Even though 14 of the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council agreed that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does anything but promote the prospect of peace in the volatile region, the American representative insisted that this – peace – was the whole point of the move. That is what she was ordered to say, and that is what she said. It is probable that very few of the Americans who have sat on the council ever found themselves in such an uncomfortable position, so incredibly isolated, without the support even of the steadiest US allies, such as the UK.
America’s sudden and absolute isolation is not just the result of differences between the world’s imperialist powers, as could be argued by someone who has memorized three or four cliches that explain more or less everything, even the most contradictory phenomenon, in order to simplify facts and make life easier.
In the space of less than a year, the Trump administration has managed to push the United States into almost unprecedented isolation due to a string of decisions withdrawing the country’s support for major international agreements, including the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and the UN’s global compact for migration. It has also managed to scare the life out of everyone who believes that foreign policy amounts to more than tweets – regardless of which camp they’re in in this widely divided world. It has also frightened those who don’t believe that a decision reversing so many things acquired with such pain and effort promotes peace in any way.
The Jerusalem decision, moreover, gives ammunition to the Palestinians who see the “neutral mediator” leaning heavily against them, but also to those who falsely claim to be their protectors, from Erdogan’s Turkey and Iran to various fundamentalist and jihadist groups who use the Palestinian issue as a pretext.
It is not unlikely that Trump’s tenure will be cut short by one of the many scandals that have already marked his administration, foremost of which are the allegations of Russian involvement in the elections that made him president.
This is not the issue, however – history recovers from such scandals fast. The issue is what kind of chaos the world will be thrust into now that the moderation that previously determined its fate is absent.