Donald Trump: Israeli’s Friend or Foe?

Guest Columnist: Issa Aremu


With friends like the 45th President of United States of America, Donald Trump, Israel possibly needs not worry about the danger posed by Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement. Gaza is firmly under the heels of Hamas which unapologetically remains hard put to recognise the state of Israel.

On Wednesday December 6th, Trump acted true to character as a renegade president of the US by unilaterally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. He even dared to announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem! Of course there is already a bagful of his renegade policies: he’s set to repeal Obamacare, reneged on the climate treaty, set to reverse the deal with Iran, reversed Cuba-America detente, ad infintum.
No country parades such as a rogue president mid-way in the first term. True to expectations, amidst global outrage which trailed Trump’s diplomatic provocation, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya declared the US decision on Jerusalem as a “a declaration of war against Palestinians”. He called for a new “Intifada”.

The critical question begging for an answer is: what manner of a friend of Israel is Donald Trump, who through sheer political brigandage pushes Israel back to the brink of intifada (a Palestinian uprising manifesting in a series of violent acts and attacks against the Israeli occupation lasting from December 1987 to 2014 in which both the Palestinians and Israelis buried their dead)?
A received African wisdom states that “a close friend can become a close enemy”. With friends like Trump, Israel does not need to worry about Hamas leader Ismail Haniya. This is another paradox of the Middle East intractable conflict that both the enemies and so-called friends of Israel achieve the same goal: keeping the state of Israel in perpetual war of attrition! Reading through the 1,250 plus words of Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel reminds me of the opening sentence by Simon Seberg Montefiore in his introduction to his best selling “Speeches that Changed the World” ( 2005).

According to Simon, a “great speech does not just capture the truth of the era; it can also capture the big lie”. Trump’s speech of December the 6th was comparable to Adolf Hitler’s of September 1938 in the sense that they both captured the “big lie” alluding to world peace when as agent provocateurs they both verbally worked for global war.

According to Trump, his predecessors had invoked “waivers” refusing to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem or to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Apparently, Trump did not invent the idea of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, contrary to his verbal appropriation and empty grandstanding. Why should Trump be holier than the pope, even when we have just witnessed many devilish details – tear gassing, stone-throwing, shootings and killings – in the aftermath of his unthinking, self serving diplomatic adventure?

Former American presidents with an eye on peace in a war-torn region were commendably more measured in applying the controversial 1995 American-Jerusalem Embassy Act than a trigger happy President Trump bent on diverting attention from his domestic woes. So much for his “courage”!
Elie Wiesel, a celebrated writer and Jewish survivor of Nazi Germany had warned us about the perils of indifference. It is refreshing the world has risen in unison to condemn President Trump for further reinventing violence in Jerusalem and almost putting on hold the peace process in the Middle East.

According to Pope Francis, Jerusalem’s status should be preserved and needless conflict avoided. At his weekly general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke with a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. “Jerusalem is a unique city,” he said, “is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.”

In his remarks, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, conveyed an international diplomatic rebuke: “Any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians… Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides. In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution.”

He added: “There is no Plan B. Only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who hopes to politically profit from the domestic Palestinian red-herring, (just like Trump!) hailed Trump’s plans to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most peace loving Israelis are not as excited as Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump. For instance, notable Israeli politicians such as Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On, a serving member of Knesset from 1999 to 2017, observed that moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could enflame the entire region. She warned that such a unilateral move could distance peace. Moving the embassy could serve Netanyahu but could brig about an unnecessary explosion.”

Ayam Odeh, Chairman of the Joint List, said: “Trump is a pyromaniac who could set the entire region on fire with his madness,” adding that the US presidents’s grandstanding “proves decisively that the United States cannot remain the sponsor or arbitrator in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians”. The African Union Commission also rightly questioned the United State’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, noted with deep concern the decision of the United States Government to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. According to the AU, the decision “will only increase tensions in the region and beyond and further complicate the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. He reiterated the solidarity of the African Union with the Palestinian people and its support to their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The chairperson spoke the mind of Africans in calling for a Middle East solution “based on the existence of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security, within the framework of the relevant African Union and United Nations pronouncements”.

It is really true that bad friends like Trump will prevent Israel from having good friends. By the way, one searches in vain for Nigeria’s position on Trump’s latest, reckless diplomatic adventure in Jerusalem. It’s time President Muhammed Buhari walked the talk at the 2017 UN General Assembly in September on key foreign policy issues such as the Middle East crisis. Increasingly, Nigeria’s voice is lost on topical international issues. At best, Nigerian foreign policy has become reactionary, reacting than setting the agenda for genuine global discourse.
Lest we forget, the late Nelson Mandela rightly observed that “we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

•Aremu is a member of the National Institute, Kuru Jos.

