NEWS & VIEWS
PRESIDENT Donald Trump claimed that his meeting with Korean Leader Kim Jon UN would bring peace in Korean Peninsula and Far East. But if he continues with his arrogance and gives a rough deal to other countries, it will remain a wishful thinking. In the past, he had been a bitter critic of Iran and North Korea, and had threatened to destroy their nuclear assets. He continues to pressurize Pakistan to do more, which has given tremendous sacrifices during Cold War, Afghan war and after joining war on terror. Before elections, Donald Trump as a presidential forerunner had vowed to stop helping its allies and wanted to withdraw funding to NATO and other forums.
During an interview with the CNN, he had said: “Although the US has traditionally provided military support to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany and South Korea, it may be time to change the existing policy.” In his speeches during election campaign he had denounced Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists; and he had also proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country. Donald Trump had campaigned against NATO and US military alliances in Asia, against current and planned free trade agreements, against international cooperation on climate change, against détente agreements with Cuba and Iran in the recent past, and a host of other international commitments and policies. In his inaugural speech Donald Trump maintained his stance taken during election campaign and said: “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.” He does not care for America’s friends and allies, and cares only for America.
Trump is drawing flak for his policies from EU countries. He is at loggerhead with them as well as with China on tariff issues. He is being criticized on his immigration policy, as the US government is separating families who seek asylum in the US by crossing the border illegally. Dozens of parents were being separated from their children each day – the children labelled “unaccompanied minors” and sent to government custody or foster-care, their parents labelled criminals and sent to jail. Between October 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, at least 2,700 children have been split from their parents. About 2000 of them were separated over the last six weeks from April 18 to May 31 – indicating that at present, an average of 45 children are being taken from their parents each day and placed in a camp. However, he had to reverse his policy on Wednesday under pressure from Republicans, Democrats and international community.
It has to be mentioned that Donald Trump’s ancestors came from a small village Kallstadt in western Germany; his grandfather Frederick Trump had left Germany for the United States in 1885. Of course, great majority of all whites is European-Americans followed by other countries. And what America is today is due to contribution of the immigrants. In a report titled Talent, Immigration and US Economic Competitiveness, authors Gordon H. Hanson and Matthew J. Slaughter wrote: “One quarter of U.S. high-technology firms established since 1995 have had at least one foreign-born founder. These new companies employ 450,000 people and generate more than $50 billion in sales. Immigrants or their children founded 40% of Fortune 500 companies.” Though initially Europeans were the settlers, but later talented people from all the continents have contributed to make it a super power.
The most controversial decision of President Trump was to move US Embassy to Jerusalem. Despite appeals from Arab and European leaders and the risk of anti-American protests and violence throughout the world, Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This outrageous act had ignited violence, stirred unrest across the region and destroyed any hopes of reviving the Mideast peace process. But Trump said that he invoked the Jerusalem Embassy Act of October 1995, which was passed to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Yet, the US had never endorsed the Jewish state’s claim of sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem since then, and believed its future was linked to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace agreement. However, all US Presidents since then had been issuing waivers after every six months because of the national security concerns. Anyhow, President Trump’s dangerous gambit has been criticized from left, right and centre.
The Palestinians want an independent State in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – areas Israel captured in 1967. On November 22, 1974, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3236 recognized the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in Palestine. Up to October 2014, 137 countries of the world had recognized Palestinian state. Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion on 18th November 2014, which read: “Parliament urges the government to recognize Palestine as a State. This recognition should be the consequence of a process negotiated between the parties that guarantees peace and security for both, the respect of the rights of the citizens and regional stability.” Sweden had formally recognized Palestinian State on October 30, 2014. After 1967 Arab-Israel war, more than five American Presidents had promised to get the UN resolutions implemented and Palestinians would get their State, but they had backtracked.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.