Trump’s Jerusalem Decision and Ongoing U.S. Decline

Photo by zeevveez | CC BY 2.0

The world, to say nothing of two-thirds of the people in this country, deplores Donald Trump. It rejects his racist, sexist rhetoric, his wild and foolish pronouncements, his arrogance, his abundant manifestations of malignant narcissism. The world deplores his withdrawal from the Paris Accord, his rejection of the painstakingly negotiated Iran nuclear agreement, and now his decision—opposed by his leading advisors (except for his son-in-law Jared Kushner)—to recognize, as no other nation save the occupying power Israel ever has, occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The recent UN General Assembly vote implicitly condemning Trump’s decision—which so infuriated the clueless U.S. UN ambassador, Nikki Haley—was a harsh rebuke to Trump. But did it not reflect a broader repudiation of the contemporary U.S.A.? A recent Pew poll, taken before the Jerusalem announcement, showed that only 49% of the world’s people now see the U.S. favorably.

Trump argues validly that he has simply made official what has been U.S. policy since 1995, when Congress, pressured by the Israel Lobby, passed the “Jerusalem Embassy Act.” The move was politically unproblematic within the U.S.; at the time nearly 50% of U.S. residents told pollsters they believed that “God gave Israel to the Jews.” The mix of Lobby influence, Christian Evangelical credence to biblical myth (Genesis 12:3), general historical ignorance and racist indifference to the…

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