Israel Shamir

The Fighting Optimist

American Gestalt (Short Version)

Tramp’s recognition of Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem had made a lot of good for many actors: for Russia and Iran, for Palestine and Europe, and even for the people of America, though perhaps it was not expected by the Israelis who pushed for this decision.

Now the old mischievous pretence of the US being a neutral broker is gone; the true feelings of the US establishment towards the Middle East, their Muslims and their Christians, the feeling of total disdain, has been revealed, and President Putin has good reason to thank Trump for his declaration. Russia is an important player in the Middle East, and after the American surrender of Jerusalem, it is likely to become a sought-after mediator in intra-Arab affairs. We may expect that future negotiations between Israel and Palestinians will be managed by the Russians, with UN assistance.

Trump’s declaration was a great gift to Iran. After the Saudis, the greatest enemies of Iran, have revealed their duplicity, the Arabs will have a new and positive view of Iran. Shia or Sunni, Iran proved its steadfast devotion to the cause of Jerusalem and Palestine, and it will be rewarded.

Trump gave the Europeans an opportunity to say what they really feel about him. Now Europe can make a step towards its independence.

His declaration mobilised President Erdogan of Turkey and he called for a summit of Muslim states. Istanbul had been the seat of the Caliphate for six hundred years, from 1362 to 1924, and now Erdogan has a valid claim for this grand title. By denouncing the Israelis and their American stooges, the President of Turkey has gained a lot of authority and influence.

Trump had brought Palestine back into the world agenda after long abeyance. Now the world sat up and paid attention to complaints from Gaza and Ramallah. For years nobody cared much what happens there, and Trump changed it.

Trump resurrected the dying reconciliation agreement between the Fatah and Hamas. The agreement had been on the rocks: Fatah asked for more and more, and Hamas began to lose its patience. Gaza had suffered. The biggest obstacle was the US aid: the Americans didn’t want to subsidise Hamas. As the aid is not coming anyway, this stopped being a hindrance. Trump’s declaration encouraged the sides to move their negotiations onto the fast track.

Trump didn’t make a distinction between East and the West Jerusalem, as he declared the whole lot belonging to Israel. This is good: both halves of Jerusalem are illegally occupied by the Jewish state. They differ in the fact that the original population of West Jerusalem had been expelled, while the population of East Jerusalem had been stripped of their rights. This difference does not turn West Jerusalem into a legitimate Israeli possession. Mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing should not be rewarded with international recognition. Trump actually made a good step by uniting the two illegally occupied parts of Jerusalem in one sentence, as he undid many years of cautiously spread Israeli web of lies in one stroke.

Trump undermined the beastly MBS of Arabia. One needs an Arab to betray Arabs, and this job has been taken by the Brat of Riyadh. MBS, when he does not torture his kin in a shake-down, has been involved in denying Palestine and Jerusalem. It is he who proposed and agreed with Jared Kushner to surrender Jerusalem in the so-called “the deal of the century”. MBS tried to force the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to accept the deal or resign. Abbas flatly refused. Now, I think, the deal is dead, and MBS is likely to follow Anwar as-Sadat, the Egyptian president who made a deal with Israel and was assassinated.

Trump did not move an inch from the mainstream of American opinion. Americans are for Israel, it is a national obsession. So now they declared Jerusalem – a Jewish capital. And before, when they had sent their ambassadors, all Jews, all devout Zionists, all “Israel Firsters” – was it any different?

Trump is not different from his predecessors. All American Presidents declared Jerusalem – the eternal united and indivisible capital of the Jewish state. Obama did it, and so did Bush. True, they said it while running for the office, and they avoided repeating the mantra while in the White House, but they never repudiated it, either.

Ninety out of a hundred US Senators approved of Trump’s statement. Ten abstained, probably being unable to support Trump for any reason at all. Still, it was a most-approved step of the President. The American political establishment is thoroughly pro-Israel, both liberal and fundamentalist, Republican and Democrat, from Sanders to Bannon; we knew it, and now Trump allowed the people to read it loud and clear. He did what the people want. That is why you elected him: so he will do what you want, not what somebody else who claims to know better, tells you.

Why do you Americans want it? America is working out its Gestalt as the Shining City on the Hill, the New Israel of Manifest Destiny. This great country does not yet want to become just another great country, it wants to lead mankind and to re-form the world after its own shape and image. America had been messianic for a long time, and this habit is hard to kick.

Under the shell of a hard-nosed Yank, there is a fanatic Dispensationalist with The Scofield Reference Bible under his arm waiting for the Gog and Magog war against Israel. You can look at this site, just one of plethora of sites predicting the war between Israel on one side, Iran and Russia on the other side, with the US siding with Israel but staying away until being Raptured into Second Coming. This is insane, but such Gestalts run deep, and they explain insane behaviour (seeking war with Iran, bombing Babylon and supporting Israel) better than a calculation of profit and loss.

Love, or rather obsession with Israel is a part of this Gestalt. Though Southern Baptists and Eastern Liberals appear different, they have the same original imprint cast by the Founding Fathers, by Puritans and Pilgrims. This Gestalt breaks out unexpectedly. The present fight against harassment is just another break-out of Puritan zeal, though the Fundamentalists will quote the Bible, and the Liberals will appeal to Woman whose rights should not be violated.

This is the only plausible explanation to such complaints in the New York Times: “Samantha Holvey, a former contestant in the Miss USA pageant, said that Mr Trump ogled her and other women in the pageant’s hair and makeup room.”

For a sane person, it is apparent that a participant in the Miss USA pageant came there to be ogled and desired by multitudes of men. For a Puritan fanatic, “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully etc”, just looking lustfully (=ogling) is a sin. A Boston zealot circa 1650 would approve of the very modern persecution of lusting and ogling men.

The difference between enlightened de-Christianised American Democrats for Clinton in Vermont and a Fundamentalist Christian Republican for Trump in Mississippi is minor, in rationalisation of their feelings and actions. Both find ogling or flirting or courting – wrong, though they explain it differently. That is why American politicians commit suicide while being accused of some non-actionable non-offence, like lusting after a 17 year old girl some years ago.

It is the same in foreign relations. The Eastern Liberal descendants of the Puritans want to go and kill people abroad to save black women from being ravished by black men in Afghanistan, the Fundamentalists want to crush Babylon; in both cases they are motivated by messianic zeal and desire to transform the world.

It would be the best for the Americans to forget for a while about the Middle East, about Babylon, Israel and Gog and Magog. Perhaps Trump will achieve even that, by fully accepting the people’s will. At least, he did another step in undoing the unsustainable American Empire, and this is also to be welcomed.

In short, the Trump declaration has had many good effects. The US President can say, after Mephistopheles, “I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.”

We may even hope that Trump provided the coup de grâce to the Two-State paradigm, to the very idea of partition. Saeb Erekat, the leading Palestinian negotiator, said that now is the time to turn to One-State Solution, which is to be greatly preferred.

The One State won’t be “Jewish”, and this is fine with me. There is no French state for pure ethnic French, but France is the state for all its inhabitants; there is no Islamic State anymore, but Syria for all Syrians, whether Muslims, Christians or adherents of other faiths. There is no reason to have a Jewish state, either. Let it be Israel/Palestine for all its dwellers.

If it will cure American fascination with Zion, and fantasies of Rapture, that would be the best contribution of President Trump to mankind.

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