiate. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been working on this plan for the past two years already and it’s supposed to be rolled out sometime shortly after Israel’s upcoming elections. It would have possibly been released before then but some believe that the US was concerned that the details might sway the elections against Netanyahu.
That in and of itself is very revealing about its possible contents, which the Trump Administration has insisted amount more to a “compromise” than a one-sided advancement of Israeli interests in spite of cynical criticism that this realistically couldn’t ever be the case given the US’ premier military-security interests in unwaveringly supporting Israel.
While it’s only the realm of speculation for now, it might be that Trump thought to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights not only to give an electoral boost to Bibi, but also as a hint of one of the pro-Israeli “compromises” that the “Deal of the Century” might entail. As for the “pro-Palestinian” ones, if they can even be called that, one can only imagine what superficial “compromises” will be suggested, but the point to focus on is that Trump’s recent tweet is inseparable from the forthcoming “Deal of the Century” and its timing was intended to help Netanyahu ahead of next month’s early elections.
There are some who suspect that pecuniary interests related to the involvement of US-based Genie Energy in extracting oil from the occupied Golan Heights is really what’s driving Trump’s promised recognition of Israel’s annexation, but that’s an oversimplification that overlooks the larger interests at stake in the aforementioned context and risks reducing everything to a rudimentary explanation based on inconsequential oil reserves and shadowy backroom interests.
While it can’t be dismissed that those factors might have played a supplementary role in Trump’s decision, they certainly shouldn’t be trumpeted as the main reason. The US stands to acquire unrestricted access to the world’s largest oil reserves in Venezuela’s Orinoco River Belt pending the success of its rolling regime change operation against Maduro, so whatever may or may not be located beneath the occupied Golan Heights is totally relevant in the larger scheme of things and certainly not important enough to justify a game-changing move such as recognizing Israel’s annexation.
Closer to the home front, however, it becomes more understandable why Trump wants to do this. He already accused the Democrats of being an “anti-Israel” and even an “anti-Jewish” party in reaction to their comparatively mild response to Ilhan Omar’s recent AIPAC controversy, suggesting that he’s trying to turn their racist accusations against him around by portraying them as the real bigots.
After all, it’s indisputable that Trump has done more for Israel than any of his predecessors and has married his “America First” slogan to the concept of “Israel First”, so it’s against this backdrop that his recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights begins to take on a tangible domestic political significance ahead of the 2020 elections. Trump can rely on this move to differentiate himself from any of his Democratic opponents as the true “guardian of peace and freedom in the Mideast” who “didn’t flinch” to support America’s ally in contrast to their regular criticism of it.
Taking the time to reflect upon it, Trump’s tweet therefore wasn’t the poorly thought out proposal of an unhinged president but a carefully crafted strategic ploy aimed at achieving real near-term and long-term domestic and international objectives. The American leader knew that this would help his Israeli counterpart ahead of the heated early elections that are seeing Bibi fight for his political life, all the while being aware that recognizing this annexation is potentially tantamount to preemptively revealing one of the main pro-Israeli details of the “Deal of the Century”.
Trump’s undying promotion of Israeli interests sets him far apart from his Democratic rivals who occasionally chastise Tel Aviv for its treatment of the Palestinians and never-ending violation of international norms, but the average American is still more pro-Israeli than pro-Palestinian so this could definitely be leveraged to his electoral advantage ahead of 2020. While it might have just seemed like a simple tweet, Trump’s announcement was therefore much more important than many initially thought.
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