Trump Disappoints Fans at AIPAC
• Trump contradicts pro-U.S. policies by pandering to Israel at confab.
By Mark Anderson —
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Some Donald J. Trump fans may be asking: “Will the real Trump please stand up?”
On the one hand, the brash billionaire real estate tycoon and GOP presidential front-runner spoke March 21 at the Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—where he promised Israel everything and then some, including moving the United States embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and ensuring that any threat to Israel from Iran or anywhere else will be treated as a threat to the U.S.
“I didn’t come here to pander to Israel,” Trump began, before doing plenty of pandering. “No. My priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran. We’ve rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with $150 billion and we’ve received nothing in return.”
But on the other, just before speaking to well over 10,000 AIPAC supporters and officials at Washington D.C.’s Verizon Center, Trump told the Washington Post editorial board that he wants a softer military footprint in the world and if elected president would pursue what amounts to a non-interventionist foreign policy.
Among other things, he told the Post that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military alliance is costing the U.S. too much money with diminishing returns. He told the Post that he’d put the brakes on U.S. support of NATO, and he’d spend the savings on rebuilding the crumbling U.S. infrastructure and on education.
“Trump said he advocates a light footprint in the world. In spite of unrest abroad, especially in the Middle East, Trump said the United States must look inward and steer its resources toward rebuilding domestic infrastructure,” the editorial board quaked, while calling Trump’s stance, “Unabashedly non-interventionist.”
Still, while Trump’s chief GOP rival Senator Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (Texas) may have been even more slavish toward Israel’s interests—telling the AIPAC crowd he’d literally “tear up” the nuclear agreement the U.S. and other nations reached with Iran—both men pledged the moon and the stars to Israel.
Trump, however, went on to say that he’d “enforce” the existing Iran deal stringently. Even the Times of Israel caught that twist, noting that Trump first said he’d “dismantle” the Iran deal but then said he’d “enforce” it. Some news outlets, however, suggested that Trump “charmed” AIPAC, implying that his apparent strong support for Israel is not altogether genuine or, at the very least, his Jewish audience was not totally sold on his remarks.
Trump did add at the AIPAC event that any agreement Israel reaches with Palestine that’s “imposed by the UN” would be “a total and complete disaster.” He further remarked: “A Trump presidency would veto, 100%, any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish state,” basically ruling out a resolution for a separate Palestinian homeland. And both Trump and Cruz made the spurious claim that Iran has been test-firing missiles, allegedly onto which are inscribed the words, “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth.” Cruz even said he’d shoot down any missiles that Iran test-fires if he’s elected.
Jamal Abdi, executive director of the National Iranian American Council responded: “We condemn Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and [still active GOP candidate] John Kasich for their pledges to undo the diplomatic efforts of President Obama and put the U.S. back on the path to war with Iran. Trump and his colleagues’ rhetoric may have won standing ovations from AIPAC, the organization that spent millions to try to kill the Iran deal, but it will not win them the White House. The U.S. people do not want another military adventure in the Middle East.”
So is the enigmatic Mr. Trump actually a super-servile servant of Israel, or is he being pragmatic in order to charm the unavoidably powerful AIPAC lobby by uttering what they want to hear in order to clear any obstacles to the White House?
Trump and Cruz especially, along with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), told AIPAC that the U.S. relationship with Israel makes both countries safer. But Israel, as the record shows, is largely the reason that the U.S. has been more or less constantly at war—for the security of a Middle East state in which Christianity is unwelcome and grossly disparaged.
And while media-anointed Democratic presidential “front-runner” Hillary Clinton also addressed the AIPAC conference and rapped Trump, she is actually a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)-favored internationalist dressed in traditional Democrat garb, having addressed the CFR twice since her candidacy was considered and confirmed. Accordingly, she has a hawkish foreign policy for America to permanently police the world that’s not only well-suited to AIPAC; it’s also indistinguishable from the view widely held by Republican neoconservatives who’ve replaced traditional conservatives in government while heavily populating major think tanks that help lay the groundwork for legislation.
Mark Anderson covers the annual Bilderberg meetings and is chairman of AFP’s new America First Action Committee, designed to involve AFP readers in focusing intensely on Congress to enact key changes, including monetary reform and a pullback of the warfare state. He and his wife Angie often work together on news projects.