Clinton, Trump and Israel – What Gives?
Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel met with both US presidential candidates; Clinton (Democrats) and Trump (Republicans) during his recent visit to New York to attend the UN general assembly meeting. Of course, this is not the first time he meets each of them, but as the presidential race is getting hotter with the approach of the candidates’ debates season, Israel may have felt that wise to reassess each candidate’s views, and then compare them to the statements and pledges they pronounce during the debates. This way Israel can differentiate between the candidate who is consistent with his pledges to Netanyahu and the candidate who isn’t. It can then throw in its support in full force behind the candidate who is true to it. Few doubt the effectiveness of the Israeli and Jewish lobby in elections of any sort in the US.
What did the candidates promise Netanyahu?
Because of the importance of the Jewish vote, both candidates fell over each other in promising Israel the Moon and the Sun and all the imaginable support between them. Military support, keep pressure in Iran, fight Hamas Hezbollah & ISIS, and all else that is music to Netanyahu’s ears. Actually, the competition between Clinton and Trump seems to have turned into an auction.
Clinton anted up aggressively by pledging not to allow anyone to impose a peace solution on Israel. This totally new pledge is quite controversial and contradicts President Obama’s intention to grant the UN a mandate to find and deploy a solution to the 68-year old Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which he has failed to bring about throughout his 8 years of tenure. Additionally, Clinton pledged to take US-Israeli partnership to the next level, if she is elected. This is quite intriguing, as the US-Israeli partnership is so close, that all that remains is for Israel to become the 51st State of America!
There was no way that Trump would let Clinton overbid him. He raised the bar and promised Netanyahu to make a united Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel. He also, praised Netanyahu’s wall between Israel and the Palestinians and asked for tips on building his Mexican wall. It is interesting here to note that Trump’s position last February was neutral regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which angered the Jewish lobby. He watered down a bit in March, but now has recalculated his odds and decided to go for Israel. Nevertheless, Trump is a shrewd businessman and will always move with the market. He is not a statesman nor a political thinker or philosopher, and hence, one cannot rely that he wouldn’t change his mind down the road.
As for Clinton, her pro-Israeli position is very clear and well documented for many long years. As well as he policies and actions towards the Middle East during her tenure as Secretary of State. Additionally, her politics are well supported by the US government institutions as represented by part of the White House Staff, State Department, the Intelligence Services, part of the US military leadership, the big banks and even Hollywood. Accordingly, Clinton is very likely to realize any pledges she gives to Israel.
As for Trump, who is viewed by some as a “loose cannon” and liable to shoot in all directions, he will need to be well reigned by surrounding him with assistants who are clearly pro classical US policies. This seems to have already began, even at the campaign phase by peppering his advisory team with experts with well-known inclinations.
It is noteworthy in all this hullabaloo, is that Netanyahu’s meeting with Trump is in itself a clear big Israeli endorsement to him. It has label dim as a viable candidate acceptable to Israel. Especially as his meeting was longer than that with Clinton, and was held in Trump’s home rather than a hotel for Clinton. So what is Israel’s scheme? What is it preempting? Has it weighed the odds and concluded that Trump is likely to be the next president? Or is it setting a trap?
The picture will become a lot clearer over the next few weeks as the presidential debates get underway. Watch them closely, you could learn how the game of nations is played – or at least you learn how a three card scam is run.