  • Tea

    Are u quoting HAMAS and making a case for them? REALLY! Define HAMAS and what they stand for Mr. Aremu.
    Mr. trump is keeping to his campaign promises to the American people and Israel. Israel isn’t afraid of war or the complains from their ever hostile neighbours who have vowed to eliminate the Jews come what may over the years so WHAT IS NEW.
    Mecca is to the Muslims what Jerusalem is to Christians, abeg pack well.

  • moribund9ja


    Aremu or whatever you call youself , you have only succeeded to pen your opinion here which unfortunately is a complete pack of trash.

    If you don’t know about Israel and her history just keep your mouth tightly shut.

    The people you call Palestinians who are they? Those who are penning these trash all over the place have never cared to refer to history. Who are Palestinians?

    A historically migrant Arabs, confirmed strangers, an authentically “invented people” according to former US Speaker Gingrich, a contraption created by international community and labelled “Palestinians”.

    Going back to the root , who are they? They are pure strangers, illegal immigrants for that matter.

    Even Islamic Koran clearly stated that entire Israel belonged to the Jews… Sura 5 verse 21.

    Jerusalem too is the city of David.. 2 Sam 5: 6 – 8, 1Chronicles 11: 4 – 9.

    You must understand the issues from the historical point of view before penning trash or citing useless and stupid UN resolutions that is only good on papers they’re written.

    Jerusalem remains the holy city of all religions but the Eternal capital city of Israel. Nothing can change this!

    It is unthinkable for these Arab strangers to share any single part of the Holy City as their capital.

    If the whole world is hypocritically sitting on the fence perennially about the political status of Jerusalem, Trump has jumped on one side. So why the noise? No noise please.

    What Israel should do now is to formally revoke in entirety the so-called two-states solution peace process and withdraw from it, reclaim all lands in Israel including West Bank and Gaza and declare these Arabs illegal immigrants.


  • Netanyahu

    This aremu is a Nigerian islamic terrorist. Who cares what you think about Israel or Donald Trump? Your illiterate president who is a known jihadist of monkeys and baboons sect killed over 500 shiite muslims in Kaduna and buried them in a mass grave and cleaned his mouth. He also approved the killing of over 250 young youth coppers of southern origin serving in the north in 2011. His foot soldiers called foolani terrorist herdsmen go about raping, killing and destroying people’s farms and houses. What have you written against all this? Get out you boko haram commander.

    • moribund9ja

      Very disgusting columnist..
      I hope ThisDay will do the needful.

  • Chym


    In 1947, the United Nations devised a plan to divide British mandate Palestine into three entities: a Jewish state, an Arab state and Jerusalem, which would have a unique status as an internationally controlled city.

    Jewish leaders accepted the plan, but the Arab world rejected it.

    Following the British withdrawal the next year, a war broke out in which Israel seized the west of the city, while Jordanians and Palestinians took the east.

    In the next conflict in 1967, Israel seized control of east Jerusalem and later annexed it, in moves never recognised by the international community.

    The predominantly Palestinian population in the east lives under full Israeli control but cannot vote in parliamentary elections.

    Israeli, Palestinian views

    Israel views the city as its undivided capital, with a Tuesday statement saying the city “is the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and Israel’s capital since 70 years.”

    The internationally recognised Palestinian government sees the eastern part as the capital of their future state.

    Islamist movement Hamas, which controls Gaza and does not recognise Israel, calls Jerusalem the Palestinian capital.

    United States

    In 1995, the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act calling on the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognising it as Israel’s capital.

    The law is binding on the US government but a clause allowed presidents to postpone its application for six months on “national security interests”.

    Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama re-ratified the clause every six months.

    Trump reluctantly renewed it for the first time in June 2017, despite promising during his campaign to move the embassy.

    But six months on, his decision is due.

    International community

    The position of the majority of the international community has been largely unchanged for decades.

    Essentially Jerusalem is viewed as an issue for final status negotiations between the two sides.

    United Nations statements suggest, however, that the city could remain the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state in any deal.

    The vast majority of countries have largely followed this line.

    All embassies are based in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, but most countries simply do not specify what they consider to be Israel’s capital.

    Thirteen countries did have embassies in Jerusalem until 1980, however, when a UN resolution called upon them to remove them.

    Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Netherlands, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela then shifted their embassies.


    Earlier this year Israeli media trumpeted a Russian government statement that for the first time specifically said “we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”.

    This appeared to be a shift in policy position and was hailed by some Israeli politicians, though it had little practical implication.

    The statement also recognised “east Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state”.

    • moribund9ja

      Good history

  • Chym

    No country parades such as a rogue president mid-way in the first term…..according to Mr Aremu.

    Oh really? Is Buhari your president not what you called Trump?

    Why won’t AU say nonsense? The person who released the statement from AU is not a Muslim mullah by name Moussa?

    Mr Aremu the hypocrite, where were you when your visionless incompetent illiterate Buhari sent the military to a peaceful town at Afara-ukwu in Umuahia and they killed innocent civilians and up till now we don’t know the whereabouts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his parents?

    Is Nigeria not marginalizing the Biafrans? Why haven’t they conducted a referendum for them Biafrans?

    Whether you Afonja, Hamas recognises Isreal or not is non of those of us who want peace and who know that Jerusalem belong to the Jews business. Remember that Isreal have won their wars.

    • William Norris

      Your sentiments are understandable. I must still give you a few words of caution, with the assumption that you’re Igbo.

      Those like you who believe in Biafra AND link it to some imagined cultural, ancestral or religious link to Jews or Judaism are doing yourselves a great disservice. The Jews are a great, intelligent and hard working people who don’t care one bit about your claims to kinship with them.

      At a point the Israeli Embassy in Nigeria felt compelled to issue a statement denying that the Igbo are Jewish.

      Seriously, why are you so desperate to appropriate another culture? Why not improve and modernize your own ethnic and national Igbo culture? All the tribes in Nigeria can be excused for importing everything from toothpicks to 2nd hand clothing to chicken, but PLEASE can’t you even do the PSYCHIC WORK and make you own unique cultural mark o n your own continent? It just requires you to apply your MIND. You surely can’t be bereft of that, too!

      When the British came the Igbo raced to become Christians in order to claim so me sort of affinity with the Colonial Power. The Civil War happened in 1967 and the British spurned you and sided with Buhari and his people.

      Have you noted the recent praise showered on Buhari by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

      Learn from history. Israel will NEVER support the Igbo quest for freedom or autonomy in any way. They don’t care about you. I can tell you the Israelis will never antagonize the Federal Government because there’s always a possibility of friendship between Abuja and Jerusalem.

      Saudi Arabia & Israel are now allies. Read this and be wise:

      So please be a little circumspect. Start loving your real self first before worshipping others. You’re not Christian, you’re not Jewish.

      You’re Igbo.

      • Chym

        Your Igbophobia and your hate for Igbo is understandable, just like how you fathers conspired with other Nigerians to commit genocide against Igbo.

        I never claimed to be Jew in my write-up above but you now wanted to put words in my mouth. Anyway that is by the way.

        What am saying is, what’s good for goose is also good for gander. So Afonja,Nigeria hypocrites who are now condemning Isreal should keep their mouths shut.

        • William Norris

          Igbophobia? 😂

          My larger point is that ALL YOU AFRICANS need to stop taking Panadol for other people’s headache.

          Good you didn’t claim to be Jewish. I’m sure you claim to be Christian though…which is the real basis of your sentiments here.

          Have a good day.

          • onyema22ohaka

            And he is very right about factory fitted Igbophobia as shown by your above assertion without even reading his write-up.

          • William Norris

            You’re stupid.

          • omnia1

            Your apparent philosophical confusion (which you seem to think of as ”sophisticated African metaphysics”) will disappear once you grasp this reality: while God is always in earnest; he is never in a hurry. Think about it!
            Christ is the truth. Only fools reject the truth. The truth is self-vindicating, but it may not happen in your time frame.

            Cowardice asks the question – is Christianity safe? Expediency asks the question – is Christianity politic? Vanity asks the question – is Christianity popular? But conscience asks the question – is Christianity true? And there comes a time when one must take a position not because it is safe, or politic, or popular; but one must take it because it is true.

      • FrNinja

        And you norris are?

        • William Norris

          Have you bought me any Xmas presents with your MTN profits?

          • FrNinja

            I have a box of oreo cookies all packaged and ready for delivery.

          • William Norris


            I know extorting Nigerians made a lot of profits for you and your White capitalist partners at MTN.

            A few cookies is the least you can do for poor folks like me.

