Trump’s dangerous neutrality on Israel


TIMES OF ISRAEL – The political earthquake caused by Donald Trump’s presumptive nomination promises a particular aftershock: For the first time in recent history, a major party’s nominee is explicitly “neutral” on Israel. Many of Mr. Trump’s defenders — stalwart supporters of Israel — are, at best, shrugging off his positions, and, at worst, sanitizing them. But US-Israel relations are too important to be subject to partisan scrubbing of positions that veer radically from prior presidential candidates of both parties.

Mr. Trump’s views are not a matter for Talmudic interpretation. He has made himself quite clear.

In an Associated Press interview on the peace process last December, Mr. Trump stated: “I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it… A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.”

But since when has the onus been on Israel alone? Surely Hamas and Hezbollah rockets and continued terrorist attacks have something to do with it.

Soon after the interview, Trump dug in even deeper at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, questioning “if Israel has the commitment” to reach a peace deal. He wouldn’t even support a two-state solution when asked. But Jewish voters are supposed to feel comfortable with Trump because as he said in that same meeting, “”I’m a negotiator like you folks.”

By February, I was questioning Mr. Trump’s position on Israel even more. During an MSNBC Town Hall he told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, “If I win, I don’t want to be in a position where I’m saying to you, and the other side now says, ‘We don’t want Trump involved’… let me sort of be a neutral guy… I don’t want to say whose fault is it, I don’t think it helps.”

So let me get this straight: Not only is Mr. Trump skeptical of Israel’s commitment to peace, but he also thinks his neutrality is going to help bring about peace?

No, what will help bring peace is a strong leader whose support for Israel never wavers – and who’s committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge.

Mr. Trump is quick to list his credentials as Israel’s most ardent supporter: He was once the grand marshal of the Israel Day Parade in New York. But he’s not running for grand marshal. He’s running for President. And as president, his position on Israel would be not to take sides.

Mr. Trump’s professed neutrality is particularly dangerous given the rise of the BDS movement on America’s college campuses. The voices of double standards and hypocrisy can only be legitimized by a presidential candidate who gives voice to the notion that the problem in the Mideast peace process is Israel.

Thankfully, some of the Republican Party’s top pro-Israel thinkers agree with my assessment. In early March, Dan Senor, a Jewish Republican columnist, former George W. Bush administration official, and Romney’s top foreign policy advisor, pledged not to vote for Trump if he becomes his party’s nominee. “I’m not voting for Donald Trump,” he declared. “I’m not voting for him in the primary and I’m not for him in the general.”

And William Kristol who founded the Emergency Committee for Israel, wrote in a press release, “If you’re pro-Israel, you shouldn’t be pro-Trump. Apologists for dictators aren’t reliable friends of the Jewish state.”

I respect their courage and candor. And I hope others will put their professed support for a strong Israel ahead of partisan calculation. Giving Mr. Trump a pass on such a fundamental issue is not only cynical, it’s dangerous.

With so much going on – new tunnels being dug from Gaza to Israel, negotiations over a new US. package of military cooperation, incitement of a new generation of terrorists in Palestinian schools – this is not the time to accept a presidential candidate who wants to “sort of be a neutral guy.”

Donald Trump’s stance on Israel’s security is highly risky. And Israel’s security — as an American interest — is just too important to risk.

Steve Israel is the US Representative for New York’s 3rd congressional district.


  1. #1 by Christopher Phillips on 05/16/2016 - 9:34

    If a Gentile American is looking for reasons to dislike Jews, this article provides it. How dare the Jewish community demand that we Gentile Americans support the apartheid, rogue state of Israel — a state which has stabbed the American people in the back on dozens of occasions. And how dare the Jews demand American politicians continue t put the interests of Israel first when Israel puts Israeli interests first?
    I for onw am tired of seeing Gentile soldiers die either because of Israel or for Israel.

