E-News & songs                                 March 8, 2018

Kazuo Miura     


Trump shakes up the Middle East (The Japan Times)

  1. 1.  Summary of the editorial and our conclusions

The editorial picked up Trump’s announcement that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  It explained the history of Jerusalem in Israel since the World War II and the status quo of the city viewed from government and religion. It also explained decisions of all major countries on the position of Jerusalem, i.e., resolutions by the U.N. Security Council announced that the status of Jerusalem should be settled among the parties involved.

We discussed the history of Israel and Jewish people as far back as the 10th century B.C. and looked back on the city of Jerusalem focusing especially on the geopolitical religious site. Besides, we tried to analyze President Trump’s behavior related to the case and strategy of his government. We came to the same conclusion as the editorial: it is Trump’s big win and it can enhance approval ratings and yet he gets big support for Senate election in Alabama and coming U.S. midterm election.

  1. 2.  Our understanding and additional analysis

Our understanding through the discussions, however, adds more detail based upon fact finding as follows.

(1)   Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem may become presidency legend after his resignation.

(2)   Major advantage of the announcement is to get political support from his base, Evangelical Christians, the Christian right and Jewish supporters in Israel and US as well. It might be an additional decisive factor that Jared Corey Kushner, husband of Trump’s daughter- Ivanka and Senior Advisor to the President is Jewish origin and that his wife converted her faith to Judaism lately.

(3)   His announcement may be expected to hide suspicion that he might be involved in getting help by web from Russia when US presidential election was held.

(4)   Historically in Jerusalem and nearby area Jewish Israelis have lived there for some three thousand years back, and even since 1850, foreign Jews emigrated to Israel from Eastern European countries and Russia. They bought their land from Palestinians peacefully by money. They did not invade the area by military power before 1947.

(5)   Substantially, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel since there exists US consulate. The US ambassador in Israel stays at the consulate where he/she conducts diplomatic activity, though the embassy itself is sited in Tel Aviv.

(6)   Saudi Arabia and Egypt – the most influential leaders in Middle East and US supporters (Sunni Muslim) are reluctant to admit the move against US for their own reasons. They are afraid of conflicts with Shiites in Syria, Iran, Jordan and Yemen. It may be true that violence will be contained and quickly subside because major Arabs may accept the US announcement as an established fact to contain and combat against Iran – most influential country of Shiites Muslim. Except several days after the announcement, no violence has been seen.

(7)   Trump also states that Washington has not reached any final decision on the borders of Jerusalem or the Israeli capital. Thus, his announcement has reserved some points as above and does not refer to the borders of Jerusalem.

(8)   China and Russia are calmly watching Trump. Trump lost leverage to be a mediator for Arabs due to the announcement. It is true that US is losing leadership for world peace. Consequently, he is distinguishing himself from his predecessors. He may continue to seek peace in his own way.

(9)   More interesting point raised by one of the members of our circle -E-News & Songs is that it is wise for us to keep good relations with Israel, because Jewish people have been outstandingly clever and prominent enough to develop astronomy, navigation, science as well as financial services useful to business management, particularly in banking, accounting and judicial fields.  According to his analysis, the world from colonial ages to the present time have been sequentially led by Portugal, Spain, Netherland, Britain and the United States. Among substantial leaders and authorities of these worldwide empires the Jewish people have been highly promoted. So strong are powers of Jewish people. It might be beneficial for Japan to get along with them honoring their historical economic skills and power.  Obiter, we once contributed to save thousands of Jewish refugees from Nazi through brave and proper action taken by Chiune Sugihara – vice consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania during the World War II. We have such a great relationship and eligible position to be much closer to them, don’t we?