Have We the Ability to Stop the Relocation of the US Embassy?

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 22 January / Jan 2017. 01:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Sun 22 January / Jan 2017. 11:29 PM
  • Fahed Khitan


In truth, there is not much Jordan can do to prevent Trump’s administration from actually relocating the US embassy to the occupied city of Jerusalem.


Undoubtedly, Jordanian officials are worried and angered by the idea, because they happen to be fully aware of the consequences of such a catastrophic decision. But the newly elected US president, Donald Trump, is unlike any previous president of the United States.


Even after he took on his new role as commander-in-chief, his style, as well as his overall stance, did not change. His speech on inauguration day puts it out there for us to see; we are facing a reckless president who does not recognise the benefit or weight of America’s alliances and friendships, and sees the interests of his country through a narrow opportunistic lens. He is incapable of looking beyond.


The new president will not be cautious when it comes to imposing policy, and is careless to whatever crisis resulting from disagreement.


In terms of foreign policy, his administration is pro “peace enforcement”, and we have no clue as to how this imperialistic approach exactly is going to be realised in our region.


It has become clear to everyone that Trump’s “America First” is an equivalent to “Israel First”, in regards to the new administration’s policy on the Middle East. Trump’s intentions to support Israel —solely and unconditionally— has become clear, whereas for other countries, they would have to pay for any US intervention on any level whatever it may be!


Soon, Jordan will be in a hole, more or less. The United States is Jordan’s prime ally, and our top supported and donor. Jordan has been receiving annually no less than USD1.6 billion in financial, economic, and military aid and grants, and it is not unlikely that Trump’s administration develops a hostile position towards Jordan should the Kingdom’s response to the possible US embassy relocation crosses “the line”, regardless of history between the two countries.


On our part, Jordan cannot even begin to think about minimising cooperation with Washington in the spheres of countering terrorism; as Jordan’s interest to finish off terrorist groups surpasses America’s.


Notably, while it is true that Israel has no interest whatsoever in jeopardising Jordan’s stability, but the Zionist far right, over ecstatic with Trump’s arrival in the White House, will savour not a single opportunity to capitalise on any upcoming US-Jordanian discord, in order to reinforce Israel’s position as opposed to the Palestinian’s case, pushing the US administration to pressure Jordan into accepting settlements which contradict with our highest national interests.


No one in the Arab World is willing to get on Trump’s nerves. Egypt is relying heavily on Washington’s support in their battle against terrorist groups and the Muslim Brotherhood. Likewise, Gulf States are willing to overlook Trump’s hostility in return for commitment to escalate the confrontation with Iran, their prime enemy!


Legally, Jordan’s role in Jerusalem is limited to overseeing Islamic and Christian shrines and sanctities, and has no capacity to exceed that role, knowing just as well that the decision to move the Embassy will eventually undermine that role, symbolically, to say the least.


The best that could be done given the circumstance is to strip the relocation decision of its political value, by coordinating with the variety of Palestinian powers to achieve national reconsolidation, which would miss the Israelis the chance to invest in the relocation of the US embassy as an enabling factor in the enforcement of a new reality unto Jerusalem and the totality of Palestine’s occupied lands.


Obviously, the Arab response needed to stand up to the American decision is unavailable, and I don’t think anybody is thinking about weighing more on Jordan than it can take.


This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.