With the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the decision to transfer the U.S. embassy there, U.S. President Donald Trump has made a first step to break one of Europe’s most deeply anchored reflexes. As former European Commissioner Chris Patten noted, “The main determinant Europe’s political behavior” is, on the Israel-Palestine issue in particular, “the Pavlovian rejection of any course of action that might distance Europe from the Americans.”
Yet, even though the automatic alignment did not happen this time—with the main European powers deploring the U.S. decision—the European Union is far from presenting a united front. It is divided, like almost every time when it cannot just collectively fall in line behind its biggest ally. However, the Trump administration has changed the context, and Jerusalem is only the first element in a series of transatlantic challenges ahead.
relations transatlantiques, ue