Several weeks ago, I was “outed” as one of Donald Trump’s two advisors on the relationship between the United States of America and the State of Israel. It is an honor and a privilege to advise Mr. Trump on a critical issue that is near and dear to my heart, and I fervently hope that I have the opportunity to assist him in developing and implementing policies that strengthen both countries and the unbreakable bond between them.
Right now, however, the bloodsport of American presidential politics is in full bloom, and within that scented garden emerges a recent Op-Ed piece by CNN panelist, Peter Beinart, published in Israel’s left-wing paper Haaretz. Beinart, a well-known supporter of J Street, New Israel Fund and the BDS movement, decries Trump’s selection of Israel advisors as a cynical charade by which Trump leverages Jews in his employ to go “all in” on Israel solely to garner political capital. According to Beinart, these token Jews, myself included, are just willing pawns in a modern day Game of Thrones, all willing to fall on their proverbial swords for Trump the King.
I have never met Mr. Beinart nor do I care to, and he knows absolutely nothing about me. Had he made the slightest inquiry (apparently no longer necessary for modern journalists), he would have known that I am not in Mr. Trump’s employ, have hundreds of other clients, and hold views on Israel that are entirely independent of any political movement or candidate. Those views have been developed over more than thirty years of study of historical accounts and scholarly works, interaction with Israeli political, military and business leaders, and probably 100 trips or more to the Holy Land. I didn’t just come out of “central casting,” as Beinart implies, to facilitate some political theatre, and my beliefs are not for sale to the highest bidder. The same holds true for Jason Greenblatt, Mr. Trump’s other advisor, whom I have known for years.
Let’s look at the criticisms offered by Mr. Beinart of views that I have previously expressed. He thinks I’m no good because (1) I have accused President Obama of “blatant anti-Semitism,” (2) I have questioned the wisdom of Israel bestowing the benefits of citizenship, including free tuition at some of its best universities, upon those who advocate the overthrow of the State, and (3) I have likened J Street supporters to “kapos during the Nazi era.” Let’s unpack each of those a bit.
First, Obama’s anti-Semitism. Here’s the context – Hamas puts on school plays in which 10 year olds dressed as terrorists plunge fake knives into 10 year olds dressed as Jews to the delight of the audience, and Palestinian Authority leaders (they’re supposed to be the “moderate ones”) bestow praise upon all participating in the “knife intifada.” Asked to comment on the unspeakable tragedy of innocent Jewish civilians being murdered by knife-wielding Islamic radicals, Obama and Kerry do little more than condemn the proverbial “cycle of violence.” I’m sorry, but this is pure and outright murder and any public figure who finds it difficult to condemn it as such without diluting the message with geo-political drivel is engaging in “blatant anti-Semitism.”
Second, the wisdom of free stuff for those engaged in advocating the overthrow of the State of Israel. Every civilized country other than Israel punishes treason. In the United States, advocating to overthrow the government by force or violence can get you life in prison. In Israel, Islamic radical citizens speak this way all the time, often on the way back and forth from world class institutions of higher learning which they attend for free. Is this a good idea? Is there no minimal allegiance required for Israeli citizenship? Sure seems like a fair question to me.
Finally, are J Street supporters really as bad as kapos? The answer, actually, is no. They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps. The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas – it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.
Mr. Beinart, therefore, has done us a service, albeit unintentionally. He has shown us the danger of the Jewish left – the lost souls who blame Israel for not making a suicidal “peace” with hateful radical Islamists hell bent on Israel’s destruction. This is Hillary Clinton’s crowd, and they are no friends of Israel.
Donald Trump’s view of Israel isn’t quite as nuanced as that of Mr. Beinart nor as academic as that of President Obama. He thinks that when radical Islamic terrorists are trying to kill you, the right thing to do is kill them first. Don’t negotiate, reason or cajole. Just defeat them. Or as Mr. Trump would say, “win.”
So please read Peter Beinart’s latest column. It will leave you convinced to vote for Donald Trump.