Saturday, August 17, 2019

Donald Trump is not pro-Israel. He's just pro-Trump.

The bottom line is you got two politicians seeking re-election. In Israel you got Bibi. In the U. S., you got Mimi.

Scriber’s Usually Unreliable Sources report on intercepts of phone conversations.

Mimi: Hey, Bibi. You gotta keep those Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib out of Israel. They’ll talk to Palestinians and burn your country down.

Bibi: [Gasp!] We’ll keep them out.

[After negative press and lots of it …]

Bibi: Oh, well. Tlaib can visit her 90-year old grandmother but she has to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.

Mimi: That will work. I know all about NDAs.

In refusing to visit Israel under these conditions, Tlaib basically gave a single finger salute to both these dudes.

Quote of the [Yester]day: “… Trump — with the knowing help of Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu — is doing something no American president and Israeli prime minister have done before: They’re making support for Israel a wedge issue in American politics.” -Thomas L. Friedman.

If You Think Trump Is Helping Israel, You’re a Fool charges Thomas L. Friedman in the NY Times. By barring Representatives Omar and Tlaib, Netanyahu made the president happy. But he has poisoned relations with America.

Here is some of Friedman’s column (with thanks to Roving Reporter Sherry).

I am going to say this as simply and clearly as I can: If you’re an American Jew and you’re planning on voting for Donald Trump because you think he is pro-Israel, you’re a damn fool.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Trump has said and done many things that are in the interests of the current Israeli government — and have been widely appreciated by the Israeli public. To deny that would be to deny the obvious. But here’s what’s also obvious. Trump’s way of — and motivation for — expressing his affection for Israel is guided by his political desire to improve his re-election chances by depicting the entire Republican Party as pro-Israel and the entire Democratic Party as anti-Israel.

As a result, Trump — with the knowing help of Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu — is doing something no American president and Israeli prime minister have done before: They’re making support for Israel a wedge issue in American politics.

Few things are more dangerous to Israel’s long-term interests than its becoming a partisan matter in America, which is Israel’s vital political, military and economic backer in the world.

As Dore Gold, the right-wing former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and once a very close adviser to Netanyahu, warned in a dialogue at the Hudson Institute on Nov. 27, 2018: “You reach out to Democrats, and you reach out to Republicans. And you don’t get caught playing partisan politics in the United States.’’

Trump’s campaign to tar the entire Democratic Party with some of the hostile views toward Israel of a few of its newly elected congresswomen — and Netanyahu’s careless willingness to concede to Trump’s demand and bar two of them, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, from visiting Israel and the West Bank — is part of a process that will do huge, long-term damage to Israel’s interests and support in America.

Excuse me, but when did powerful Israel — a noisy, boisterous democracy where Israeli Arabs in its parliament say all kinds of wild and crazy things — get so frightened by what a couple of visiting freshman American congresswomen might see or say? When did Israel get so afraid of saying to them: “Come, visit, go anywhere you want! We’ve got our warts and we’ve got our good stuff. We’d just like you to visit both. But if you don’t, we’ll live with that too. We’re pretty tough.’’

It’s too late for that now. The damage of what Trump and Bibi have been up to — formally making Israel a wedge issue in American politics — is already done. …

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