עינב שיף
Einav Schiff
Photo: Nimrod Saunders
A Likud 2019 election campaign poster highlighting the close friendship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump

Israel must bear consequences of its Trump love affair

Opinion: After the mob stormed the Capitol last week, those in Jerusalem who identified so completely with the president and his values must now face the fallout of such adoration and their transformation of Israel into a wannabe GOP state

Einav Schiff |
Published: 01.15.21 , 22:05
As Donald Trump's popularity plummets, even his most skilled supporters have been unable to separate him and his conduct from the mob that attempted the takeover of the Capitol last week, intending to block the certification of the 2020 election results.
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  • For years, Trump-supporting pundits hoped to separate rhetoric from policy, inciteful speech from potential for harm.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    קמפיין בחירות של הליכוד
    קמפיין בחירות של הליכוד
    A Likud 2019 election campaign poster highlighting the close friendship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump
    (Photo: EPA)
    But after the January 6 assault on the U.S. Congress, egged on by Trump and his allies, even those pundits were stunned into silence. Even so, one must not expect any soul-searching on their part.
    During Trump's term in office, Israel took on the form of a livid red Republican state with complete synergy between the White House and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who gladly welcomed the benevolence of the administration after eight years of Barak Obama.
    Anyone questioning the wisdom of this close alliance was seen as unpatriotic and the Mideast peace deals embraced by Netanyahu were interpreted as a free pass to advance all of the prime minister's policies.
    Israel was so filled with admiration for the American president that it even named a new community on the Golan Heights after him.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו, שרה נתניהו, דיוויד פרידמן ורעייתו
    בנימין נתניהו, שרה נתניהו, דיוויד פרידמן ורעייתו
    U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Freidman and his wife Tammy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at a ceremony to name a Golan Heights community after Donald Trump
    (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
    For Trump, this Israeli adoration translated to dependable evangelical votes and at least one spot on earth where he was unquestioningly loved. For unfettered admiration is the only thing Trump values and in hitching its wagon to his star Israel also adopted his values.
    But Trump has never hidden his preferences nor shied away from affiliating himself with white supremacists - including the "fine people" who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 chanting anti-Semitic poison.
    (Neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 )
    Trump's many supporters in Israel were not asked to cast a vote for him in any ballot. They, like tens of millions of conservative Americans accepted his control over the Republican party and its transformation into the epitome of Trumpism.
    If the events that unfolded on Capitol Hill last week were shocking and heartbreaking, so should the love affair between Netanyahu and the outgoing president break all of our hearts.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    תומכי ליכוד
    תומכי ליכוד
    Likud supporters hold up a Trump banner in the run up to the September 2019 elections
    (Photo: MCT)
    Now those sitting in Jerusalem are faced with the consequences of this devotion.
    Under Netanyahu, Israel has positioned itself alongside Trump and identified fully with him in a way no other country or regime has done, regardless of what its long-term interests might be. And a dismayed West looked on.
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