Does it deliver a hefty domestic political payoff, reverse an Obama administration position, upturn international law and irritate the European Union? If so, it’s probably a Trump administration foreign policy decision.
Perhaps more important for the US President, Monday’s decision is a gift to conservative evangelical voters who support Israel for reasons of biblical prophecy, as well as to his US donors who are also supportive of right-wing politicians in Israel. The administration says the change could bring a just Middle East peace closer, and that it took a year of legal analysis to arrive at this decision.
Every president’s political leanings naturally influence American foreign policy. But no recent administration has been so keen as Trump’s to fracture enduring US policy positions — even at the risk of infringing US values.
As US diplomatic aide David Holmes testified, quoting the US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, what Trump cares about is the “big stuff” that benefits him.