US President Donald Trump wants to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital?
During the presidential
campaign of President Trump, he had repeatedly promised to recognize Jerusalem
as Israel’s capital. On 06 December 2017, he declared that Jerusalem is
Israel’s capital. It was followed by the plan of transferring US embassy to
Jerusalem. This policy of president Trump outraged most of the Muslim countries
in the Middle East and the rest of the world even the American people. The
policy was denounced by most powerful countries and it also drew different
opinions with regard to its implication to Muslim nations. On the other hand,
Israeli prime minister applauded the policy of President Trump. As a result of
this declaration, conflicts between Israeli forces and Palestinian forces begun
to escalate. The relationship of Muslim countries with Israel and United State
The Trump administration says it
remains committed to the peace process and its decision does not affect
Jerusalem’s future borders or status. It says any credible future peace deal
will place the Israeli capital in Jerusalem, and ditching old policies is
needed to revive a peace process frozen since 2014. But even Israel’s closest
European allies have rejected that logic and say recognizing Israel’s capital unilaterally
risks inflaming violence and further wrecking the chance for peace.
This is a policy that may cause
conflicts around the world, hatred among people, or may even trigger another
There are plenty of explanations,
theories, and opinions that will elucidate the decision of President Trump in
declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The following theories, international
relation principles, and level of analysis will make us understand the reasons
of Trump’s decision.
The three (3) international relation principles that may help us
understand the policy of president Trump.
First, the dominance principle can
explain why Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This principle
emphasizes on establishing a power hierarchy. The United States of America
(USA) has been a super power and precisely Trump wanted to show the world that
USA is still a hegemon in today’s time. Trump is trying to portray that the
U.S. can decide anything because they are a hegemon. Making declaration that is
against everybody can be interpreted as power manipulation. The decision of
Trump may increase power of the United States in the Middle East.
Second, the reciprocity principle may
also describe the decision of President Trump. Reciprocity is all about give
and take or simply doing things that have mutual benefits. Declaring Jerusalem
as Israel’s capital may be advantageous to the Americans and the Jewish people.
Maybe Trump thinks that the U.S. will benefit to his policy in terms of
economic and security in the future. The history of the 6-day war of Israel
against the Arab nations was a concrete proof of reciprocity because of the support
United States. In return, the Israeli intelligence agency has also been helping
the U.S. intelligence agency until now. Maybe, president Trump likes to
continue this good rapport between Israel and the United States. For the Jewish
people, this policy is favorable for them because finally Jerusalem has been
recognized as their capital.
Lastly, the identity principle also may
explain the decision of Trump. This principle is simply talking about sharing
values and identity. The U.S. and Israel has been allies for many decades. They
have been friends for a long time and maybe this friendship pushed Trump to
declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to strengthen their friendship. They
also share the same kind of government system and this also may have influenced
the policy of Trump. These values may be the factors that pressed Trump’s
On the levels of analysis, the individual level of analysis, the
domestic level of analysis, the interstate level of analysis, and global level
of analysis may also explain the policy of president Trump.
First, the individual level of analysis
tells us about the character of the leader himself. President Trump is an
influential leader and everything he says is closely monitored around the
world. He is known of his unorthodox policies unlike his predecessors. He
usually utters words that are sometimes outrageous. These unique
characteristics of Trump may explain his decision. Maybe he thinks that making
such recognition will make him greater or maybe he just made such decision
because he simply wants it. The assumption of the press that Trump is sometimes
lunatic may explain also his controversial declaration. On this level of
analysis, we can conclude that the unpredictable personality of Trump may be a
factor in his policy.
Second, the domestic level of analysis
talks about internal pressures such as politics, organizations and the like.
The decision of Trump may be because of political pressures or because of
clamors of the American people. Maybe president Trump believes that recognizing
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will help him in future elections. The decision
of Trump may have caused by the public opinions or other organizations. His
policy may be an appeal to the evangelical Christian base.
Third, the interstate level of analysis focuses
on the interactions of states themselves, without regard to their internal
makeup or the particular individuals who lead them. The decision of Trump may
be attributed to the predominance of U.S. power. The Trump administration may
have believed that no other nations will interfere with the policy.
Finally, the global level of analysis seeks to explain international outcomes in terms of global trends and
forces that transcend the interactions of states themselves. The U.S. has been
fighting terrorism for decades and may be the Trump administration thought that
recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and transferring U.S. embassy to
Jerusalem will help in combatting the spread of terrorism. Israel’s
intelligence agency is one of the best agency in the world and has been helping
the U.S. ever since in their fight against terrorism. This policy of Trump
administration may have influenced by their fight against terrorism.
There are different theories in international relations that will
help us understand Trump’s policy. Using these theories, we will try to explain
the possible reasons of president Trump.
The first theory is the realist theory.
Realism or political realism is a school of thought that explains international
relations in terms of power. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is about
power. President Trump is trying to influence the world through his policy.
This is one way of achieving power in the Middle East because maybe the U.S.
considers Israel as a gateway to achieve power in the region. This theory
suggests that rulers use power to advance their interests. This is exactly what
the United States wants because they have to protect their own interests.
Declaring Jerusalem as capital of Israel is a show of America’s hegemonic
The second theory is the liberal
theories. Liberal theories believe that peace is attainable. President Trump
may have perceived such declaration as a solution for the unending tension in
the region especially between Israel and Palestine. Trump may have thought that
peace and cooperation of the Arab nations and Israel shall be attained through
The third concept is the Kant and
peace. This theory explains how peace and cooperation are
possible. Under this concept are reciprocity principle
and trade as promoter of peace. The decision of Trump may have influenced by
the reciprocity and trade. Maybe Trump thought that peace and cooperation in
the region shall be enhanced through his proclamation. He may have believed
that conflicts between Arabs and Jewish shall be minimized by his decision.
Trade may have also influenced his decision because may be he foresaw that
trade between America and other nations shall be improved. Trump may have
thought that there will be a stronger interdependence between America and Israel
with his policy.
Fourth concept is the collective
security. This pertains to the formation of a broad alliance of most
major actors in an international system for the purpose of jointly opposing
aggression by any actor. Israel has been a longtime ally of the United States
and for the latter to do an advantageous decision for the former is a sign of
reinforcing their alliance. During the 6-day war in 1967, the support of the
United States played important role for the success of the Israel Defense Force
(IDF). Trump may have realized that Israel is a strategic country that may help
America in times of aggression.
The policy of president Trump declaring Jerusalem as
Israel’s capital is perhaps the most controversial issue in the international
arena in the present time. It is a policy that is against the majority of the
world even America’s closest friends. In
fact, the Israel-Palestine conflict had worsened because of the declaration. The
Arab countries also vowed to protect their Palestinian brothers against Israel and
America. There are dangerous implications of this in the future if this policy
will not be changed. The different theories, principles, and levels of analysis
in international relations may shed light to the reasons of the policy but the result
is obvious-it created more conflict and chaos in the Middle East. For the Arabs,
this is a one-sided policy because president Trump did not consider the effects
of his proclamation to the Arab nations. This assertion may create another war
between Arab countries against Israel and United States.
President Trump may have good intentions in his policy
but he should have taken consideration the aspirations of the international arena
which is to ensure peace in the world. Making such declaration will just build conflict
between nations especially in the Middle East. The Trump administration should
accept the resolution of the United Nations to withdraw this policy. Trump’s
decision may favor Israel and America however, the decision also creates their enemies.
I believe that the best option for president Trump is to follow the resolution of
the United Nations to avoid conflict in the Middle East.