With a quick flick of his wrist and penning of his signature, President Trump has reignited violence in the Middle East. He did so by signing a resolution that declared the ancient holy city of Jerusalem solely the capital of Israel. From the 1993 Oslo Accord, declaring a peace treaty between then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Yassir Arafat, this resolution was meant to greet the nation of Israel with this Jerusalem capital designation only after further negotiations among associated parties was satisfied.
But Trump, typically taking matters into his own hands without extensive consultation, simply made the decision himself. Now we see fires burned, rocks being thrown, businesses shutting down in protest and, soon enough, bullets flying.
From a U.S. stock market perspective, this doesn’t have much of an immediate impact. But when we consider that a notable part of markets’ success this year has been a notable lack of geopolitical tension — whether it be economic or otherwise, from Europe to Asia to South America — opening up this nasty can of worms in the Middle East can only push this trend in the opposite direction. Neither Israel nor the Palestinian territories carry any important level of oil beneath its surfaces, but surrounding states certainly do. What becomes of oil prices in the region if this violence spreads?
Consider this largest patch of oil generation in the world has, for the last half-century or more, also been a region of of miscommunication, distrust and tumult. To the present day we still see a cold standoff between the two Muslim Middle Eastern superpowers Saudi Arabia and Iran, with a forceful consolidation of power within the Saudi kingdom just within the past few weeks. And this is without mentioning the completely failed state of Syria, the civil war taking place in Yemen and the still-razed conditions in Iraq following the U.S. invasion 14 years ago.
This is far from Trump’s only unforced error, by the way. Consider his baiting of Kim Jong-Un, the nuclear bomb-holding dictator of North Korea — which again has not had much of a direct impact on domestic markets, but it certainly shows Trump’s willingness to play with fire, with the risk of vast swaths of the globe getting burned. The main difference between Trump’s behavior regarding North Korea and Israel is that one involves nuclear warheads which people, rightly, are loathe to actually use. In Jerusalem, we’re seeing the smoke rise immediately.
Of course, we’re right in the middle of a colossal tax cut bill potentially passing into law. So why bring up Trump’s tendency to dance on the ledge now? Because perhaps it’s time to consider, once corporations and high-wealth individuals are finally allowed to amass their windfall gains through new tax legislation, to give the President the boot.
He seems to not know nor care how American policy is formed. He has refused to put his myriad businesses into a blind trust while serving as Commander in Chief. He is increasingly being seen as a target of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s office (which has already claimed 2 indictments and 2 convictions in its probe), which could lead to impeachment charges. Indeed, impeachment proceedings have already been brought against him on the floor of the House for his divisiveness against immigrants, people of certain religious affiliations, etc. Perhaps it would be easier for everyone — especially citizens of the U.S. — to take matters into our own hands and show him the door.
In short, isn’t it time to ask ourselves some hard questions regarding the leader of the free world?