Fatima Begum : 2.3 billion Christians, along with 1.6 billion Muslims, that’s 32% of the world’s population, along with 23% of the world population, totalling 3.9 billion, which is 55% of the world’s population, have now been brushed aside by a few words from Donald Trump for about 20 million, that’s 0.3% of the world’s population. Confused? If yes, then which part? Was it the statistics that I mentioned, or Trump’s decision to classify Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel?
Just to make clear, which Benjamin Netanyahu continuously does, Israel is a Jewish nation. The term ‘Jew’ relates to one following Judaism and as an ethnic race. With that in mind, Israel has to obtain a 70% Jewish majority in Israel to be considered as a Jewish nation. However, Jerusalem does not fall under such a rule.
Jerusalem holds both a political and religious importance to Muslims and Jews. Stating the Muslims will not accept it or that Netanyahu claiming that ‘This is an historic day,’ allows it to become a religious issue. But the fact that the words of accepting Jerusalem as a capital city came from the President of the United States, Donald Trump, gives it a political status.
It is the political importance that one needs to look at. Calls that it will diminish peace talks, arguments that it will bring instability to the Middle East would now be the results of Trump’s action, is true to once extent. Although, when exactly has the Middle East last been stable? We had the Iraq War, which created a power vacuum for extremists to thrive on and the establishment of a ‘fight to death’ Sunni-Shia conflict. Israel has crushed Gaza on more than one occasion during these ‘peace talks,’ so how exactly has, or will, Trump declaring Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel change things? Then it is the question of what authority he has in order to make any changes to the status quo? Rather, it is just words.
With that in mind, does Trump really have power over Jerusalem? Does he have the power to give a city over to a country of his choosing? If so, then that falls under colonialism, does it not?
Until the International Community declares the status of Jerusalem has changed, the only thing historic about this declaration is that it is a declaration from the US. Thus far, only the US. Israel has always had its way of doing things and ignoring laws, avoiding war crimes and building illegal settlements. That is just to name a few. Touching on illegal settlements; they already exist, in fact Netanyahu announced at the beginning of this year, to build another 600 settlements. He has continuously ignored the demands of the International Community.
Would Trump’s declaration give Netanyahu a standing on the world stage? After all, Trump does represent the leading power of the world, the United States of America. But the media, and the public, from day, have been ridiculing him from day one. We have mocked his decision making skills; many classified him as not being able to lead and full of ignorance. We focussed on the strange facial expressions he makes, and of course, the set of words he uses to form a sentence.
Now focussing on his declaration, it is extremely hard to state that he has power over Jerusalem. He may be the President of the US however the political significance of Jerusalem is above him. So above, that signatures, handshakes, smiles to the camera and a declaration is on the borderline of worthless.
To be sure, it is an important day as it is the first time the United States has recognised one of the most significant city in the world as a capital city for a country that has been in the middle of a conflict with Palestine for decades. It is also important because the world are running with his decision and giving it value. As mentioned earlier, it is a leading power of the world, thus any actions, and words uttered by the President would be given the utmost importance.
We just need to realise who exactly is making the declaration. Ignore who he represents for a moment. If that is not possible, just be aware, the International Community have not made such a declaration.
Also, one only needs to remember that this is the same President who retweeted tweets from a right-wing fascist group, Britain First, and then faced embarrassment from our Prime Minister, female Prime Minister, because she responded negatively to his tweet.