Friday, March 4, 2016

Commentary's Tobin: Trump a Republican "Outlier" Re Israel

Tobin is alarmed by Trump's statements to date on the subject (as am I):
Though Trump’s foreign policy statements are generally all over the map as he improvises positions that are, at one and the same time, extremely aggressive (his threats to kick ISIS’s ass) and neo-isolationist (pull back from war on Islamist terror while conducting trade wars), he has been consistent about his stance on the peace process. There he has repeatedly vowed that he would be “neutral” with regards to Israel and the Palestinians. He also expressed doubts about whether Israel was ready to take risks for peace. 
Such a position makes Trump an outlier among Republicans. Virtually every other GOP presidential candidate and the overwhelming majority of Republicans in the House and the Senate have affirmed their support for Israel in a way that makes clear that they believe the U.S. strongly backs Israel against the repeated Palestinian refusal to make peace. If anything, Trump’s stance strongly resembles the policy position taken by the Obama administration over the last 7+years. 
That Trump would take such a stand and that he clearly harbors ambitions to make a deal between Israel and the Palestinians is not just a matter of hubris, though we know he has no shortage of that fatal trait. It shows his abysmal ignorance of even the recent history of the Middle East. Moreover, it also demonstrates that he would be at the mercy of the “really smart people” that he claims he will recruit to serve in his administration that would be advising him. That most serious Republican foreign policy experts have vowed to oppose and to never serve in a Trump administration makes it likely that his administration will be staffed either by outlier figures whose stance on Israel can’t be relied upon or, just as likely with veterans of Democratic administrations...

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