A series of Gulf and Middle East-related developments suggest that resolving some of the Middle East’s most debilitating and devastating crises while ensuring that efforts to pressure Iran do not perpetuate the mayhem may be easier said than done. They also suggest that the same is true for keeping US and Saudi interests aligned.
Tag Archive: Trump
President Donald Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem on 6 December 2017 gave rise to instant and almost universal condemnation. Western governments saw it as an unnecessary provocation, guaranteed to set back the prospects of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and likely to generate violent protests in the Arab world. Muslim condemnation was immediate. Although notably muted from Sunni Arab states, it was at its strongest from Turkey, Iran and the Palestinian Authority. At a specially convened meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas were vehement in their…
From early on in his bid for the presidency Donald Trump was intrigued by the possibility of brokering a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. On the campaign trail back in February 2016 he declared “I will give it one hell of a shot. I would say if you can do that deal, you can do any deal.” Later, as he earmarked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to lead the peace-making effort, he said: “I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians. That would be such a great achievement.” There is little doubt that…
Cracks have appeared in a Saudi-led, US-backed anti-terrorist political and military alliance days after US President Donald J. Trump ended a historic visit to Saudi Arabia. The cracks stem from Qatar’s long-standing fundamental policy differences with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates about Iran and the role of political Islam.
“With the election of a right-wing populist president strongly appealing to racist, xenophobic, and misogynist elements in society, it is hardly surprising that anti-Semitism episodes flared up right after Donald Trump was elected in 2016.”
Never mind the traditional first hundred days. Within US President Trump’s first twenty days in office the broad outlines of his policy for the Middle East had emerged. It clearly has two over-riding objectives – to defeat Islamic State (IS) and to cut Iran down to size. In the Trump world view, both IS and Iran represent clear and present dangers to the stability, values and way of life of the civilized world in general, and the US in particular.
White supremacy swept to power the day Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. His most ardent supporters championed him across the world. For them, Trump signalled the resurgence of white male dominance and they weren’t ashamed to celebrate it. Their influence is growing. Following Trump’s executive order to ban citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US – a decree overturned by federal courts – white nationalists took to Reddit to express their joy. Trump, it seemed, was the real deal. One user even said that he was so proud of Trump that he couldn’t possibly “raise his…
Where the Middle East is concerned – as in so many areas of policy, both domestic and foreign – President Obama and President-Elect Trump are poles apart. It is only slowly, but with growing clarity over the eight years of his presidency, that the political assumptions underlying Obama’s Middle East policy, and the strategic objectives shaped by them, have emerged.
The short answer to the question: Where does one start? If things in the Middle East and North Africa were not complicated enough, answering the question has been made even more difficult by the rise of Donald Trump, and the fact that no one, maybe not even he, has an idea about what his policy towards the various crises in the Middle East and North Africa will be, or what his attitude might be towards individual countries in the region.