Monday, November 23, 2020

On November 6, Hen Mazzig tweeted, "Trump’s ‘support’ for Israel was never a gift. He cared more about the way Christians viewed it, than the lives of American Jews, made Israel a partisan issue, and harmed public opinion towards Israel. Remember, Trump cares only about himself."

I wrote a post disagreeing, and proposing a test

Assuming that he has lost the election, he is a lame duck president.

If he ignores Israel in his remaining weeks in office, then that would strongly indicate that Mazzig is right.

If he works to do more things that are good for Israel, then that would strongly indicate that Trump really is pro-Israel.

In Round 1, I said that reports that the Trump administration planned on pushing new rounds of sanctions up until he leaves office indicates that I am right. Mazzig responded that Trump didn't personally do this, saying all he was doing was playing golf. (He then retweeted the fake news that Trump unfollowed Netanyahu on Twitter.)

In Round 2, I noted a story that an American official stated that Trump would do all he can for Israel until the last minute. Mazzig dismissed that:

I'm fine with saying that the test is about actions, but if one wants to redefine everything good for Israel as really being good for himself - even after the election - then this test is meaningless, since it means that no matter what Trump or his administration do, some reason can be found to make it about Trump, real or imagined. 

Since then we have round 3, 4 and 5, all of them courtesy of Mike Pompeo.

Round 3 was saying that the US would start to determine whether any organizations that are funded by the US are adhering to BDS with the intent of stopping aid to those organizations. Chances are very small that this will go past January 20. At the same time, Pompeo tweeted that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

Round 4 was Pompeo changing the labeling guidelines for goods imported from the territories to say "Made in Israel." This reflects reality of Israel's rule over those areas, whether one agrees with it or not; the labeling laws were embraced by Israel-haters.

Round 5 is today's bombshell news:

In the first visit of its kind, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an Israeli official told Hebrew media on Monday.

Netanyahu was on the ground in Neom, a Red Sea city, for five hours for the first known high-level meeting between an Israeli and Saudi leader. He was accompanied by Mossad intelligence chief Yossi Cohen, according to the reports.

Clearly Pompeo was behind this meeting as well, and all parties knew this would be leaked, to send a message of things changing in the Middle East (as opposed to previous secret meetings with the Saudis.)

I imagine Hen can find excuses on these three as well, saying that this is all Pompeo and not Trump, that Pompeo is preparing for a 2024 campaign for President and this is all about that. But again, ultimately this is Trump's foreign policy; Pompeo cannot do this without Trump's go-ahead. 

Is there an element of self-interest with Trump? Of course! And more so than with other presidents. Even so, everyone has multiple motives for anything that they do. Philanthropists have buildings named after them, does that negate the charity they give? Also, one would hope that US presidents would be pro-Israel because it is in America's interests, if they prioritize Israeli interests above their own nation's then they are not good leaders. Does that mean there was never a pro-Israel president?

Bottom line is that Israel is in better shape today than it was two weeks ago because of the Trump administration's recent decisions.

Plus, there is no way to look at these moves since the election without comparing them to Obama's throwing Israel under the bus when he was a lame duck in pushing the UN Security Council to pass an anti-Israel resolution. That revealed his true nature; Trump's actions (direct or indirect) since the election are a polar opposite.

I would say that in the two weeks since the election (and since the Lame Duck Test) the Trump administration did more for Israel than any President in their entire terms since Clinton, at least. 

I trust my readers can make their own determinations as to whether this test has been a success or not. 

And there are still almost two months to go.


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