By Lee Workman
“I hate dating—trying to read romantic ‘signs’ is exhausting. I never have any idea of what to make of them.”
Depending on who you are, you may identify with this. Provo dating is sometimes comparable to listening to someone pray in their mission language—you can tell when it begins and ends, but for all you know, they could be thanking Tanner Mangum for the recently received moisture.
Not understanding a potential lover’s romantic sign language is acceptable. The United States and its relationship with Israel, however, demand a higher standard. Just before the new year, the media was ablaze with commentary on President Obama’s voting abstention in the United Nations Security Council resolution. The resolution labels Israeli settlements as a primary roadblock to a “two-state solution.” What does all of this mean, and why is it important? What was President Obama, and therefore the US, saying with such an action? What is President Trump going to do about it?
There is not enough room in this publication to fully address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it is historically the most complex challenge in international relations. The US values its relationship with Israel because it is the only democracy in the tumultuous Middle East. The United Nations condemns Israel’s practice of sponsoring the immigration and settlement of Jews in contended lands, as Palestinian displacement occurs often; homes have literally been bulldozed to the ground. Israel claims ownership to what they consider to be their ancestral homeland on both legal and spiritual grounds—is it not their right to remove trespassers from their own land? Yet those “trespassers” fight back, attempting to protect the homes wherein they have lived for years.
The ongoing attempt to stop the conflict consists of allocating each group certain territories, creating two sovereign nations. With US abstention in a vote formally identifying Israel as a roadblock to this “two-state solution,” they deliver a mixed message. We now have an ally whom we support financially, yet do not defend politically. The implication is that President Obama agrees with the UN’s accusation, straining US–Israeli relations.
President Trump, a firm supporter of Israel, will likely attempt to undo the effect of the vote. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of the conflict, the relationship between the US and Israel will impact the Middle East, and thus the rest of the world as well. The Trump administration needs to have a “DTR” with Israel—hopefully, they’ll text back.