  • Fowad

    As soon as Donald Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians trooped out to reject that American policy. The policy has a symbolic significance on the Palestinian people, and they responded as expected. Nigerians like to view issues with their religious lenses. To them, it all depends on which part of Israel-Palestinian affair best represent their religious beliefs.
    in fact, the US declaration of Jerusalem as capital city of Israel has deeper meanings for us in Africa. Just as the Palestinians are determined to protect their heritage and the inheritance of their forefathers, Africans should do the same.
    Africans just let go of everything to the White Man.

  • Olisa

    Too many layers of hubris that don’t even stack up well.

    the US Congress passed a law in 1995 called the Jerusalem Embassy Act which described Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said it should not be divided. This law required the US embassy to be moved to Jerusalem by 1999.

    Bill Clinton declared in February 1992, at the height of the Democratic primaries, that he supported recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a step that would alter U.S. policy.
    Later, during the general election campaign, Clinton attacked President George H.W. Bush for having “repeatedly challenged Israel’s sovereignty over a united Jerusalem.” He promised that he and running mate Al Gore would “support Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”

    “Something will happen when I’m president: as soon as I take office I will begin the process of moving the US ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.” – George W Bush jr , 2000
    “Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable.
    “The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper — but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognised and defensible borders.
    “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided. I have no illusions that this will be easy.” Barack Obama 2008

    “For over two decades American presidents have talked the good talk on Israel but when it’s come to taking action, they’ve hesitated and kicked the can down the road instead of standing with our ally and recognizing its right to call Jerusalem its capital.”

    Today, President Donald Trump did what his predecessors didn’t have the courage to do, In so doing, he set two great examples for us — how to make good on promises and how to treat your friends.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
    Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Anything more comes from the evil one. –Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:37)

    Trump is not a product of Afonja Political Culture(APC) where a “Yes” could have fifty shades of meanings. His “yes” means “yes” so far.

    Mr. Aremu face your front. Nigeria does not have any meaningful global standing and Buhari is of no strategic global value to anyone. A confrontation with Trump will be disastrous for his “administration”. We still have the questions of referendum, restructuring, secession hanging over our head.

    • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

      Truths and facts are so so easy to read.

    • Chym

      Thanks bro

    • Thompson Iyeye

      Your point that people should let their yes be yes, and their no be no, cannot be faulted. For too long, and all over the world, have politicians said things they do not mean, just to get votes during elections. When elections are over, they do something else or do nothing as a matter of fact.

      Having said so however, politicians also should be circumspect, as each of their actions do have profound repercussions on human beings both in their countries and the world at large. If such actions are likely to result in the spilling of blood, particularly of innocent people, it may be prudent to reconsider the yes or the no.

      • Olisa

        Due respect sir, this as nothing to do with careful moral circumspection but everything to do with corruption in high places- lobbyism, and vested business interest by western business and political elites. Israel is a tiny but self-reliant 1st world country that excels in high-tech and agriculture. The Arab Gulf states on the other hand are mostly stupendously rich third-world countries that survive on imports, with most of their service industries and security contract run by the west. So it makes more “business sense” to protect the interest of the Arabs that that of Israel.

        Leaders of the muslim world know the truth about the ownership of Jerusalem but are desperate for it nevertheless. They don’t care for the Saudi, Jordanian, and Egyptian migrants known as the ‘Palestinians’. Its about fulfilling Mohammed’s prophecy of owning Jerusalem- believe it or not.

        • Thompson Iyeye

          In as much as one would indeed acknowledge corruptions plays a major role in the issue (see my comment to the article), the issue of morality cannot be discounted outright, given the injustice of the Israeli and Palestinian situation. Morality becomes an issue as long as there is injustice.

          Secondly, Palestinians are not Saudi, Jordanian and Egyptian migrants. They are descendants of the Philistines who have always been at loggerhead with the Israel, since biblical times, when both parties inhabited the region in question. You sure remember the David and Goliath story. Goliath was a Philistine. If any thing, it was the Jews that had to return to the region in the last century, after they were driven out by the Romans.

          Nevertheless, there is enough to make the two paeties live side by side in peace, only if there will be a honest peace broker. That is what is vitally missing, and declarations such as the one by trump is unhelpful, even if he chooses to call a spade a spade.

          • moribund9ja

            Confidently ignorant..

            The so-called Palestinians, a contraption created by UN are historically proven offsprings of migrant Arabs of early centuries into Israel.
            They have no connection with the ancient biblical Philistines.

            Stop spreading your ignorance here.

          • Daniel Obior

            You are invited to simply google Philistine and you will find the connection between Philistine and Palestine.

