The “Trump Doctrine” for the Middle East: Guy Millière, Gatestone Institute, June 13, 2018— After three successive American Presidents had used a six-month waiver to defer moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem for more than two decades, President Donald J. Trump decided not to wait any longer.
Protests in Iran Prove Trump is Getting it Right: Benny Avni, New York Post, June 25, 2018 — While Team Trump is divided over Iran policy — some say negotiate, others advocate pressure aimed at regime change — defiant Iranians taking to the streets of the capital are resolving that dispute decisively in favor of the latter.
The Peril of Politicized Antisemitism: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2018— A Google search of the terms “Trump Nazi,” brings up 70,900,000 results.
The Liberal Contribution to Trump’s Reelection Campaign: John Podhoretz, Commentary, June 25, 2018— In 2016, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio tried to get himself back in the game by ridiculing Trump in Trump-like fashion in the 1,875th Republican debate.
On Topic Links
Moving the Goalpost: The Much-Anticipated U.S. Peace Plan: Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2018
Leading Scholar: Trump’s Embassy Move, Recognition of Jerusalem Represent ‘Important Turning Point’: Benjamin Kerstein, Algemeiner, May 14, 2018
Obama’s Failures Created Trump’s New Middle East: Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, June 13, 2018
Suicide of West Can Be Averted By Policies of Trump: Conrad Black, New York Sun, June 21, 2018
THE “TRUMP DOCTRINE” FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
Gatestone Institute, June 13, 2018
After three successive American Presidents had used a six-month waiver to defer moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem for more than two decades, President Donald J. Trump decided not to wait any longer. On December 7, 2017, he declared that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the official embassy transfer took place on May 14th, the day of Israel’s 70th anniversary.
From the moment of Trump’s declaration, leaders of the Muslim world expressed anger and announced major trouble. An Islamic summit conference was convened in Istanbul a week later, and ended with statements about a “crime against Palestine”. Western European leaders followed suit. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said that President Trump’s decision was a “serious mistake” and could have huge “consequences”. French President Emmanuel Macron, going further, declared that the decision could provoke a “war”.
Despite these ominous predictions, trouble remained largely absent. The Istanbul statement remained a statement. The “war” anticipated by Macron did not break out. The Islamic terrorist organization Hamas sent masses of rioters from Gaza to tear down Israel’s border fence and cross over, to force Israeli soldiers to fire, thereby allowing Hamas to have bodies of “martyrs” to show to the cameras. So far, Hamas has sent 62 of its own people to their death. Fifty of them were, by Hamas’s own admission, members of Hamas. Palestinian terrorist groups fired rockets into southern Israel; Israeli jets retaliated with airstrikes. Hamas sent kites, attached to incendiary devices and explosives, over the border to Israel. So far, 200 of the fire-kites that Hamas sent have destroyed 6,200 acres of Israeli forests and farmland.
Pundits who predicted more violent reactions have been surprised by the relatively quiet reaction of the Palestinian and Muslim communities. The reason might be called the “Trump Doctrine for the Middle East”. One element of it consisted of crushing the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. President Trump had promised quickly to clear the world of what had become a main backbone of Islamic terrorism. He kept his promise in less than a year, and without a massive deployment of American troops. Trump has shown the strength of the United States and restored its credibility in a region where strength and force determine credibility.
Another element of it was put in place during President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017. President Trump renewed ties which had seriously deteriorated during the previous 8 years. Trump more broadly laid the foundation for a new alliance of the United States with the Sunni Arab world, but he put two conditions on it: a cessation of all Sunni Arab support for Islamic terrorism and an openness to the prospect of a regional peace that included Israel.
Both conditions are being gradually fulfilled. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chose his son Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) as heir to the throne. MBS started an internal revolution to impose new directions on the kingdom. The Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, created on December 15, 2015, was endorsed by the United States; it held its inaugural meeting on November 26, 2017. In addition, links between Israeli and Saudi security services were strengthened and coordination between the Israeli and Egyptian militaries intensified.
An alliance between Israel and the main countries of the Sunni Arab world to contain Iran also slowly and unofficially began taking shape. MBS, calling called Hamas a terrorist organization, saying that it must “be destroyed”. He told representatives of Jewish organizations in New York that Palestinian leaders need to “take the [American] proposals or shut up.” Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was summoned to Riyadh twice — in November and December 2017; and it appears he was “asked” to keep quiet. Never has the distance between Palestinian organizations, and Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Arab world, seemed so far. The only Sunni Arab country to have maintained ties with Hamas is Qatar, but the current Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani, has been under pressure to change his stance.
