Did Trump threaten Israel at political rally in West Virginia?

Lost in all the hubbub of yesterday’s news about Paul Manafort’s conviction and Michael Cohen’s plea deal was a disturbing piece of Middle East news involving Israel.

In an unscripted moment at a political rally in West Virginia, Donald Trump created a bit of a political firestorm when he essentially threatened Israel with extortion to get a “peace” deal with the Palestinians.

“And you know what? In the negotiation, Israel will have to pay a higher price because they want a very big thing, but I took it off the table. There’s nothing to negotiate but [the Palestinians will] get something very good because it’s their turn next.

“Let’s see what happens. It’s very interesting. I’ve always heard that’s the toughest deal of all deals—it’s called peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

The fallout was swift as Trump’s statement made media headlines in Israel and among Palestinian communities. Additionally, official statements were released by Israeli politicians addressing Trump’s threat that Israel “will have to pay a heavy price.”

Trump’s statements also caught National Security Advisor John Bolton off guard and put him in a difficult position after learning of Trump’s threats just hours before a scheduled press conference with Israeli officials. Bolton dismissed Trump’s statement by simply stating that “a lot of progress has been made,” but that the “work continues.”

Trump is a man who made a living as a real estate developer in New York City, where lying is considered a business model, not a personal failure—a practice he has continued to employ as president. Due to this absence of moral character, Trump carries no core convictions, and his handling of Israel has been no exception.

  • March 2016. Trump gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) where he committed to repair the American-Israeli relationship damaged under Obama.
  • January 2017. Just days before his inauguration, Trump put the brakes on the promises he made to Israel in that speech.

The first six months following Trump’s inauguration were particularly bad for Israel.

  • February 2017. Trump condemned Israel for building new settlements in the West Bank and promoted the oft-failed two-state solution.
  • May 2017. In a month Ben Shapiro called “Trump’s terrible, no-good, very bad anti-Israel month,” Trump dumped Israel to embrace the Palestinians a la Barack Obama.
  • May 2017. Trump addressed a Muslim audience in Saudi Arabia and praised Islam as “one of the world’s great faiths.” When asked about Trump’s positive words regarding Islam, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended Trump, saying that his views regarding the religion of peace had “evolved.”
  • Before leaving Saudi Arabia, Trump secured an arms deal with the Islamic nation considered dangerous to Israel’s security.

Trump did finally keep his promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, but it looks like he’s planning to use the move as a way to twist Israel’s arm and force them to accept a two-state solution. But based on his past, who knows what he’s going to do?

Meanwhile, Israel’s future is once again in doubt.



David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are also featured on NOQReport.com.

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