Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Trump Puts Israel First (Again)

This week Donald Trump unveiled his administration's new National Security Strategy (NSS). Coming on the heels of the Jerusalem embassy move announcement and its vigorous defense by Nikki Haley, it's been a very good Hanukkah. Believe me.

As one Atlantic Council wag put it: "The Trump administration's published National Security Strategy is as interesting for what it says as much as what it leaves out. When it comes to the Arab world, the framing is clear — it suffers, as this administration does more generally, from an 'Israel first' lens."

Here's a key passage from the NSS:
For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region. Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region's problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats.
In 2013, Trump's SecDef, retired Gen. James Mattis, told the Aspen Security Forum: "I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel". We now know that even if he is an Iran hawk (see here and here) clearly Mattis was a Jew-hating ass at least when he said this, along with every other ignoramus who considers the Israeli occupation of Palestine to be major issue in US-Arab affairs.

Never mind that before Israel was created there were no "jihadist terrorist organizations" and that Jews arguably introduced terrorism into modern Palestine (see here, here, and here). And if only we could have the pro-Israel Pahlavi regime (see here and here) back in charge of Iran. That could happen if crown prince Reza Pahlavi gets his way but I digress.

This isn't the first time Trump has put Israel first. One of his administration's first major foreign policy efforts after the election last year, but before he took the oath of office, was to do Israel's and Bibi's bidding in a failed attempt to block UNSC resolution 2334 on Israeli settlements. That effort also involved outreach to the Russian government but its Israel first impetus doesn't get much press for some mysterious reason.

Earlier this year the Times of Israel crowed: "Outlining budget, Trump puts aid to Israel first while slashing elsewhere". And more recently the Electronic Intifada noted: "Trump puts Israel first with UNESCO withdrawal".

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