Immediately after President Trump left Riyadh, a third element emerged. The US presidential plane went directly from Riyadh to in Israel: for the first time, a direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel took place. President Trump went to Jerusalem, where he became the first sitting US President to visit the Western Wall, the only historical remains of a retaining wall from the ancient Temple of King Solomon. During his campaign, Trump had referred to Jerusalem as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people”, implicitly acknowledging that the Jews have had their roots there for 3,000 years…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
PROTESTS IN IRAN PROVE TRUMP IS GETTING IT RIGHT
New York Post, June 25, 2018
While Team Trump is divided over Iran policy — some say negotiate, others advocate pressure aimed at regime change — defiant Iranians taking to the streets of the capital are resolving that dispute decisively in favor of the latter. Tehran’s grand bazaar was shut down Monday as merchants joined street protests and thousands defied thuggish regime riot police trying to quell the rebellion. Other big cities joined Tehran as well.
Protesters carried signs like “Leave Syria alone, think of us.” Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the Houthis — all proxy arms of the Islamic Republic’s strategy of spreading its version of the “Islamic revolution” across the region — weren’t spared protesters’ ire either. In a modification of the regime’s “death to Israel” staple, some merchants raised “death to Palestine” signs on Monday. And worse, from the regime’s point of view: “Death to the dictator.”
Iranians have been protesting all year. Truck drivers, unable to afford gasoline, have been on strike. Others, including past regime supporters, also turned against Tehran’s pricey adventurism in the region while ignoring troubles at home. Much of it is because the mullahs can’t manage their moola. In anticipation of new US sanctions set to hit in August, the Iranian rial is sinking fast: 42,890 rials could buy a dollar at the end of 2017. Now the dollar is worth 90,000 rials. For ordinary folks, such hyperinflation means thinner dinner, if at all.
But it isn’t just the economy. Women have been increasingly removing their hijab in public, in defiance of the law. The regime was recently forced to allow women to publicly cheer their World Cup soccer team. The games are televised in stadiums, where until recently only men were admitted. But until now, much of the protest mostly stayed in small peripheral towns. Monday’s demonstrations mark a new phase, says Masih Alinejad, the Brooklyn-based Iranian woman widely credited with launching the powerful anti-hijab movement.
“What the regime feared most is happening,” Alinejad tells me. “Tehran had stayed calm as nationwide protests at the beginning of the year engulfed 80 cities. Now an impromptu protest in Tehran by merchants against economic mismanagement has turned into a massive anti-regime event, with chants of death to dictator and death to Palestine.” On Sunday, she added, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif railed against regime change, and “that to me suggests the regime is very worried.”
President Trump, meanwhile, is reportedly eager to prove his deal artistry prowess and renegotiate his predecessor’s nuclear pact with Iran while top administration officials support a turn to diplomacy. The argument was crystallized by President George W. Bush’s former ambassador in Iraq and Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, in a recent Washington Post op-ed: “Trump’s pressure tactics likely won’t bring Iran to its knees or facilitate the overthrow of the regime in the foreseeable future — but his approach might bring the Iranians to the negotiating table.”
Others in the administration, however, agree with National Security Adviser John Bolton, who, at least until joining the Trump team, was an avid proponent of regime change in Iran. Is it feasible? Is it advisable? Regime change has suffered bad PR since Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. But take a look at the carnage in Syria, where America decided to sit out an age-defining struggle against an evil regime.
So far on Iran, we’re doing the right thing: Pressure the regime for spreading evil around the region and the globe, while allowing space for Iranians to determine their future without us. Trump has amped up pressure on the regime while not overtly advocating regime change. Staying this course will help Iranians articulate their growing disdain for their oppressors.
Some in the administration are pushing Trump to offer to negotiate with Khamenei & Co., betting Tehran will summarily reject a gesture prompted by “global arrogance.” This way, the argument goes, we could convince Europeans and others that we tried diplomacy but Iran didn’t budge, so they should join our pressure. This gambit may work. But even if so, a gesture toward the Tehran clerics will legitimize them — and discourage a swelling number of Iranians who yearn to end their exclusive hold on power. Here’s a Cold War lesson: Realists can’t easily envision it, but dictators can suddenly fall. And then realities change very quickly.
THE PERIL OF POLITICIZED ANTISEMITISM
Caroline B. Glick
Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2018
A Google search of the terms “Trump Nazi,” brings up 70,900,000 results. There are a number of distressing aspects to this state of affairs. First and foremost, it is pure libel to call US President Donald Trump a Nazi. His daughter Ivanka is Jewish. His daughter-in-law is Jewish. Half his grandchildren are Jewish and his non-Jewish ex-daughter-in-law is half Jewish. How many Nazis have Hanukka celebrations in their homes starring their Jewish grandchildren?
