Jerusalem – US Decision to Permit Jonathan J. Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s, To complete the parole on Friday He freed him to move to Israel, and ended one of the fiercest and longstanding disputes between the two allies.
It also culminated in what was extending four exceptional years in the relationship between the two countries, where President Trump’s treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was generous.
Mr. Trump has sharply disagreed with his predecessors’ approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, siding with Israel on the status of Jerusalem and settlements in the West Bank and other occupied territories. His Middle East team exerted enormous pressure on the Palestinians in a failed attempt to get them to contemplate an unbalanced peace proposal, and then brokered historic Israeli normalization agreements with Israel. The United Arab Emirates, the two seas And the Sudan – Deals that broke half a century of Arab solidarity behind the Palestinian cause.
The United States and Israel cooperated in confronting Iran and international diplomatic corps, which they viewed as biased against Israel. Mr. Trump has awarded other political prizes to Mr. Netanyahu, some of which have helped him in three successive reelection campaigns – the most notable of which was in March 2019, when he was the US President. Recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the long-contested Golan Heights.
Here are some of the most important gifts that Netanyahu has received.
After boosting Palestinian hopes with early talk about concluding a “final deal” to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Trump thwarted them when Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel And the Transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. This fulfilled the campaign’s promise of great importance to evangelical Christians and for many Jews.
Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, but the Palestinians regard East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, as the capital of their future state.
US policy before Trump was that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved in peace talks. Congress has repeatedly urged moving the embassy, but previous administrations kept it as a bargaining chip to urge Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians.
There was more in Jerusalem, much of it provocative, as when the US ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, Swing with a sledgehammer To open an archaeological tunnel under a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, dug by a group leading efforts to reinforce Israeli claims to sovereignty there.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added his own hit last month. Change passport rules To allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list “Israel” instead of “Jerusalem” as their place of birth. The longstanding policy avoided designating the city as part of Israel.
Pressure on the Palestinians
The Palestinian response to the embassy move was to boycott the White House. The White House responded with a series of punitive measures.
Seeking to force the Palestinians to abandon their demand that millions of refugees be able to return to what is now Israel – a demand Israel has always rejected – Trump administration Cut off all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Which provides assistance to Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East.
It has steadily cut all other aid: $ 200 million to support the Palestinian Authority through the United States Agency for International DevelopmentAbout $ 60 million in aid to the Palestinians Security forcesAnd $ 25 million for Hospitals in East Jerusalem And $ 10 million for the Palestinian Israelis Coexistence efforts.
Helping Israel’s ambitions in the West Bank
Led by Friedman, a longtime supporter of settlements, the administration has repeatedly chanted for those who envision the entire West Bank as permanently in Israel’s hands.
The ambassador publicly She supported the idea of Israeli annexation of the West Bank landsWhich Mr. Netanyahu made the focus of his campaigns for re-election, and Trump’s peace plan It is considering Israel annexing up to 30% of the West Bank.
The annexation was eventually suspended vs Normalization of relations with the United Arab Emirates – With the Trump administration’s offer to Sale of the desired Emirati F-35 fighters as a dessert deal. Likewise, the administration listened to Sudan Remove it from the list of states that sponsor terrorism.
But several other steps of the administration helped normalize Israeli designs on the land Palestinians want for a future state.
Mr. Friedman Pushing for dropping the term “occupied” from the official references of the Foreign Ministry To the West Bank and the adoption of the Israeli name for the region, Judea and Samaria, which highlights the biblical roots of the Jewish people there. In 2018, he broke a precedent and He attended an event in the Ariel industrial settlement.
Last year, Mr. Pompeo said the United States “recognized the reality on the ground,” using the phrase “Judea and Samaria.” A 1978 Foreign Ministry memorandum was annulled saying that settlements do not comply with international law.
In late October, Mr. Friedman and Netanyahu signed agreements US government grants allow To go to the Israeli research institutions in the occupied territories. The only such institution is Ariel University, with funding from Sheldon Adelson, The billionaire casino that supports both Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu.
Thursday, Mr. Pompeo visited a Jewish settlement Near Ramallah, becoming the first foreign minister to do so. It also issued new instructions for imports from the West Bank, requiring products made in areas under full Israeli control to be Israeli products. This move would require that the dates or olives grown by Palestinian farmers be labeled “Made in Israel” to reach American consumers.
After clashing with President Obama over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Mr Netanyahu, Mr Trump, has found an agreeable audience To denounce the agreement as being too lenient: Mr. Trump withdrew from the deal in March 2018.
Mr. Pompeo formulated a strategy of “maximum pressure” against Tehran through severe economic sanctions, and A. A group of 12-point demands From its leaders who could have been formulated by Mr. Netanyahu.
In an effort to stem Iran’s expansionist moves in the Middle East, Israel launched a campaign Air strikes against Iranian forces and their proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq Whereas, with encouragement from the Trump administration, Participate in a common case with Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other Gulf countries Against Iran.