          • moribund9ja

            There were historical disagreements among old testament biblical scholars whether the name Palestine etymologically metamorphosed from the Biblical pagan Philistine which has not been resolved.. Palestine is ancient Israel.

            But the point here is that the offsprings of early centuries migrant Arabs designated today by UN as ” Palestinians” have no historical or ancestral connection with the extinct biblical pagan philistines.

            These are migrants from Arab peninsula. They are offsprings of pre-medieval Arab peninsula migrants into Israel.
            Do you understand?

          • Daniel Obior

            No, I do not understand because you are not making sense. Americans today were mainly migrants from Europe (Ireland, Britain, Italy, Poland, etc) and Africans (mainly slaves). Does that make them less American? What then is this your wrongly placed obsession about Palestinians being migrants? If your argument is to be stretched, are present day Jews in Israel not migrants from Egypt in biblical times, and also from Europe in the 20th century. Does that make them less Israelis? Ancestors of both present day Palestinians and Jews have lives in that disputed region fighting each other. To claim one of the two did not exist is preposterous. What the world badly need is peace between those two antagonists. Trump’s declaration is not helpful in this regard.

          • Thompson Iyeye

            Learn to curb your emotions, young man. To refer to a group,of human being as contraption is most unfortunate, more so as you are clearly ignorant of facts. If you are able to clear your head of your sentiments, then you may begin to understand the facts presented to you by Daniel, which I full agree with.

    • moribund9ja

      It appears that Aremu is from another planet.. Writing rubbish.

  • Thompson Iyeye

    Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, certainly is most unhelpful in the advancement of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. But it cannot be seen as more than a comparably small wrong against the Palestinians, only perhaps amplified by the despicable man Trump himself is.

    The Palestinians have long been dished the wrong end of the stick not only by The United States in the name of supporting her ally Israel, but by the entire world.
    – why would the state of Israel be created by a declaration against the wish of the Palestinians, yet a Palestinian state cannot be created unless it is by mutual agreement with Israel?
    – why has the world done nothing concrete against Israel’s occupation and expansion of settlements which is rendering a future Palestinian state impossible?
    – why would Israel have access to all types of sophisticated weapons including nuclear bomb and yet Palestinians are barred by the United Nations from having access to arms? There will be less appetite for war when the two adversaries are reasonably matched militarily. The United States and Soviet Union attested to this during the cold war era, and still applicable today. A situation whereby Israel the bully bombs with F-16s and the best Palestinian response is only some relatively primitive home made missiles, only encourage more Israeli violence.
    – why would the world do nothing about the war crimes of Israel in their 2012 and 2014 (just to mention a couple) military operations against the Palestinians. In 2012, 177 Palestinians were killed as against 6 Israelis. 50% of the Palestinians killed were civilians. In 2014, Isreal was more brazen killing nearly 2000 Palestinians (72% civilians with 540 children), for a loss of 67 Israelis out of which only 3 were civilians.
    – why would the United States congress overwhelmingly pass the act for the relocation of US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in the first place, without due consideration for making a bad situation more complicated. Hooked on the funding of the members on both aisle by the Israel lobby AIPEC, like a junkie hooked on crack, it appears they do not care about the additional blood to be spilled as a result of their action.

    On the whole, it is sad to see that Israel and its Jewish people, who suffered untold persecution under Hitler, are the same people persecution the weaker Palestinians, because of their military superiority, and the world continues to watch. What an irony!

    • Chym

      Jerusalem belong to the Jews, so deal with it. The Holy Bible says it all.

      Where were you when Nigeria denied Biafrans their freedom?

      Is Nigeria not killing the Biafrans? Didn’t Nigeria government commit acts of genocide against the Igbo Biafrans?

      • Thompson Iyeye

        My position on the Biafra issue had been clear for a long time in this forum. I had on several occasions condemned the pogrom that occurred before the war and the atrocities during the war. Your accusation is therefore misplaced. Injustice should be universally condemned, whether it is against Palestinians or against Biafrans.

    • moribund9ja

      You are very ignorant.
      First, found out who are the Palestinians before making ignorant comments here.
      I won’t educate you , find out yourself.

      • Daniel Obior

        Why not make your point without being so rude and disgusting?

      • Thompson Iyeye

        Again your emotions are taking the better of your judgment. Obviously sentiments would not allow you really know about Palestinians. Sure you cannot educate me, as you have clearly shown that you are the one that needs education. Daniel already gave you your first lessons on the subject. It is hoped your emotions will give you an opportunity to digest the lessons. Happy learning.