Beyond his Jewish immediate family, Trump has shown extraordinary friendship to the Jewish state. It isn’t simply that Trump kept the promise none if his predecessors kept and moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, although that would have sufficed to prove his friendship. Trump shows his friendship and respect for Israel every single day. Last week he agreed to sell Israel mid-air refueling planes. His predecessor, Barack Obama, refused to sell Israel the aircraft in order to protect Iran’s nuclear sites from Israeli air strikes. Trump agreed to sell them to enable such Israeli strikes in the event they become necessary.
This week, Trump approved UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s determination that the US should withdraw from the institutionally antisemitic UN Human Rights Council. The Obama administration joined the council claiming it would use its membership to influence the council for the better and proceeded to legitimize council’s anti-Jewish witch hunt for eight years.
The people of Israel recognize Trump’s friendship. Nearly 80% of Israelis view him as a friend. So what explains the 70,900,000 results to the “Trump Nazi” Google search? One answer came this week with the media outcry over the US government policy of separating illegal immigrant minors from their illegal immigrant parents. The policy is cruel. Indeed, recognizing its cruelty, Trump signed an executive order banning the practice.
But the policy isn’t new. This was the Obama administration’s policy following a court order prohibiting children from joining their parents in detention. Rather than soberly acknowledge that law enforcement, including immigration law is often a cruel business and recognize that to remain a state of laws sometimes authorities undertake difficult and harsh actions, the anti-Trump media ignored reality and went straight for the kill. David Remnick, Frank Bruni and countless others didn’t care that the Obama administration separated children from their parents, placed them in cages and wrapped them in aluminum foil.
As far as they are concerned, the continuation of the same cruel policy under Trump is proof that Trump is a Nazi. Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of the NSA and the CIA posted a photo of the entrance to Auschwitz on his Twitter feed with a caption “Other governments have separated mothers and children.” As much as Hayden and his comrades hate Trump, by claiming that enforcing laws of Congress is Nazi behavior, they are demonizing the US and engaging in rank antisemitism. Mexican children separated from their parents because they broke properly constituted laws of a liberal republic are not the moral equivalent of the million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis for the “crime” of breathing while Jewish. Congress is not the Reichstag. And the Rio Grande is not Auschwitz.
Hayden and his comrades are not idiots. So why are they making these unhinged, libelous claims? The answer is that their actions are part of a wider move by Democrats to politicize antisemitism. Much has been made of the fact that support for Israel is becoming a partisan issue. Whereas Republicans are almost unanimous in support for the US alliance with Israel, support among Democrats is flagging and becoming a minority view on the rapidly growing far Left. What has gone largely unmentioned is that antisemitism is also becoming a partisan issue. As their party becomes more hostile to Israel, Democrats are increasingly highlighting the neo-Nazi elements at the fringe of the Republican Party as a means of implicating the entire Republican Party – led by Trump – as antisemitic and dangerous.
At the same time, even as leading members of the Democratic Party like Keith Ellison and luminaries like Linda Sarsour openly espouse anti-Jewish sentiments and propagate antisemitic conspiracy theories, Democrats ignore, whitewash, deny and minimize the significance of the swelling chorus of antisemitism within their ranks. Compare the responses of Democrats and Republicans to the appearance of antisemites on their ballots.
In the current election cycle, three white supremacists have sought office as Republican candidates. Arthur Jones, a 70-year-old white supremacist Nazi, running for Congress in Illinois’s 3rd Congressional district ran a stealth campaign for the safe Democratic seat. He quietly collected the requisite signatures to file his papers with the state election commission, blindsiding the GOP, which had not planned to field a candidate to run against incumbent Dan Lipinski who has won the last seven elections by a 70-30 margin. In response to Jones’s maneuver, the state and national GOP condemned and disavowed him in the harshest terms. The state party announced it would field an independent candidate to run in the general election against Jones and Lipinski.
