Sunday,19 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1321, (24 - 30 November 2016)
Sunday,19 August, 2018
Issue 1321, (24 - 30 November 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Trump’s dilemma

Trump was elected on challenging the political establishment. But that establishment is run behind the scenes by the Jewish lobby, to whom Trump pledged effective allegiance, writes Mohamed Salmawy

Al-Ahram Weekly

It is not true that Trump won the battle for the US presidency. He has not even fought it yet, since the real battle will begin when he enters the White House in January. At that point, he will be facing a predicament of his own making and that he will find difficult to resolve. It will be impossible for him to reconcile that electoral pledge he made to challenge the political establishment that dominates the country and that other pledge to be so completely and thoroughly pro-Israeli that he will recognise occupied Jerusalem as the “eternal capital of the Jewish state”.

The institutions that dominate political life in the US, namely the agencies of the deep state and the financial and media institutions that support them, are controlled and directed by the Jewish lobby for which Trump has declared his support.

So how can he challenge those establishments when at the very heart of them reside groups that express Israeli interests and that have been working for years to use these establishments to serve these interests?

Since the moment he first fielded himself as a potential president, Trump has stressed that he was not waging an electoral campaign but rather leading a new “movement” in American society that rejects the control of the “political establishment” over people’s lives. This movement, he said, sought to empower ordinary American citizens whose hopes no one listens to anymore, to liberate them from the grip of that establishment which, as he put it, “only serves its own interests”.

Trump has accused the political establishment, which he sees as epitomised by Hillary Clinton, of corruption and failure to realise the demands of the people. He said that he would work to replace that corrupt establishment with a new government controlled by the people. His presidency would not just be a term in office for a new presidential administration but the time when the American people would “take back control” of their government. In one of his campaign rallies he said, “This election will determine whether we remain a free nation or only the illusion of democracy, [which is] in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests, rigging the system… And our system is rigged.

This is the truth and you know it, and I know it, and they know it and the whole world knows it.”

The US media came into Trump’s crosshairs as one of the institutions that supports the ruling establishment. “Let’s be clear on one thing: The corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They’re a political special interest,” he said, adding that the media will pursue the establishment agenda “at any cost, at any price, no matter how many lives they destroy. For them, it’s a war. And for them, nothing at all is out of bounds… They will lie, lie, lie.”

Now was the time for the US to free itself from the grip of those “crooked” institutions and “only the people” can take back the country once again, he said.

Trump’s rhetoric is the key to his popularity that enabled him to defeat his rival who represented those institutions. This comes as no news. The Arabs and others shouted themselves hoarse warning against the danger of the man. We are the ones who are perpetually accused of being prey to that backwards attitude that explains all political developments as parts of a secret conspiracy. But then comes Trump who built his entire campaign around exposing a conspiracy woven by the institutions of the ruling establishment, and yet no one accuses him of conspiracy theorising. In fact, he won the support of the masses who found in him a voice that expressed their grievances and that promised a revolution against that conspiracy, something they did not find in any of the previous candidates.

Yet, it is impossible to confront the tentacles of that political establishment without confronting the Zionist lobby that controls it. But at this level, Trump has stated loud and clear that there will be no holds barred in his support for Israel and that he will go where no other US president has gone before in this regard. He has vowed that as soon as he takes office he will move the US embassy to Jerusalem, and officially recognise that city as the “eternal capital” of Israel. Also, he never said a word throughout his entire campaign about the need for Israel to withdraw from the Arab territories it wrongfully occupied in breach of all international conventions. These occupied territories include Jerusalem which under the UN partition resolution was to be internationalised. But Israel occupied the Western sector of that city in the war of 1948 and then occupied the eastern portion as well in 1967. But Trump chose, instead, to criticise Palestinians. He vowed to halt what he called “the daily killing of Jews by Palestinians”, he rejected the term “martyrs” when applied to “terrorists” and he told Palestinians to stop teaching spite and hatred against Jews in schools and mosques.

So, once he enters the White House and people begin to ask him to make true his electoral pledges, Trump will find himself in an unsolvable dilemma. If he acts on his campaign pledge to take on the political, financial and media establishments, he will inevitably clash with the agencies that control those establishments, namely the Jewish lobbies which, throughout the electoral campaign, supported his rival Hillary Clinton. All other government institutions also supported Clinton, including the military production organisations. If Trump adheres to his campaign pledge regarding his total support for Israel, he will not be able to confront those political institutions that serve Israeli interests.

This is the predicament in which Trump has landed himself. Contending with it will be the real battle that he will encounter from the first day he assumes the reins of power in Washington. The electoral battle will seem far easier in comparison because in the coming one he can only emerge defeated in both cases. Either he will have to back down on his pledge to challenge the political establishment and, thereby, become in the eyes of those who voted for him just like all other presidents who preceded him, and another part of that establishment, or he will have to lock horns with the establishment and the Jewish lobby behind it, at which point he will not be able to remain in the White House for a single day. He will either be ousted, and there are legal means in the US system to make this possible, or perhaps killed, and there are precedents in American history that indicate that this is generally the fate of presidents who defy the status quo.

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