A Trump Presidency could be disastrous for the State of Israel.
I have voiced my opposition to Donald Trump’s campaign for President. As a member of Jews Against Trump, I am motivated by Jewish values to denounce his constant lies, his history of racism, and his unethical and self-promoting motives.
In addition to my grave concerns for an America held hostage by a Trump presidency, I also fear for the security and prosperity of the State of Israel. Left-leaning former President of Israel Shimon Peres completely dismissed Trump and right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims—including more than a million Israeli citizens—from stepping foot on America’s soil. Regardless of politics, Trump’s danger to Israel isn’t about ideology – it’s about unreliability.
Can’t Be Trusted
Donald Trump can’t be trusted. Lying is as comfortable to him as breathing, and he’d say anything to make himself look good.
So, maybe he will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as he claimed last week and six months ago; or maybe he won’t, as he suggested last December to the Republican Jewish Coalition (99.9% of whom, he assumed, were “negotiators”). There’s no way to know.
The same goes for the Iranian nuclear agreement. When Trump addressed AIPAC in March, he insisted, “My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.” However, a few months earlier, he criticized opponents who wanted to “rip up the deal,” offering instead, “I will police that deal.”
And as for ISIS, Trump made headlines for declaring he would “bomb the **** out of them!” However, only a few months earlier, he was ready to let violence continue to rage in Syria until America could swoop in to deliver the death knell to whoever survived the carnage. This plan in particular relied on Russia as the primary combatant against ISIS, providing cause for alarm for those concerned with Israel’s security given Russia’s recent military collaboration with Iran.
In all these areas, Trump has been consistently inconsistent. It’s impossible to know whether he has any firm convictions about Israel; no one can legitimately claim him as an ally. He should concern hawks and doves alike because he has failed to demonstrate any reliable stance on issues vital to Israel’s safety and prosperity. The only one who can trust Trump is Trump.
Dollars Over Democracy
Donald Trump can’t be expected to stand as a friend of Israel, either critical or cozy.
While his positions relative to Israel are incoherent, one area of Trump’s foreign policy is quite clear: he has no intention of keeping America’s word.
Trump reveals time and again that he values affluence above all else. Since he first entered the public scene as a presidential hopeful five years ago, Trump has insisted, “Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich.” As recently as the first Presidential debate, Trump twice bragged about avoiding paying federal income tax. This obsession with wealth taints Trump’s foreign policy, driving him to renounce foreign commitments that might cost America money.
When asked whether he would uphold America’s pledge to defend its NATO allies, Trump replied, “If they fulfill their [financial] obligations to us, the answer is yes.” When asked whether he would honor America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, Trump said no; he wants a better deal for the U.S. And of course, his desire to renegotiate NAFTA is well-known.
Trump is eager to turn his back on America’s allies when those partnerships cost us money, and this instinct could signal the end of America’s longstanding dedication to Israel. Our alliance with Israel entails a financial burden that America has always embraced because of our ideological and strategic interest in a democratic state in the Middle East. But Donald Trump’s documented admiration of foreign dictators like Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Un, and Benito Mussolini suggests that Trump has no reliable interest in extending America’s commitment to democracy abroad. If Trump thinks that supporting Israel is a “bad deal,” we have every right to expect he’ll walk away.
Against Trump from the Right and the Left
As an American Zionist, I believe that the US-Israel relationship is a holy friendship that benefits both countries immensely. I’m proud of America’s consistent diplomatic and military support of our only democratic ally in the Middle East.
I share these values with Jews on the right and on the left. Even as we may disagree about policies and ideologies, what should be clear from all sides is that Donald Trump is on no one’s side but his own.
Trump has boasted that “Nobody but Donald Trump will save Israel.” But the real challenge is to save Israel from Donald Trump.