Weekly Commentary: Reality Check – Israel Does NOT have to sacrifice itself
to President Trump
If his “base” thinks he is screwing Israel he is screwed
Dr. Aaron Lerner 2 August 2019
Towards the end of President Obama’s first term PM Netanyahu planned to
launch an attack against Iran. The logic was that while Mr. Obama would be
furious that he would restrain from punishing the Jewish State out of
concern over the impact of such a move on his re-election.
And that was with President Obama’s “base”.
So let’s consider the case of President Trump.
His reelection hinges on the support of pro-Israel elements in his “base”.
Simply said, if his “base” thinks he is screwing Israel he is screwed.
And while Mr. Trump and his team may have fantasies about making history
with some fantastic deal – and they may have spent many hours with a smiling
and nodding Binyamin Netanyahu as they described their plans – the
overarching goal of being reelected will temper their reaction to any
Israeli rejection of elements of the “deal” AND any unilateral action that
might be seen as killing it altogether.
Yes. Mr. Trump and his team will be angry. But they aren’t idiots.
They know full well that the only reason their critical pro-Israel base
isn’t furious over the “deal” is that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
continues to smile and nod when they talk about it.
The moment that Mr. Netanyahu explains in his eloquent English why he has
decided to either reject elements of the “deal” or take unilateral action,
that critical pro-Israel base will understand the message.
From day one President Trump’s sound bite has been that it’s up to the
parties to decide.
So he will have no problem to find the way to move on rather than act
against the Jewish State.
So what else is on the agenda?
Anyone with a scintilla of understanding of the region will concede that the
cooperation between Israel and neighbors in initiatives and actions against
Iran are in no way effected by Israeli-Palestinian relations. And that’s
before taking into account the impact that Palestinian support for Iran has
had on their standing.
Israel does not have to sacrifice its interests just to please Mr. Trump and
And yes. I recognize that it isn’t pleasant for the Prime Minster of Israel
to cross Mr. Trump. But enduring unpleasant experiences is part of the
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