Foreign Policy Reactions towards Slap of the Century


Whenever a foreign policy decision is implemented, there has always been a reaction to it; and that reaction is not only from the concerned states but also from other states. In this case, the foreign policy behavior was the shifting of US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the Deal of the century. The major stakeholders involve in this conflict are US, Israel, Palestine, Arab countries and Middle East countries. So, the possible reactions were also expected from these countries.

For Israel, shifting of US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a good and positive move and they responded it in a good way. Shifting of embassy of US means that US is recognizing the Jerusalem as an undivided capital of Israel. No country other than US and Guatemala has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital. It was recognition and a push for Israel from US that we are with you, do whatever you want to do in order to occupy Palestine. So, Israel welcomed this decision of US. Israel’s PM, Netanyahu, said, “I want to take the opportunity to make it clear that our position has always been, that the U.S. embassy should be here, in Jerusalem.” As for as Palestinians are concerned, they demand East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestine state and it is their right to ask so. In reaction to shifting of embassy, they cut all the political ties with US and both the parties have not sit together since December 2017. However, there were some non-political relations, like, relations between CIA and Palestinian Authority security forces that were continued. A same kind of hard reaction came from Kuwait, when Aziz Rahim was appointed by Emir of Kuwait as the Gulf state’s first ambassador to Palestine. Kuwait increased their support for Palestine and they gave a kick to Israel by cutting ties with Israel. Kuwait also boycotted the economic summit in 2019 as this summit was led by Jared Kushner.

Talking about the Deal of the century, it was not less than a gift for Israel as Israel would keep its control on the settlements it did in West Bank. This deal has shattered the two-state solution. Israel has been doing illegal settlement for the last 50 years, and more than 700,000 Israelis are now present in East Jerusalem and West Bank. No doubt US has changed its policy towards this issue and this deal has pushed and encouraged the Israel to occupy more territories of Palestine but Israel has been doing it for many years with the support of US, though it was unofficial. No one is here to stop them and there is no pressure on them from the international community. Hence, the reaction from Israel and Israeli lobby in US was positive and they welcomed the decision, as everything is in their favor and they are very happy about that fact. Israel’s PM, Netanyahu, said to President Donald Trump, “Thank you for everything you have done for Israel.” For Palestine, it is safe to assume that the plan was nothing more than the slap of the century. According to the deal, Palestine has to take scattered patches of land from different parts with no connectivity at all. Palestine immediately refused to accept the plan and Israel and US were expecting the same response so as to make it a pretext to grab more land and show the world that we are offering them a deal but they themselves are not accepting it so now we have to go with our annexation plan. This decision triggered number of protests in occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. President Mahmood Abbas refused to discuss the plan with Israel and US, not to mention accepting it. Previously, Palestine just had the political relations with US but after the deal, they cut the security ties too. The information, which had formerly been sharing by Palestinian Authority security to CIA, has also been stopped to share.  

If we analyze this whole event, we come to the conclusion that Muslim community and Arab countries which are supposed to be on Palestine side are just paying the lip-service and theoretically they are with Palestine but on ground they have been supporting Israel. Muslim community is divided in the world because of which it is hard to decide the fate of Palestine. Gulf countries see Iran as a threat in Middle East to their hegemony and that’s why they are with Israel to control Iran. Egypt is with Israel because of the presence of ISIS on their joint borders of Sinai. Furthermore, International Criminal Court (ICC) and United Nations also condemned this deal of the century but they can do nothing about this fact despite being a so-called organization for promoting peace and stability in the world. They are toothless to take any step for the betterment of the Palestinians. In this conflict, Pakistan’s position is very clear and Pakistan has always supported two-state solution; Prime Minister Imran Khan also said that we would not accept Israel until they do justice with the Palestinians. There might be a theory in top officials and think tanks that the deal and plan they are imposing on Palestine can be imposed on Pakistan in Kashmir Issue, so Pakistan is always with Palestine. Other than that, EU has also failed to help Palestine in this conflict; though they condemned the Trump’s decision, the EU is divided and fractured and different countries have different views regarding this issue. Some are in favor of this deal and others are not supporting it. Eastern states are pro-Israel while Western countries are not supporting Israel. As EU has to work on consensus and there is no consensus in EU among member states, so it is out of the question that EU would help Palestine. Other countries that opposed the plan and considered it a slap of the century includes, Turkey, Iran, Germany, Bahrain and Jordan. Jordan is worry because of the increasing number of refugees in their country from Palestine. Turkey’s response is also supportive. Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan, said in many speeches that Palestine is not for SALE. He added that “noting the holiness of Jerusalem to Muslims, giving the city to Israel can never be accepted.”

Another important point is that America is offering the investment of 50 billion dollars in Palestine as well as 1 million jobs. US and Israel think that they can solve this issue by throwing dollars on Palestinians. But deep down all the Palestine officials know that Israel is just trying to control Palestinians. President Mahmood Abbas said, “We have been losing lives for this cause and this land is not for sale that you can just purchase with some money.” There has also been a reaction from pro-Palestine lobby in America but they are weak as compared to strong and powerful pro-Israel lobby in US. Money cannot help US and Israel at all and they have to sign a political deal with Palestine if they really don’t want to make this problem worse. But again we cannot expect any good from US leadership. They want to contain Islam and spread their so-called liberal democracy in the world. They hate those who are blacks, brown or people with skins other than white. They hate people with a different religion and Palestinians are just one of those. In short, we can say US “a lawyer of Israel.”

To suggest, it can be said that there is a sheer need of unity and brotherhood among Muslim community which has divided at present. Muslim countries can win the case of Palestine only with the cooperation among themselves. Putting the pressure on Israel and US can stop them to implement this plan which has been delayed for now. International community should play its important role in this conflict because one apple fell and Newton discovered gravity but we see thousands of Muslims are dying and falling in Palestine but no one is discovering humanity. Pakistan and Turkey must take a clear position to save Muslim brothers and to avoid the same plan to be implemented in Kashmir.

Imaz Virk
Imaz Virk
Imaz Tanveer Virk, Student of BS International Relations at National Defence University, Islamabad. He demonstrates keen interest in global politics and Pakistan affairs. He is also a blogger and freelance writer for various online portals.


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