  2. #2 by DDearborn on 05/16/2016 - 9:34


    “US-Israel relations are too important to be subject to partisan scrubbing”; Like hell and says who. Jews make up less than 3% of the US population. Yet they continue to demand that the other 97% let our government pay Israeli citizens more per capita in aid than is spent in total per capita by the US government on their own citizens.

    I have a message for the author and the entire Pro-Israel and Israel first movements; America has already spent far far to much money on such a tiny country. And taking care of America and Americans is far to important for us to waste any more time, energy and money on a country that murders our soldiers, steals our secrets and sells them to our enemies, interferes with our elections, and continues to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and Apartheid while crying they are the victims. It is high time America stops giving Israel special treatment.

    Donald Trump for President: finally someone who actually will put America and Americans first again.

  3. #3 by Frederick on 05/16/2016 - 9:34

    Death to Israel!

  4. #4 by Stephen Kastl on 05/16/2016 - 9:34

    Steve Israel should be executed for treason.

  5. #5 by Hassan on 05/16/2016 - 9:34

    Trump made it clear in his speech at AIPAC that there won’t be changes to US israel relationship and even went far by saying he will make Jerusalam the capital….so those who believe Trump is neutral on israel, dream on.

  6. #6 by nooralhaqiqa on 05/16/2016 - 9:34

    This friggin author would not be happy unless Netanyahu were American President according to what he wants in a POTUS.

  7. #7 by Omar Mohammed on 05/16/2016 - 9:34

    Trump isnt “neutral” , he fully supports Israel and is willing to move the American embassy to Occupied Jerusalem to please AIPAC (even Obama wont dare say that).

    Sadly all the two party candidates (as usual) are 100% kosher – the republican and democratic party will never choose someone that is not fully pro-Israel.

    If you’re voting its best to vote for a 3rd party like the Libertarian Party or the Green Party than take part in the jewish Zionist backed two party system.

  8. #8 by Dante Ardenz on 05/16/2016 - 9:34

    In this article one can see the totally subjective character of Israel / Jews .
    They refuse to put ANY loyalty to the nation’s they reside in…everything just be about them FIRST .

    All policy,culture ,races nation’s subjective to them.
    ” Toleration ” ,to them is not about living ,and let live but uncompromising demand .
    This why they are known as ” the International Jews.

    If the USA cast off Jewish control tomarrow they would immediately defect,and demand the USA be destroyed .

    Jews cannot open tolerate nothing but ” Unconditional Surrender “,to their demands .

    For any leader not to obey them IN TOTAL is ” Cruel Anti-Semitesm ” .

    All stops will be pulled out to destroy that person /nation .

    Stupid Gentile think do not understand this .

    Only ” Israel First ” will do down to the utter destruction of their hosts .

  9. #9 by Bill Burroughs on 05/18/2016 - 9:34

    Treasonous seditionist Jews like Steve Israhell need to be forcibly removed from ALL positions of power and control in America and be deported immediately with their carpet bags to their beloved racist terror-state. Israel is now the NUMBER ONE ENEMY of ALL HUMANITY, and it has clearly demonstrated this unimpeachable fact in a million disgusting ways. The Jews in the U.S. government are all FULLY AWARE that 9-11 was the tenth or eleventh time our country was viciously attacked by Israel. The verdict is already in on how, why, and who pulled off the 9-11 murders in order to trick the American sheeple into laying down their lives and finances for the benefit of the putrid little demon country that attacked us. We should not be concerned about the “security of Israhell,” but make plans on how to burn that country and its evil people to the fucking ground. Israel needs to be turned into the post-WWII Dresden of the Middle East. All the passionate hatred and violence Americans have been tricked into directing against the Islamic world should rightfully be directed with absolute and full force against the actual people and country that have been seeking the destruction of the American and European people for over a century. As in the Wizard of Oz, once we melt the Wicked Witch of Israhell, humanity will thank us and be liberated from this people who are all fully condemned and cursed by God. At this point, the Jews of America have two choices: move to Israel or face the guns of the revolution. And this is exactly why they fear more than anything else the TRUTH ABOUT 9-11!

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