Then there is Patrick Little. Little, another Nazi, ran in California’s open primary for Senate as a Republican. Ten other Republicans also ran. In one poll, which included Little and one other Republican candidate only, he was the top ranked Republican candidate in the open Senate race against Democratic incumbent Diane Feinstein. Rather than acknowledge the poll’s statistical insignificance, the Forward, Newsweek and Yahoo news ran stories about Little and the poll claiming that it proved that empowered by Trump, Nazis are taking over the Republican Party. The fact that the California GOP forcibly removed Little from their state convention was barely reported in the national media…
In the Democratic tent itself, things are a bit different. Rising stars in the Democratic Party, including Rep. Ellison and Women’s March leaders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour along with the Congressional Black Caucus embrace Louis Farrakhan, and defend his notorious, virulent hatred of Jews. They demonize Israel and its Jewish supporters. Far from being attacked or otherwise denounced for their actions, these Democrats are advanced and promoted. Ellison is the vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Mallory and Sarsour, Maxine Waters and other members of the CBC are feted by party leaders including Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
THE LIBERAL CONTRIBUTION TO TRUMP’S REELECTION CAMPAIGN
Commentary, June 25, 2018
In 2016, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio tried to get himself back in the game by ridiculing Trump in Trump-like fashion in the 1,875th Republican debate. This was the notorious “hand size” moment—and Trump responded exactly as Rubio wanted him to, by defending himself on the most ludicrous grounds. But the attack didn’t take and, in short order, Rubio apologized for it. He said his wife was unhappy he’d done it and he wouldn’t stoop to Trump’s level again. And that was that for Marco Rubio.
You cannot shame the shameless, and you cannot make unacceptable someone who has not only resorted to but has embraced conduct everyone else deemed unacceptable—and has not only survived but thrived because of it. That was Rubio’s mistake. By behaving like Trump, Rubio erased whatever advantage he might have had from not being like Trump (and remember, that was not nothing; after all was said and done, Trump only got 45 percent of the primary vote). It was probably worth a shot, but as it didn’t work, it’s probably not worth a second shot.
And yet that is exactly the path Democrats and liberals seem to be stumbling onto in their battle against Trump and the GOP. They have decided that the offenses of Trump and his administration against the good and the true and the beautiful are so horrific that anyone officially associated with him is to be harassed in public. Desperate times call for desperate measures, apparently.
The tactic of making the political personal in the most direct and unpleasant of ways is nothing new, of course. The home of my late sister, married to Reagan’s assistant secretary of state for Inter-American Affairs at the height of the U.S.-Sandinista clashes, was picketed by protestors in 1987. He was away while she and her three children under the age of six sat inside hearing their husband and father denounced as a murderer. In a residential neighborhood in D.C. That was nice, huh? Three little kids.
The comedian Seth Rogen recently bragged about refusing to take a photo with Paul Ryan in the presence of Ryan’s kids. He confessed to feeling bad about it, but also to thinking that it would be good if Ryan’s kids knew people who make movies and TV don’t like their dad. There’s a word for someone who brags about how he went and taught someone else’s kids a lesson in this way: The word is “asshole.”
This is what happens when you dehumanize your opposition. But anyone who professes to admire Trump should tread carefully when expressing outrage over the mistreatment of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at the Red Hen restaurant this weekend because the dehumanization of the opposition is key to Trump’s communications and base-pumping strategies. And if you thrill at him for his conduct and find the treatment of Sanders unspeakable, there’s a word for you too, and it’s “hypocrite.”
The point Trump’s opposition fails to grasp is this: By imitating Trump, you are doing exactly what you fear the media are doing. You are normalizing him. You are making this kind of conduct the political baseline for both parties and both ideological tendencies. And let’s face it: You’re just not going to do it as well as Trump does. It’s like trying to follow in the footsteps of Al Jolson, a huge star who was also insufferable and immensely annoying. Nobody did Jolson like Jolson—but who would want to?
By affirming the notion that Americans are now divided into enemy camps, and each should treat the other as though it is beneath contempt, Democrats and liberals are making an in-kind contribution to the GOP’s 2018 midterm campaign and the 2020 Trump campaign. This is how you’re going to get Trump again.
On Topic Links
Moving the Goalpost: The Much-Anticipated U.S. Peace Plan: Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2018—Sometime in the coming weeks, the US will present the much-anticipated peace plan it has been working on since President Donald Trump entered the Oval Office 18 months ago. What the plan exactly contains remains a mystery, but based on rumblings in Washington and Jerusalem, it has the potential to shake up the region.
Leading Scholar: Trump’s Embassy Move, Recognition of Jerusalem Represent ‘Important Turning Point’: Benjamin Kerstein, Algemeiner, May 14, 2018—President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital represented an “important turning point” and “act of courage and integrity,” a leading scholar told The Algemeiner.
Obama’s Failures Created Trump’s New Middle East: Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, June 13, 2018—The search for explanations and scapegoats for the rejection of President Obama’s worldview in the 2016 election continues.
Suicide of West Can Be Averted By Policies of Trump: Conrad Black, New York Sun, June 21, 2018—It is distasteful to return to my exchange with my esteemed National Review colleague Jonah Goldberg about the column he wrote several weeks ago likening President Trump’s reference to the implantation of FBI informers in his campaign as “Spygate” to McCarthyism.