By Pranava Pakala
The President of the United States (POTUS) Donald Trump made fresh provocations on Tuesday. As if the December 6th Jerusalem comment was not enough, he went a step ahead and said that the Palestinian Authority was taking “hundreds of millions of dollars” as aid from the United States (US) while showing “no appreciation or respect”. This follows the recent move by the POTUS to cut off aid to longtime nuclear-rich ally Pakistan.
Last month, Trump reversed the decades-long US Foreign Policy towards the Middle East by saying that the US recognises Israeli statehood and intends to establish its embassy in its capital Jerusalem. This comment generated major furor from all sides. His latest comment is suicidal as it might completely stall peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Trump’s latest comments represented a tougher tone as opposed to his previous stance towards Palestine. He accused Palestine of not supporting the peace process. His latest comments might kill all hopes of Israel and Palestine ever coming to a consensus, as they already cooperate on security issues to prevent Hamas.
Repercussions of cutting aid
Trump’s mercurial statements on cutting off aid might provoke Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw such cooperation. Also, experts believe that the economic and social conditions in the Palestinian cities of West Bank and Gaza might worsen if aid is cut off. Obviously, this would spur violence. Non-state forces would have a greater say than at present and helpless refugees in the region would turn to them. This would obviously cause unthinkable instability in the region. Some members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet have echoed Mr. Trump’s statements. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that the U.S. president “is not afraid to say the truth, even if it’s not popular” and alleged that “the Palestinian leadership continues to fund terrorists using U.S. tax monies.”
Impact on the Israel-Palestine conflict
Conversely, others in Israel say that by taking Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation off the table, he has made it all the more difficult for Palestinians to ever come to an agreement. The US also provides $3 billion dollars worth military aid to Israel every year. Such a drastic measure as this would force the already troubled region into deeper waters. Palestinians have also strongly replied to Trump by saying that could not be “blackmailed”. A spokesperson for the Mahmoud Abbas said that “Jerusalem is not for sale, neither for gold nor for silver.”
POTUS Trump has made it common practice to make volatile and controversial statements, even if it comes at the cost of deviating from the foreign policy of the United States of America. This is a trend that will only continue in the future.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
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