(August 23, 2018 / JNS) So U.S. President Donald Trump is making juicy headlines once again, and right away, little experts pop up and explain that he’s going to turn on Israel.
Well, friends, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
Although there are those among us who are secretly wishing a Trump disaster on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the most supportive president of all time intends to maintain his attitude. In his world, there are good people and bad people, and he sees Israel, like America, as on the right side. Unlike former President Barack Obama, Trump will never say something like “Iran is a complicated country—just like we’re a complicated country.” And unlike Obama, who dropped his friends and brought his rivals closer, Trump sticks to his word and his values. So he’ll keep supporting Israel because he supports America.
For almost two years, we’ve been told that any second now Trump will let Israel have it, but what can you do? The facts say the opposite. Trump has done unprecedented things for us—and by extension, as he sees it, for America. He recognized Jerusalem as the capital; withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, and is giving Israel a nuclear umbrella in the United Nations. Nothing like this has ever happened.
A large sector of the voters who put Trump in the White House are evangelicals, who won’t re-elect him if he does anything to harm Israel. Trump knows that very well. He is surrounded by family and personal advisers who are fervent supporters of Israel—from Vice President Mike Pence to National Security Adviser John Bolton to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and close associates Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman. They are his DNA. He won’t betray them and as a group, they won’t betray Israel.
This is the background. Now, let’s address the issues themselves. Is this the first time that Trump has spoken about Israeli concessions as part of a peace plan? It is not. Even during his campaign and immediately after he was elected, the president said there would be concessions. He has even already used the phrase “a higher price because of the embassy move.” Has anything happened?
If there was any rationale to the declaration, which was made as part of a campaign speech in West Virginia, it was an attempt to calm down Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Americans’ main problem is the Palestinians, who are boycotting them, so if Trump’s words had any purpose, it was to pacify the recalcitrant Abbas – not threaten his friend Netanyahu. By the way, it won’t happen. Abbas won’t forgo his boycott.
In any case, the second part of that sentence was “if a peace deal is ever signed.” In other words, Trump might want the “deal of the century,” but he understands very well that it is far off and almost unrealistic. So his remarks about a “higher price” are completely theoretical. But even after the U.S. peace plan is rolled out, if it ever is, the United States won’t “impose a peace” on Israel and the Palestinians, as Bolton said on Wednesday. If that’s the case, then why is everyone so upset?
So please, stop annoying us with empty scare tactics. We’re sick of them. The real problem with the Trump administration isn’t its pressure on Israel, but rather that Israel isn’t pressuring it enough. This is, again, the most supportive U.S. administration in history. With a little more effort, determination and originality, we could make a lot more of this opportunity.