Revolutionary Changes Awaiting the Middle East?
Although some of Donald Trump’s advisers still believe in his possible victory and support his attempts to fight, their number is gradually decreasing. Trump himself also is gradually realising the fact that the election results will not be canceled, and he has lost these elections…
The increasing reality of the failure of Trump’s four-year political activity is forcing politicians in many countries who have orientated towards him to look for a way to resolve their current situation, making adjustments to their rhetoric and actions. A certain group, imitating Trump himself, who has repeatedly abandoned former allies in the name of “his own political game”, are rapidly seeking to reorient themselves to the expected new master of the White House, sending flattering congratulations on “victory” instead of the previous criticism for the recent opponent of Trump in the elections.
As the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung emphasised, “Europe collectively breathed a sigh of relief. The warm reaction of Brussels and representatives of the EU member states has once again confirmed: more than the election of Joe Biden, Europe is happy about the impending departure of President Donald Trump.”
And this is not only a typical reaction for Europe!
Almost all commentary states the obvious fact: the time after Trump will not be the same as the time before Trump. And therefore, the shifting of the “weather vane of political change” is very clearly traced not only in the list of those who have already congratulated Joe Biden “on victory” – even before the official announcement of the highly scandalous and controversial recent presidential elections in the United States – but also in the choice of the words themselves to express servility and plebeian devotion.
Thus, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Joe Biden, calling him “a great friend of Israel.” However most recently, Channel 7 of Israeli television published the results of a national poll, according to which 68% of Israelis expressed their devotion to Trump. Moreover, on November 2, according to Reuters, Israel even held a prayer service for the re-election of Donald Trump. And this is not surprising, since Trump suits Tel Aviv much more. Indeed, it was Trump who on December 6, 2017 recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US embassy there. In May 2018, Trump pulled Washington out of the “nuclear pact” with Tehran. On March 25, 2019, Trump officially recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. On October 15, 2020, Trump held a ceremony to normalize relations between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE in front of the White House in Washington. It was Trump who signed the Justice for Unpaid Survivors Act, which provides for the return of property lost during the Holocaust and other events of the 20th century. He signed a decree on the fight against anti-Semitism on American campuses.
But, in addition to Netanyahu, the leaders of Hamas and the extremist group “Muslim Brotherhood Politics” (banned in Russia – ed.) Sent their congratulations to Biden, calling on the new White House administration to abandon the old Trump policies in the Middle East and “Look towards Palestine.”
According to comments published in recent days by various media outlets, with the arrival of Biden in the White House, one can really expect a significant adjustment to the previous US Middle Eastern policy. In particular, it is believed that Joe Biden will return to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) Agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, while changing some of the terms of the treaty.
In addition to countering Iran, the next US president will certainly face the need to resolve a number of other crises in the Middle East. As The Jerusalem Post believes, this is first of all, the growing extremism of Turkey, the settlement of the Palestinian problem, the issues in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the great catastrophe in the Sahel and the potential destabilization of Iraq.
According to former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro, Biden’s undisputed foreign policy initiative related to the Middle East will be the question of creating a Palestinian state. Also, the new head of the White House may cancel the “deal of the century” – the Trump administrations deal to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which was indignantly rejected by the Palestinian authorities and a number of Muslim countries.
A possible adjustment of Trump’s Middle East policy by Biden is already, belligerently expected in Tel Aviv. On November 5, 2020, Israeli Settlement Minister Tsakhi has already voiced threats that the Israeli elite is ready to start a war with the Islamic Republic in response to Washington’s return to the “nuclear pact.”
In Riyadh, Biden’s arrival at the White House is expected with heightened vigilance.
As we are reminded from the November 8, edition of “Al-Arabia”, Biden promised to reconsider relations with Saudi Arabia in connection with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Hence, even a number of Saudi experts do not exclude that Biden “poses a threat to the crown prince, since he will order the CIA to reveal all the details of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and also force the prince to lift the blockade from Qatar, stop arming Riyadh with weapons and ammunition for the war in Yemen and compel him to release the detained activists and members of the royal family.” There is even a belief regarding the possible removal of bin Salman from his posts, in connection with which there are unequivocal hints that in this situation the crown prince has only one “weapon to withstand these dangers – rapprochement with Israel.”
Developing on this idea, the head of the ‘Mossad’, Yossi Cohen, bluntly stated that “normalization of relations with Israel will be a gift from Riyadh to the new US president – regardless of whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden wins,” and that this decision could soften ‘Biden the Democrat’s’ stance on the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
Be that as it may (and obviously not without taking into account these points) on the evening of November 8, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his heir Prince Muhammad finally congratulated Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their election victory.
It will also be difficult time for Turkey starting when the real possibility of a new president of USA comes to power, as they reacted very sharply to the statements of Joe Biden, who, in an interview with The New York Times, spoke negatively about Recep Erdogan, calling him an “autocrat”, criticised his policy towards the Kurds and supported the Turkish opposition. Although Joe Biden did this interview back in December 2019, the video of him appeared only on August 15. Now Ankara is preparing for the imposition of a number of sanctions against it on several issues at once, in particular, for Operation Peace Spring against the Syrian Kurds, since Biden may recognise them as their main ally in Syria. Ankara also takes into account Biden’s recent calls to increase pressure on the Turkish authorities in order to push them to reduce tensions in relations with Athens: “it is necessary to put pressure on Turkey so that it abandons provocative actions in the region against Greece, as well as threats to use force.”
They also recall how recently Joe Biden demanded that Donald Trump put pressure on Turkey to abandon the decision on the Hagia Sophia issue, saying that Ankara “should open this temple to all confessions.”
Hence how the recent resignation of both the head of the Central Bank Murat Uysal, and the Minister of Finance and Treasury of Turkey Berat Albayrak (who was Erdogan’s son-in-law) gave rise to active discussions of the processes that have begun in the highest echelons of power against the background of the expected change of the US presidential administration. After all, the previous head of the Central Bank worked at Halkbank, the investigation around which may enter an active phase under the new administration, and Albayrak may be connected with the “Halkbank case”. Recall that in January 2018, a court in New York found Halkbank Deputy Chairman Hakan Atilla guilty of the fact that he and the bank itself provided intermediary services in the transfer of funds received by the Iranian leadership from the sale of oil and gas.
The Middle East has always been an issue for US presidents, many administrations come to power wanting to “do something” about the region, but the problems and conflicts are not diminishing. Therefore, today many are asking the question: will Biden become the president who is really ready to make this region better and not just another inhabitant of the Oval Office?