It appears now that Donald Trump is grasping at straws.
Which is not surprising. As president he is historically unpopular. His entire administration is under investigation by a special counsel. His only legislative achievement, a massive tax cut for the rich – which will, as luck would have it, enrich Ivanka Trump by hundreds of millions of dollars when Donald has his imminent heart attack – is still on hold while the houses of legislature quibble over clauses and language.
For a self-confessed winner, his year old presidency is entirely shot through with losing. Americans largely do not like him, do not trust him, and are sick to death of his tweeting. So this announcement comes as no surprise:
“Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do,” Trump said from the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room.
The only question was how exactly his speechwriters would try and spin it.
“After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result,” he added…
“Today, I am delivering,” Trump said, referencing his campaign promise.
Trump offered a confection coated in I-only-want-peace, with a solid my-word-is-good center. American Evangelicals gobbled up the Jerusalem news without hesitation and licked their fingers gratefully.
Domestically speaking, the middle of it is probably what matters. Because Trump is a complete political disaster. A colossal careening failure. A fatmouth blowhard who promised everything and so far has delivered nothing.
This is Foreign Policy deco. It’s Trump’s attempt to look as if he’s still powerful, on point and relevant. He’s trying to draw attention away form the fact that he’s a Republican in a thoroughly Republican government who can’t even get a traditional slam-dunk tax cut passed. More and more, with every setback, Donald hides from his failures in one of two ways: attacking Hillary Clinton or stoking the lunatic right wing. This is the latter.
Internationally speaking, it’s a disaster. Trump’s short-sighted politics engenders anything but peace.
A 30-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed during clashes in eastern Gaza, Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health said, with more than 300 people injured across the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, 50 of whom needed hospital treatment…
In Gaza, Israeli aircraft hammered Hamas targets. A 54-year-old Palestinian man died from injuries sustained during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, according to a report from the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, quoting the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Fifteen people were injured, WAFA said.
The violence and unrest ran across borders.
Protests in Jordan, Turkey, Malaysia
Trump’s move has roiled Muslims around the world and loomed large during prayers on Friday, Islam’s holy day…
Big crowds marched through the streets of Amman, Jordan, in a show of opposition to Trump’s move. Jordan is a key US ally in the region.
A protest march also set off from Istanbul’s Fatih mosque after Friday prayers. Demonstrators waved Palestinian and Turkish flags, as well as banners proclaiming solidarity with the Palestinians.
Dogukan Sevinc, a municipal worker attending the rally, told CNN the protesters were not against anyone but were “defending Muslim rights” in the wake of the US decision. “They don’t respect anyone — they care just about Jews and Christians. The world is not just Jews and Christians,” he said.
The world is not just Jews and Christians. It’s not even that. The world seems increasingly reduced to Donald Trump, his ego and his supporters. Plenty of Jews and Christians – millions inside the U.S. – knew that bowing to Israel’s hard line would spark riots and bloodshed across the Middle East. Which is why no president has ever seriously considered it in reality.
But reality is no friend to Donald Trump. It is increasingly the enemy of the world’s winning-est winner, who cannot bear to fathom his true self or his tatty presidency. So rather than come to terms with the deaths he’s now personally responsible for, he will instead consider this a great success.
And what will he have gained from this tragedy? Trump will have won the further loyalty of these people:
…[Republican state Senator Doug Broxson] suggested that the president’s controversial decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may usher in the biblical end times…
“Now, I don’t know about you, but when I heard about Jerusalem — where the King of Kings [applause] where our soon coming King is coming back to Jerusalem, it is because President Trump declared Jerusalem to be capital of Israel,” Sen. Broxson predicted.
This was last night at the President’s rally in Pensacola.