Donald Trump’s approach to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations was under attack again by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz during Thursday night’s debate, which is being hailed for being more substantive and “presidential.” Although Trump insisted he is a great friend of Israel (his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka are Jewish, she by conversion), both men cast aspersions on the businessman’s assertion that he would try to be even-handed in looking for a solution to the seemingly intractable conflict. The senators saw no good on the Palestinian side.
Neither do I, but it’s hard to see how there could be a negotiation of any sort without at least the pretense of equality. Cruz and Rubio, who otherwise had good debates, were picking a non-existent fight for campaign advantage and they probably knew it. Moreover, Trump had admitted, on many occasions, that even he, the negotiator of negotiators, is unlikely to conclude a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Hopefully even Obama, Israelophobe that he is, may finally realize the same thing and relent from his rumored last-ditch attempt to foist some kind of settlement on the Israelis. Just the other day, his man Biden, perhaps sent to Israel to start muscling Netanyahu in that direction, was inopportunely confronted by a heavy dose of Palestinian terror on his arrival, members of his own family dining on the Tel Aviv beach not far from a rampage by a particularly deranged exponent of the so-called “Knife Intifada.” Biden himself admitted they could have been killed.
The irony of this I’m more pro-Israel than you competition between the Republican candidates at the Miami debate (when all are vastly more pro-Israel, probably even Kasich, than the incumbent) was compounded by Trump having dropped a far more controversial bomb in the relative calm (what, no personal attacks?) when he declared, not for the first time, that “Islam hates us.”
Well, duh, as the saying goes. And bravo to Trump for stating the obvious that even a cursory reading of the texts of this religion/ideology would tell you. Not that many of our current political elite have done that. (Jefferson and Madison did read the Koran, motivated by the bloodthirsty Tripoli pirates, but the Founders were decidedly more intellectual.)
When CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Trump after the debate whether he meant all of Islam hates us, Donald simply replied, “A lot of it.” How politically incorrect — and undoubtedly how accurate! What a long way we have come from George W. Bush’s “religion of peace.” It’s hard to even know whether George, in those days, knew the real translation of Islam was “submission,” something far from peace, indeed the opposite of peace — at least until everyone becomes Islamic. And that is what we have been witnessing across the globe.
Whatever one thinks about Trump, and I certainly don’t always agree with him, he is the first major American politician (something he clearly is now) to name directly the entity that seeks to destroy Western civilization. He didn’t even cloak it in “radical Islam.”
The assumption of the “good people” is this will only make things worse, alarm the Muslim world and stir it up (as if it could be any more stirred up). Perhaps, however, it’s the contrary. Perhaps people are sitting in the Islamic world and privately sighing in relief. At last America has a leader (a “strong horse” in their parlance) who isn’t a fool, who is willing to stand up and say what so many already think. Most likely, someone like Egypt’s al-Sisi, despised by Obama, will get what Trump is saying. Egypt’s leader knows — has said aloud — that Islam has a problem in its very principles that must be seriously reformed. Maybe he will see Trump as his natural ally. Nothing is simple and nothing, as Lawrence was told, is written.
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His next book – I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already – will be published by Encounter Books in June 2016.