On his article “Risk and reward in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” for The Interpreter, the Liberal Party member of the Australian Parliament Dave Sharma affirms that “Donald Trump’s unconventional approaches may be just what are needed.”
The author defends that a unilateral decision in a controversial international issue without the support from any other major nation is “not disruptive” and place themselves “in a unique position to deliver a peace agreement”. Intriguing affirmation coming from a diplomat.
Mr Sharma is a former Australian Ambassador to Israel (2013-2017), ex chairman of the Israeli technology company Shekel Brainweigh Ltd. and former representative of other Israeli business. The diplomat got into politics elected to the federal parliament representing the electorate of Wentworth, home for the majority of the jewish community in Sydney. The candidate moved to the area a few weeks before the election.
Actually there’s nothing unconventional in Trump’s approach to the Middle-East diplomacy. The Republican President is simply trying to apply the golden rule “whoever has the gold makes the rules” and once again in the history of USA foreign affairs enforcing a resolve to protect their interests.
In fact the moving of the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has not “achieved international recognition”, since there was more controversy and objections than endorsement, and no other country followed the initiative of Israel’s main ally. The author also ignores that the Trump administration provocatively calls it Jerusalem Embassy, and not West Jerusalem, where it is specifically located.
Mr Sharma’s conclusion that “in a conflict as intractable as the Israeli–Palestinian one, this may be what is needed” is also puzzling, as it is widely recognised that that conflict is “intractable” exactly because of one-sided decisions such as this one. It also contradicts the many agreement attempts that the USA has been the promoter or participant.
Affirming that the Israelis “know they are unlikely to ever get a more favourable USA administration”, the author somehow recognises that a peace agreement will be practically impossible during the government of Trump, as the Palestinians surely would know that waiting for a more favourable administration would be a more wise option.
And among many countries, alliances and organisations the Palestinians certainly won’t be the only ones waiting.
Jorge Bechara ©
The Interpreter, 15 May 2018