06 March 2016

Some Good that Comes from Donald Trump

It appears that Donald Trump's shenanigans have blown up Netanyahu's alliance with Republicans:
In their Super Tuesday speeches, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tried to use an Israel hammer to bash Donald Trump. Cruz sneeringly lambasted him for saying he would remain “neutral” while Rubio trounced Trump for trying to stay “impartial”, as his audience booed accordingly. And Trump? Trump was racking up victories, amassing delegates and laughing all the way to the top of the Republican presidential field.

In this way, the New York billionaire is decimating the conventional wisdom, one of many, that in 2016, total and unconditional support for Israel is a prerequisite for any aspiring GOP candidate wishing to run for president; that such a pledge of allegiance to Israel, in general, and to Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular, is a threshold requirement for gaining the support of Evangelicals, who set the tone during primary season; and that the flow of sympathy for Israel from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans is inevitable, perhaps even desirable, and in any case unstoppable.

But exactly a year after Netanyahu took this logic to its extreme and stood on the podium of Congress as Leader of the Republican opposition to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the conception is falling apart. The notion that the Republican Party is a monolithic bastion of support that will withstand the test of time is evaporating. The belief that any Republican president who will follow Obama will be better for Israel is eroding with each passing day. Faced with the Trump phenomenon, Netanyahu’s Fortress GOP strategy is collapsing like a house of cards. 

Trump not only diverts the Republican leadership from uniform automatic support for Netanyahu, he is destroying the internal coalition that was the lynchpin of the party’s strong pro-Israel stance. Evangelical support for Trump has already sparked an internal rupture, which has some experts declaring the death of America’s Religious Right. Evangelical leaders and many of their supporters in the media are heartbroken that so many Believers are flocking after the thrice married, dirty-talking reality star. They are less perturbed by his deviation from the strict pro-Israel party line, however, and more by the sinful ways for which he has not asked forgiveness.

If Trump becomes their candidate, the GOP will lose its most hawkish, most neoconservative and most pro-Israel secular elements as well. They are repelled not only by his indecipherable positions on Israel but also by his harsh criticism of George Bush and the Iraq War, his undisguised adulation of dictators for Vladimir Putin to Bashar Assad, his all round belligerence and his neo-isolationist vision of making America great again within its hermetically sealed walls. “As president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world” according to public letter signed by 50 GOP national security stalwarts, many of them known for their pro-Israel positions. “We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.”
Sometimes, I worry about the future of Israel.

The two things that worry me the most is Netanyahu, who sees no further than the next election, and the Necons whose every action for at least the past two decades has served to diminish the safety and security of Israel, notwithstanding their declared support for the Jewish state.

Iraq, and Yemen, and Libya, and Syria, etc. have all been foreign policy disasters that have been created or worsened by Neocons, and all of these have been disasters for Israel.


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