Many pundits jumped at President Donald Trump’s statement: “I like two-state solution.” Some already went so far as to imagine a dilemma that Trump has tossed in the lap of the Israeli left (as did Aluf Benn).
I did not think for a moment that Trump’s statement was important. He was apparently responding to Arab rulers who had asked this of him, but he cannot support a two-state solution because in the American reality he is dependent on evangelical preachers. In their view, the establishment of an Arab state in the historic land of Israel is an unforgivable sin.
Evangelicals have limited faith in Trump. They saw him as no more than the lesser evil. They would undoubtedly prefer a believing Christian, whose lifestyle reflects conservative morals. They have come to terms with his grating statements because he helped get the hated Hillary Clinton out of the arena.
I was a guest at the evangelical conference in Nashville, Tennessee in 1995. As an Israeli government minister, I wanted to promote pilgrimage to Israel. I met with then-evangelical leader Pat Robertson and other heads of the movement. They asked me not to mention the peace process or Hillary and Bill Clinton in my speech. While they did not undermine the legitimacy of the Rabin government, they saw it as working against their religious beliefs.
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As for Trump, he does not understand the meaning of the nuclear agreement with Iran that he pulled the United States out of, he believes that he has taken Jerusalem off the table in negotiations with the Palestinians, and now he’s going to remove the issue of refugees and all will be well.
His latest speech to the United Nations was an ideological one, clearly written by a conservative team. It was a speech that derided the American dream that seeks to instill democracy in the world as a fundamental value and a basis for international cooperation. Even the conservative President George Bush made democracy the litmus test of U.S. foreign relations.
But Trump cited Poland, a country that acts against U.S. values, dismantles its justice system and has been condemned by the European Union, which has acted in concert with the United States all through the years.
According to Trump’s ideology, there is no place for the International Criminal Court in The Hague – the only institution that scares genocidal and tribal murderers. That also stems from a position by which the U.S. administration has removed all democratic conditions from its U.S. foreign ties. Because according to the Trump doctrine, countries can have any regime they want. The only condition is that they admire the president.
It’s possible that the wave of Trumpism might wash over other democratic countries, which might envy a regime that runs the world by annulments, sanctions and warnings. There are quite a few rulers who would like to get rid of their justice system and their independent press. But American voters might also want to put an end to this sweeping populism.
I am aware that some of Trump’s positions are pleasing to the Israeli ear, as if he were a modern Cyrus the Great. His bellicose character is also attractive to many Israelis. There are even some people firmly in the peace camp who believe that an American dictate could lead to the longed-for peace.
I don’t believe in the man or his doctrine. He will not rain down gifts upon us. Let him not do us any favors.