Unpredictable and unreliable. It comes naturally to US President Donald Trump. That Trump is unpredictable is clear from his earlier actions and policy flip-flops. The president has now ensured that the US is an unreliable partner in the Middle East peace process. Trust has been violated again and historical truths have been throttled. The US cannot be expected to be an honest broker if it recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump has taken sides before, but not on this grand scale that borders on deceit of epic proportions. The Palestinians have been cheated again and there are concerns that the same vicious cycle of violence will be repeated as a ‘red line’, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put it, has been crossed by the US. Palestinians are desperate and are losing hope, and look what Trump comes up with? A worthless ‘solution’ that is dictated by personal interests and diktats from Israel. But why the rush? The least he could have done was to respect the status quo of the holy city that is venerated by Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.
Jerusalem is the holy city that defines our values as a people. It calls out to us to be worthy of our innate humanity and goodness that are the very foundations of civilisation. It has been a symbol of tolerance despite thousands of years of plunder and conflict. People and kingdoms have fought over it but it retains a divine charm that should not be put to disrepute by such a reckless decision that has been greeted with derision from all over the world. It was feckless, too, for it lacked character and understanding of the facts on the ground. But why now? Why did it have to come to this from a president who has broken convention and courted controversy to sow fear when the world craves for peace, a certain divine peace that could be found in Jerusalem. It could be ascribed to his domestic woes that are growing with the investigation on Russia that is closing in on his family. Trump’s inner circle has been exposed, the White House is vulnerable. He’s bringing that vulnerability to a holy city for an unholy cause. History will not forgive him for it.