Trump’s messages on Israel are mixed. Earlier he called resolving decades of Israeli/Palestinian conflict “the ultimate deal . . . As a deal maker, I’d like to do it . . . the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”
He set untenable conditions, saying it should be negotiated directly between Israel and Palestine with his administration playing a “significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace.”
Israel doesn’t negotiate. It demands. It’s all take and no give, especially on relations with Palestine—why after seven decades unresolved conflict persists.
Trump disgracefully supports illegal Israeli settlement expansions, saying they should “keep going . . . keep moving forward,” rejecting a construction pause, while claiming he prefers remaining “neutral” so he’s better able to broker peace.
And yet he called the GOP platform the “most pro-Israel of all time!” Without mentioning a two-state solution, it said “[s]upport for Israel is an expression of Americanism . . . We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier.”
International (and constitutional law under the Supremacy Clause) explains otherwise. Israel is a racist rogue state, occupying stolen Palestinian land illegally, operating unaccountably throughout its deplorable history.
While campaigning, orthodox Jew/bankruptcy attorney David Friedman advised Trump on Israel, urging continued support for lawless settlement expansions and annexations of Palestinian land.
Continuation of this policy eliminates any possibility for conflict resolution, more war a virtual certainty, likely more devastating than summer 2014’s Protective Edge aggression.
Commenting on Friedman’s appointment, subject to what should be easy Senate confirmation, Trump said “[t]he bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I’m president.”
“As the United States’ Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries. He has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me.”
“His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East. Nothing is more critical than protecting the security of our citizens at home and abroad.”
Friedman speaks fluent Hebrew. Nearly half a century ago, he was bar mitzvahed at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
Commenting on his appointment, he said “I am deeply honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me by President-elect Trump to represent the United States as its ambassador to Israel.”
“I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
Countries recognizing Israel maintain embassies in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, a UN-designated international city. Moving America’s embassy there would be a flagrant international and constitutional law violation.
No US president did it since Israel’s 1948 establishment. Breaking precedent would show contempt for Palestinian rights, assuring no chance for conflict resolution on Trump’s watch—likely greater conflict than already.
Interviewed last June by Haaretz, Friedman was dismissive about Palestinian statehood, turning truth on its head claiming “[n]obody really knows how many Palestinians live there.”
According to current UN figures, it’s nearly 4.9 million human beings, deserving the same rights as Jews, including self-determination, free from repressive Israeli occupation, internationally recognized as illegal.
Asked if Trump supports Palestinian self-determination, Friedman said “not without the approval of the Israelis. This is an issue that Israel has to deal with on its own because it will have to deal with the consequences.”
“His feeling about Israel is that it is a robust democracy. The Israelis have to make the decision on whether or not to give up land to create a Palestinian state.”
“If the Israelis don’t want to do it, so he doesn’t think they should do it. It is their choice . . . He does not think it is an American imperative for it to be an independent Palestinian state.”
Separately he said Trump “feel[s] no pressure to make self-defeating concessions” to Palestinians. “America and Israel will enjoy unprecedented military and strategic cooperation, and there will be no daylight between the two countries.”
There’s no hope for peace, equity and justice if Trump one-sidedly supports Israel at the expense of ruthlessly persecuted Palestinians denied them since 1948.
No support from Washington appears forthcoming. Palestinians will remain isolated on their own, Israel free to brutalize them unaccountably—what they’ve endured for the last 70 years.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Visit his blog at sjlendman.blogspot.com . Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.