Do Arabs in America care whether Trump gets re-elected?
I am an Iraqi Arab living in the United States and if I were asked about how I would feel about US President Donald Trump losing or winning the election in 2020 or about his Democratic opponent’s chances, I would answer without hesitation that I could not care less which of them gets elected.
There is no difference for me between a Republican and a Democratic candidate. They both are opportunistic and differ only in slogans. Most US candidates for president of both camps have long records of ignorance of the realities of the Middle East. They tend to cater to pro-Israel lobbies, like almost anyone who intends to run for a position in the US Congress and even local governments in small and large states alike.
Saying that is not an accusation nor is it fiction or slander. It is a reality that Arab Americans feel and know more than any other minority in the United States.
Arabs in America who came from Arab and Islamic countries that have been or are being burned by the fires of the Iranian regime and its militias, intelligence services, car bombs and blatant meddling in the lives of their inhabitants are often in favour of Trump. They say they hope he remains in office for a second term so he can make good on his promises to change Iran’s arrogant and aggressive behaviour or continue to slowly strangle the Iranian regime and its militias until the promised day of their downfall dawns.
As to Arab “revolutionaries,” Islamist militants, such as those linked to Hamas, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran sympathisers who are eyes deep in their love for Tehran’s velayat-e faqih, they are praying day and night for Trump’s downfall even before the end of his term.
They accuse him of being hostile to Islam and to Muslims and of betraying the Palestinians and their cause. They stand firmly behind the predictions of the Democrats and of CNN’s pundits and by the side of the many victims of Trump’s policies, decisions, tweets, bad temper, follies and relentless insults.
Trump has his qualities and his shortcomings. Among his shortcomings in the eyes of Arab Americans and Muslim Americans is that he readily goes the extra mile to please Israel and pro-Israel Americans. He has gifted the Golan Heights to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ultra-right-wing government and transferred the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, even though all UN resolutions consider Jerusalem an occupied city and refuse its annexation to Israel.
To be fair, however, we must admit that it was the Israelis who took by force from him what they wanted and they will do the same with whoever replaces Trump if he loses the next election. They may go on and take the rest of the Palestinian territories soon.
All Arab nationalists and Islamist revolutionaries and the other self-proclaimed heroes of resistance and steadfastness will keep silent, just as they did about the Golan and Jerusalem and about the recent bloody Israeli raids that terrorised Gaza and just as they will do about the coming “Deal of the Century.” We won’t hear from them even though they have given us endless headaches with their hollow speeches about wiping out Israel in seven days.
If this is the bitter reality that neither Trump nor the Palestinians nor the Arabs nor the Muslims nor the countries of the world, major or minor, are capable of changing, at least in our dark present, why not show some understanding towards the Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, some of the Palestinians, Libyans, Bahrainis, Emiratis and Saudis when they wanted to take advantage of the other side of Trump and supported him during the last elections?
In their eyes, Trump was the knight in shining armour coming to avenge them and punish the killers of their children, looters of their wealth, destroyers of their lives and enemies of their security.
For sure, a world devoid of Ali Khamenei, Hassan Rohani, Qassem Soleimani, Hassan Nasrallah, Hadi al-Amiri, Qais al-Khazali and Nuri al-Maliki is much more useful to the Arabs’ prime cause — the Palestinians — and definitely safer, more generous and more honourable.
Speaking of winning the elections, the polling company Gallup said Trump’s popularity among Americans is increasing; 46% of Americans asked — both Republicans and Democrats — said they approve of what their president is doing.
Gallup explained this unprecedented rate of approval by the positive economic news during Trump’s term, in addition to the allegations of collusion between his campaign team and Russia during the 2016 elections not being substantiated by a special counsel’s investigation.
We can speculate about a second Trump victory and offer condolences to all the brothers of militant Islam.
US citizens will vote for whoever reduces their income taxes, increases their wages and ensures their families’ health and social security. They could care not less about their president’s opinions regarding the Palestinians, Israel, Iran, Libya, Yemen, North Korea and the whole world, unless, of course, they see in them additional benefits to their pockets.
All things considered, we might as well hope the next president serves our agenda for a change.