Last week, Donald Trump’s supporters held a rally in Jerusalem, during which, a short, taped message from Trump was shown. In it, Trump said he loved Israel – but of course, he says he loves everyone – and that he would work to bridge the gap between Americans and Israelis and help restore security to both countries.
The question is, can we really trust that Donald Trump will be pro-Israel? Have we not seen past Presidential candidates make pro-Israel declarations only to change their tune once elected? Furthermore, it seems that Trump has flip-flopped on some of his statements about Israel.
What makes a pro-Israel President?
First, a President who respects Israel’s strategic predicament in the Middle East and allows Israel to make its own decisions – regarding peace and war – without putting undue to pressure on it.
Second, a President who sees Israel as a strategic asset and thus pursues opportunities for joint cooperation and increased cooperation in various areas.
Third, a President who stands by Israel diplomatically at the UN and in other international forums.
If elected, Donald Trump might be the most pro-Israel President in US history, and this assessment has virtually nothing to do with anything he has said about Israel. It is based on his character traits and the central message of his campaign – both of which bode well for Israel.
Donald Trump appreciates strength, distinguishes between the bad guys and the good guys, loves to enjoy life, and is frugal with his money. Trump has spoken often about the need for strength, for a strong military, for toughness against US enemies, even his wife talks about the need to be strong. Trump understands who the good guys and bad guys are. He isn’t confused by certain ideologies which justify terrorism or even give it some credence due to socio-economic or other conditions. He understands the connection between Islam and terror and their hatred for people who are not like them.
This bodes well for Israel since he will appreciate the strength of the Israeli army in dealing with all of its enemies, and the resolve of the Israeli people not to be affected by terrorists trying to destroy their lives. He will appreciate the valuable assets that Israel provides as a strategic ally, and understands that a strong Israel not only makes the U.S safer, but allows for the U.S. to have a reduced footprint in the Middle East. Furthermore, his sense of right and wrong allows him to correctly understand the fundamental difference between Israel trying to defend itself and the Palestinians who educate their children to hate while training them to be terrorists.
Trump’s love of life and its pleasures makes him particularly averse to terrorists and criminals. For him, not only are they bad people, but they disturb people who want to enjoy life. This is why one of Trump’s strong messages throughout his campaign has been restoring law and order, so everyone can enjoy life.
Trump comes to political life without a set ideology. While some parts of his character are more conservative, others are more liberal, but in general he is a problem solver. Thus, he has no preconceived notions about the Middle East nor is he obligated by how past US Presidents have viewed the Middle East. He is not bound by the idea of land for peace, or a two state solution, he calls the Middle East as he sees it, which is that there are lot of ‘bad dudes’ and there is one normal, peaceful democratic country in the whole area.
Piers Morgan once commented that Trump looks at everything in life like a deal, and he likes to make good deals as he said thousands of times throughout the campaign. Part of his ‘deal-making’ is paying as little as possible and getting maximum returns. Throughout the campaign he has bragged about spending so much less than his opponents but still winning. He has managed to spend less money on buying media coverage by noting that he receives so much free media. The fact that he is raising most of the money for his campaign from small donors only reinforces this notion of trying to spend as little money as possible. Additionally, he has attacked NATO partners for not paying their fair share, and explicitly criticized the US for defending other nations without receiving anything in return.
If Israel looks to take the lead as a regional power in the Middle East, Trump will have no objection. He will also not object to Israel doing what is necessary to make itself safer, which for Trump means reducing the power of the bad guys. Trump will be more than happy to save American money and lives while letting Israel advance its agenda. Moreover, in the event of an attack on Iran, Trump would be more than happy to let Israel take the lead.
Trump is running for President to make America great by focusing on America’s issues. Trump’s only interest in foreign policy is to protect America from those whom he believes rip off the US in trade, bombing ISIS and stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Therefore, Trump will not be embarking on adventures worldwide for world peace and certainly will not be wasting his time forcing Israel into negotiations, or into deals that it is uninterested in.
In short, because of his character traits and his central agenda, Trump will allow Israel to make its own decisions, while simultaneously understanding there is much to gain through increased partnering with Israel. He will back Israel unwaveringly at the UN since he understands that Israel and America have shared goals and interests, and because of his common sense approach, he really has no problem with Israel building on whatever land is under their control, especially since he is aware that the land that has been given up by Israel has been used as a launching pad for attacks.
But its not only his character traits and campaign themes which signal a stronger relationship in the next 4 years, it’s also his many advisers – VP Pence, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Walid Phares, Michael Flynn, who are all either outright pro-Israel or who understand the realities of the Middle East in the sense that the Middle East is laced with problems and the central issue is radical Islam and not the Palestinian Arabs.
A Trump Presidency will be a time where Israel becomes stronger and expands its partnership with America, and a time where Israel and the US will stand shoulder to shoulder facing the many evils of the world.
And as Mike Pence has said many times: “If the world knows nothing else, let it know this – America stands with Israel.”