Dear President Trump

Dear President Trump,

My heart’s hope is that your presidency will truly be revolutionary. Best wishes to you and your country.

From this day forward your beating lashes will resonate everywhere and every position you will take will become a benchmark upon which a world in great upheaval can be measured.

It’s where the ominous prediction of a religious war with Islam has become a reality, in which weapons of mass destruction were used against women and children in Syria without your country pushing back as promised (it is from here where you must begin by reweaving the fabric torn apart by your predecessor in 2013, who subsequently handed the keys of the Middle East in flames over to Putin), and ISIS’s Nazi-like cruelty has become routine news. I will limit myself to sending you my best wishes in relation to foreign policy, for everything else you have eyes and ears, and you know that the world economy depends upon good decisions and also by your generosity.

The Middle East was considered by your predecessor solely as an area of experimentation in which to restart good relations with the Muslim world, but he didn’t succeed. His advisors didn’t really understand the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the mother of all anti-Western hatred that has directly led to terrorism of every kind. They also didn’t know how to evaluate Iran, opting instead for the nuclear deal and seeing it as a great achievement, or even as part of Obama’s legacy, and well, that was very unwise. In fact, Iran’s violations are quickly coming to the fore and will lead to a crisis, if not the annulment of that agreement. More worrisome, however, is that it won’t stop Iran from perpetuating even greater cruelty against its own citizens.

You have the opportunity to drive your relationship with the Middle East in a more realistic manner, one in which Israel isn’t played (the USA’s only reliable ally!) – for a medallion of political correctness by constantly attacking its policies and endorsing a UN resolution that stipulates that Israel has no claim over Jerusalem and attempts to expel the Jews from their historical capital. The latter was an ignorant gesture, so anti-historical, so unsophisticated, so, yes, populist. A black intellectual from Chicago, who became a member of the sanctified elite, should have blocked such a gesture immediately.

Mr. President, your vision doesn’t necessarily mean being partisan vis-à-vis Israel, but certainly needs to show that, as a statesman, you know who you are dealing with, namely, a country that is the world’s sentinel against terrorism, the only democracy in the Middle East that respects human rights (America looks as if it has forgotten this. However, I believe it hasn’t).

In relation to peace with the Palestinians: it’s important to remember before asking Israel to take any dangerous stepsthat negotiations can only resume if terrorism is called by its name, including when it’s perpetuated byFatah. In general, terrorism will need to be seen for what it is: a religious war. On this, Mr. President, you have already articulated your position, and I hope you will continue to uphold your stance. Also, keep in mind that a huge push towards resuming negotiations will occur when the Palestinians are no longer gifted an international pass that simply fills their coffers. Really, then, do they want a state? What kind of state? Democratic? Is Israel’s destruction their sole aim? What will they do about Hamas? President, please, it’s about time America asks them clearly what their intentionstruly are.

Returning to again being Israel’s friend will mean changing U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Middle East. It will bring back your moral greatness and good sense, as well as your moral authority before all Middle East dictators. Throughout the past eight years, the U.S.’s image and strength has been tarnished by misguided policies everywhere on those sands. Moreover, by failing to stand firmly with Israel, the U.S. has not only emboldened dictators and anti-Semites, but has also intensified wars and bloodshed.

Mr. President, finally, shifting a bit: about Europe, simply return to being American after Obama, who has been so European. It will be enough to reestablish some sense of good judgment.

Today, America is a confused entity for the EU and the two continents have subsequently drifted apart. Europe is, you know, in economic and political turmoil. It is a continent that can become a nest of vipers and worms, where anti-Semitic irrationality can be victorious – remember its history! However, let’s hope it can take a different path in which a moderate conservative faction can win (the recent election of Tajani as EU president is a good sign) by exercisinggood judgment in relation to issues such as immigration, terror, and the economy while avidly striving to quell its extreme populist factions.

Brexit is a European affair, leave it to Europe and don’t interfere. Instead, continue to advance your moderate conservative agenda. Follow the pro-U.S. powers, they are much more suited to your “Yankee-style” than to France’s Marie Le Pen. This is due to the fact that Americanculture, especially its movies and music, becamesynonymous with freedom itself in post-WWII Europe. In essence, American culture is ours too.

As for Putin, he’s a very capable quasi-dictatorial leader attempting to reestablish both Russia’s power and the former USSR’s geopolitical borders in which his subconscious and memory has remained fixated. Yet by doing so, particularly in the Middle East, he’s playing with fire: while the USSR once backed some corrupt and scattered dictators who could be kept in check, today Putin is permitting enormous Shiite interests to flourish in Syria and, on the other hand, fomenting Sunni antagonism. Turkey has poorly contained the latter because the new world sultan Erdogan cannot certainly control or even manage it.

Mr. President, you are a very practical man, you know very well that at any moment, perhaps even soon, the populist anti-elite anger can strike against you as well. Anti-politics today is very strong. Therefore, be careful not to fuel it. It brought you to power, but it can also hurt you. Be well, and with you our beloved United States of America.

Well, next year in Jerusalem, and so be it.

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (January 22, 2017)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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