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Clamoring for Israeli Approval: Trump's Election Promises Will Haunt Him

By       Message Ramzy Baroud       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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From Counterpunch


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US President Donald Trump promises to be pro-Israel in every aspect.

"I'm the best thing that could ever happen to Israel," he boasted at the Republican Jewish Coalition's Presidential Forum in Washington DC, in December, 2015.

For a brief moment, Trump appeared as if rethinking his unconditional support for Israel, when in February 2016, the Republican presidential nominee pledged "neutrality" between Palestinians and Israelis.

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"Let me be sort of a neutral guy," he said during an MSNBC town hall meeting.

Since then, this position has been surpassed by the most regressive rhetoric, beginning with his speech before the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) conference, the following month.

As for Israel, its expectations of the US President are very clear: unconditional financial and military support, blank check to expand illegal settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and an end to any form of political "pressure" through attempting to revive the so-called "peace process."

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Not that Trump has had any qualms with these expectations. The real challenge was that his main rival, Hillary Clinton, was an unprecedentedly ardent supporter of Israel.

She was completely brazen in her groveling before the pro-Israel lobby.

Reflecting on the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, she told Jewish leaders, "When he spoke, to me it was like listening to a psalm, and I loved sitting and listening to him whether it was about Israel, the nation he loved and did so much to defend, or about peace or just about life itself."

She promised them to "protect Israel from de-legitimization," as reported in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz -- "De-legitimization" meaning the attempts by civil society groups around the world to boycott Israel for failing to respect international law and the rights of occupied Palestinians.

This is the kind of political landscape that Trump, essentially a businessman not a politician, needed to navigate. In a foray of hasty moves, he has agreed to give Israel what it sought, but going even further than any other US president in modern history by promising to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

It was a clever move at the time, enough to match Clinton's love offerings for Israel and make Trump the darling of Israel's right-wing politicians, who now control the government.

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The fall-out of that promise, if implemented, however, will prove very costly.

If Trump goes through with this, he is likely to unleash chaos in an already volatile region.

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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold (more...)
 

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