The Trump administration’s Middle East policies have been roundly attacked by the U.S. foreign policy establishment. There are various lines of criticism, including ones concerning its approaches to Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, but the administration’s gravest sin is generally held to be its support for Israel. By moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, blessing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, and other gestures, the Trump team is said to have overturned half a century of settled U.S. policy, abandoned the Palestinians, and killed the two-state solution.
These are serious charges. But on close inspection, they turn out to say more about the hysteria of the prosecutors than the guilt of the defendant. Some of President Donald Trump’s policies are new, some are not, and it is too early to see much impact. So why all the hue and cry? Because the administration openly insists on playing power politics rather than trying to move the world beyond them. Trump’s real crime is challenging people’s illusions—and that is an unforgivable offense.
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