Opinion

Trump’s and Netanyahu’s Voters Spurn Similar Beliefs

I identify with the people who chose Trump because of their faith he'll bring back the simple, natural and human American patriotism that once characterized the country.

Trump supporters in North Carolina, November 4, 2016.
AFP / Logan Cyrus

I’m afraid of Donald Trump. Despite his reassuring victory speech, this fickle man continues to scare me. Lots of his voters, who include racists, homophobes and anti-Semites, scare me.

Even though I’d like to see it, I don’t believe that Israel can annex Judea and Samaria, as Trump said during his election campaign. I don’t believe that the U.S. Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem, may it happen speedily in our days. Even the nuclear deal with Iran, despite Trump’s promises to revoke it, will probably remain in place.

But I do identify with the voters who chose him because of their faith that he will bring back the simple, natural and human American patriotism that so characterized the country until the withering years of political correctness arrived. These efforts expunged all belief in the righteousness of the “American spirit” and fostered timidity in the face of the destructive forces threatening everything dear to the lovers of freedom.

The world has already forgotten, but the America that Trump promises to bring back, the innocent America whose citizens were taught that the good of their country and homeland comes before the good of other countries, is the country that sacrificed hundreds of thousands of soldiers in two bloody world wars and the Cold War. Yes, the Americans rescued Western civilization from those who sought to annihilate it and return the world to the Dark Ages.

Just now, when universal ideas motivate President Barack Obama, America has come to terms with dictatorial regimes and sponsors of international terrorism. He doesn’t prevent these forces like the ayatollahs’ regime from undermining their neighbors U.S. allies. More than the voters were impressed with Trump, they voted against Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are identified with this anemic policy, the opposite of the American spirit.

If it turns out that the fear of Trump is an empty fear, and that he can carry out even the most elementary parts of his promises, mostly economic ones, then America can be great again, as his campaign slogan promised. This would be good for the world, Israel included, much more than Obama’s conciliatory line that stems not only from his false utopian beliefs but also from the weakness of his economic policy.

Trump’s election victory is similar to that by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015. Despite the harsh attacks by the parties of the old elites led by the united media Israeli voters preferred Netanyahu. They felt he was connected to the fundamental Jewish-Zionist values they believe in, and his opponents weren’t.

To most people, Netanyahu’s opponents abandoned these beliefs (and they were once the ones who championed them). They turned the people into slaves of global political correctness and lost their faith in the complete righteousness of Zionism. The support for groups slandering Israel and the army is proof of this.

Israeli commentators have noted the hatred that characterized Trump’s election campaign. Of course, none of them mentioned the hatred hurled last Saturday night at Netanyahu, the settlers, Likud MK David Bitan and Culture Minister Miri Regev at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. (“In Gush Emunim I saw cancer in the body of democracy,” the settler movement was once described by Yitzhak Rabin, the man in whose memory they gathered Saturday.) This is fierce and deeply rooted hatred.

The characters who attacked journalist Amnon Abramovich are just as likely to sit down with him a few minutes later and exchange pats on the back not like the flamethrowers of hatred from Rabin Square. Their 21-year-old slogan “We won’t forget and we won’t forgive” is clearer than the testimony of 1,000 witnesses.

So despite all the difficult things going on at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem (Trump too was elected despite allegations he committed lots of evil things), Netanyahu and his wife will remain there for a long time.

Between the dialogue of hatred at Rabin Square and the paranoia of Likud’s hotheads, most Israeli voters will continue to prefer Likud and its satellites over the purists of first-world Israel who loathe everything that’s not their own.