By Janet Phelan
The US policies in the Middle East have increasingly exacerbated the tensions in the region, turning it into a cauldron of conflict. Under first Bush and then Obama, the US’s interventionist policies dramatically increased both the incidence of terrorism as well as funded wars that increasingly appear to be without end.
And now, Trump appears to be following in the footsteps of his Presidential predecessors. His recent declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, followed by his announcement of savage cuts to UNRWA, which provides support to the Palestinian refugees, can only serve to further endanger peace in the Middle East. And while Trump publicly declares his love and support for Israel (and what American President has not?), these two decisions pave the way for further conflict and also for endangerment of Israel.
The Jerusalem announcement resulted in protesters clashing with Israeli defense forces. More missiles were launched against the Southern Israeli city of Sderot and in retaliation, IDF planes struck Hamas military targets. Protests also ignited in numerous cities across the Muslim world as people took to the streets in Jordan’s capital of Amman, as well as in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
The second action by Trump, cutting US aid to UNRWA by over one half can only have devastating consequences for the Palestinian refugee population and will very likely increase terror attacks against Israel. The UNRWA supports and administers 363 schools serving 311,071 pupils, 65 health facilities with over 5.2 million patient visits last year. According to the UNRWA, there are 2,158,277 Palestinian refugees. Many of the refugees served by the agency are in Displaced Persons camps, which are known to be hotbeds of terrorist activities. Cut the funds and it is predicted that terrorism against Israel will increase.
According to intelligence historian and former DOJ prosecutor John Loftus, the US’s support of the state of Israel has been two-faced all along. Writing in the introduction to his 1994 bestseller, The Secret War Against the Jews, Loftus baldly states that
The major powers of the world have repeatedly planned covert operations to bring about the partial or total destruction of Israel.
The US purports, consistently and rather loudly, to be a friend of the Jewish state, providing military aid in the billions each year. However, the US’s policies have generally resulted in outright sabotage to the security of Israel and in intelligence aid to Israel’s enemies. A couple recent examples include the Iran nuclear deal as well as the order from President Obama to pull back on the tunnel destructions during 2014 Operation Protective Edge. The tunnels were providing access into Israel from Gaza and inexplicably, Obama ordered Netanyahu to stop destroying the tunnels. Even more inexplicably, Netanyahu obeyed Obama’s order.
The recent actions by Trump again show the two faces of the US’s friendship with Israel, actions which on the surface may appear to be supportive of the Jewish state while the repercussions are clearly only increasing conflict and insecurity.
A recent HAARETZ article, entitled “Israeli Army Warns: Danger of Violence Escalating into War Is Growing,” discussed the present threat assessment.
The article was published prior to the UNRWA announcement, which is generally seen as a potential fuse to a tinder box. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a captain in the Israeli army recently admitted to this reporter that the reserves are being called up in Israel. Reserves are always called up in preparation for war.
Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist and author of the groundbreaking , EXILE. Her articles previously appeared in such mainstream venues as the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, etc. In 2004, Janet “jumped ship” and now exclusively writes for independent media. She is also the author of two collections of poetry—The Hitler Poems and Held Captive. She resides abroad.