Trump’s Decision Begs for More Extremism

Sent On: 
Mon, 2017-12-11
Newsletter Number: 

Barbed Wire in Front of Temple Mount (rquevenco CC0)


On December 7, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced the plan to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s act has shattered the hopes of millions of people throughout the world who had placed their hopes in a diplomatic solution to one of the longest ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.


Trump chose to further polarize an already divided Middle East instead of emphasizing peace, justice and reconciliation between Israel and Palestine. With this action, his government has completely lost the competence to participate in dialogue between the two sides. It is no wonder that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will not welcome U.S. Vice-President Pence on the latter’s trip to the region.


Protests and demonstrations in response to Trump’s decision have erupted in the MENA region and around the world. The UN Security Council and various countries and politicians have expressed their concerns. The Arab League issued a resolution stating that the U.S. has  “withdrawn itself as a sponsor and broker’ of any possible Israeli-Palestinian peace process through its decision” and “Mr Trump's move ‘deepens tension, ignites anger and threatens to plunge region into more violence and chaos’,” the BBC reported.


Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul-Gheit stated that Trump’s decision would “fuel extremism and recourse to violence.” It is precisely such perceived acts of injustice and frustration with the political machinations of state governments that drive exasperated young people to extremist actions and ideologies.


Trump’s decision however is part of a larger geopolitical picture: the Palestinians appear to be the victims of a proxy war between Iran on the one hand and the USA and Saudi Arabia on the other hand. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s arrests of royals and high ranking officials, the sanctions against Qatar, the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, and the political moves against Lebanese Shi’ite Hizbollah are all key players  in this proxy war.

Read the full article “Messing-Up in the Middle East” here.

Cairo, 11 December 2017


Cornelis Hulsman,



Jasper A. Kiepe,

Journalism Intern