since Trump became President of the United States he has ignored both U.S. and
A few months ago, National Security
Adviser John Bolton surprisingly announced that if the International Criminal
Court (ICC) investigated any wrongdoing by American soldiers in Afghanistan,
the U.S. government would ban ICC Judges from entering the United States and
would sanction their assets in U.S. banks.
This represents the height of
arrogance and flouting of international law. Instead of serving as a model of a
civilized democratic country to the rest of the world, the Trump administration
is ignoring and violating several international treaties.
While it is common knowledge that
“might is right” in international relations, no previous U.S. President has
such flagrantly disregarded the rule of law.
Pres. Trump’s recent actions in
foreign policy are even more alarming. He has never taken seriously the
complexity of the Arab-Israeli conflict. On the contrary, he has ignorantly
announced that it is easy to solve the Middle East problem and has
irresponsibly appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has no experience in
diplomacy and knows nothing about the Middle East, to be in charge of the
Arab-Israeli peace plan.
Last year, in another unwise and
dangerous decision, Pres. Trump moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem which is “tantamount to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over land
that is captured in the Six-Day War in 1967,” according to Professor of Law
Eugene Kontorovich. In other words, the move to Jerusalem is a violation of
Last week, Pres. Trump shocked the
world when he tweeted that the Syrian territory of Golan Heights, occupied by
Israel since 1967, is Israeli territory: “After 52 years it is time for the
United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,
which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel
and Regional Stability.” Pres. Trump signed a proclamation on March 25, 2019,
with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing next to him in the
White House, recognizing the Syrian Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
Can anyone be so flippant as to make
such a grave announcement in a tweet? Just about every nation, except for
Israel, condemned Pres. Trump’s unwise announcement. European Union countries,
including Germany and France, criticized Pres. Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.
Iran, Turkey and Egypt also sharply criticized the U.S. President. As expected,
Syria declared that it will recover the Golan Heights with “all available
The Golan Heights is one of the
contentious territories that has been subject to serious negotiations between
Syria and Israel, as part of the overall peace plan between Israel and Arab
states. Announcing that Golan Heights belongs to Israel destroys what little
remains of the United States claim that it is an impartial mediator. Rather
than help the parties move towards peace, the United States has once again
taken an unwise initiative that has aggravated the situation.
A German government spokesperson was
quoted in The Independent newspaper saying, Berlin “rejected unilateral steps”
to redraw national boundaries, adding: “If national borders should be changed
it must be done through peaceful means between all those involved.”
The French foreign ministry stated
that it did not recognize the Israeli annexation [in 1981] of the Golan Heights
and that Mr. Trump’s statement is “contrary to international law.”
Palestinians quickly blasted Pres.
Trump’s decision, saying it undermined the chance for peace in the region.
Palestinian spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said any action taken on the
decision would be “a violation of the UN resolutions, have no value whatsoever
and would remain mere ink on paper.” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian
Liberation Executive Committee, called it an “assault on international law.”
Pres. Trump has foolishly undermined
Israel’s safety by provoking all Arabs and Muslims against Israel and the
United States rather than taking measures to calm the situation and find a
To complicate matters further, Pres.
Trump’s controversial announcement came shortly before the April 9 Israeli
elections which will determine whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will
retain his post. The U.S. action is not only misguided but also an interference
in the elections of a foreign country, boosting the chances of victory for
Netanyahu, who faces indictment for corruption. At a time when the U.S. is
accusing Russia for interfering in the 2016 American presidential elections,
the U.S. itself is blatantly interfering in Israel’s elections!
And for those Armenians who naively
expect Pres. Trump to recognize Artsakh as Armenian territory, just like he
recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, I hate to disappoint them by
stating that Armenia does not have Israel’s political clout in Washington.
Secondly, Armenians should not validate the unjust handover of the occupied
Syrian territory of Golan Heights to Israel by comparing it to Artsakh -- an
historical Armenian land given to Azerbaijan by Stalin.
Armenians should also be concerned
that Pres. Trump’s flawed argument jeopardizes the recovery of Western Armenian
lands occupied by Turkey. Saying that after 52 years of occupation, Golan
Heights belongs to Israel, Pres. Trump is undermining the Armenian claim to
Western Armenia since it has been occupied by Turkey much longer than that! No
matter how long those territories remain occupied, they will always belong to
Armenians just as the Golan Heights belongs to Syria!