Trump and his reckless foreign policy were dealt a major blow at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last Thursday. The vote stood at 128 to 9 against Trump’s decision to recognise the highly contested city of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Apart from Israel and the US, seven countries voted in favour of Trump’s decision. This included five tiny Island nations in the Pacific who took Nikki Haley’s threats of aid cuts very seriously. The other two countries were Guatemala and Honduras.Guatemala Foreign Minister (FM) Sandra Jovel has also announced that her country will be shifting its embassy to Jerusalem. At first glance it may seem like Guatemala bowed to US pressure in order to keep receiving aid from the US. However, a closer look reveals that Guatemala’s reason for doing so may have been driven by its historic association with Israel and a shared mindset with the apartheid state. Israel and Guatemala have much in common, including their treatment of indigenous peoples. Guatemala has systematically suppressed and annihilated its indigenous Mayan population. The territory now known as the Republic of Guatemala was once the core of the Maya civilization. It was conquered by Spain during the 16th Century. Guatemala gained independence in 1821. The country endured decades of civil strife and unrest until an American sponsored coup installed a dictatorship in 1954. For several subsequent years, from 1960 to 1996, the US backed military dictatorship of Guatemala unleashed a reign of terror on the Mayans under the pretext of fighting a leftist rebel insurgency. The causes of the rebellion were legitimate enough: inequality, social injustice and dispossession. The government perpetrated genocide culminated in the extermination thousands of Mayan civilians who were traditionally seen as subhumans and supportive of the rebellion. From 1960 to 1996, the US backed military dictatorship of Guatemala unleashed a reign of terror on the Mayans under the pretext of fighting a leftist rebel insurgency. The causes of the rebellion were legitimate enough: inequality, social injustice and dispossession America and Israel were both deeply involved in the genocide of the Mayans. While America provided the Guatemalan army with weapons and military hardware, Israel provided training and advice. The deadly military campaign carried out against rural indigenous peasants was devised by Israeli advisors. The Mayans who managed to survive the campaign were relocated to military-controlled villages again under the guidance of the Israelis who had already successfully crammed the displaced indigenous population of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza. Israeli authorities were fully aware of the intentions of their Guatemalan counterparts. Land was never mentioned as the motivation behind the genocide but it was obvious that the dark-skinned Mayans were inhabiting the fertile countryside from where they were being driven out by fair-skinned Guatemalans through violence and intimidation. This was nothing new to the Israelis because they had also been involved in a similar campaign in Palestine where the natives of the land were physically displaced and their culture stolen. In 2013, Former general Efrain Rios Montt was indicted for his involvement in genocide and crimes against humanity against indigenous Mayans of Guatemala. He publicly stated on a news channel that he was successful in his genocidal campaign because his soldiers were trained by Israelis. Israel still maintains a cordial relationship with Guatemala because it proves to be a valuable asset on all international forums where the apartheid state finds itself increasingly isolated. Guatemala is also a strong peg in United States Central American policy. On the other hand, Guatemalan authorities deem Israel as an expert in intelligence and counterinsurgency, and an indispensable ally of the US. The incumbent president of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales harbors the same philosophy of cultural superiority which has come to define the contemporary Zionist and evangelical ideologies. This is the reason why Morales, an evangelical Christian, chose to align with Israel and the US despite running into the risk of stirring Arab and international anger. The writer is an investment banker and has been writing articles for several newspapers and magazines Published in Daily Times, December 31st 2017.