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Freewheeling Trump has backed down on only one issue. Guess which one

US Politics

Donald Trump’s long angry acceptance speech reaffirmed the Republican nominee’s obstinate refusal to back off from any one of the controversial positions he staked out during his campaign. Except for one, Israel. He’s done a long crawl-back on that one, unnoticed by the mainstream media. Let’s see:

–He’s called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and has never backed off from that;

–He’s described immigrants as violent criminals, a claim he reaffirmed last night;

–He’s said he would build a “great border wall” on the border with Mexico and said it again last night;

–He’s said that “thousands and thousands” in Jersey City cheered the fall of the World Trade Center and never backed off that crazy idea;

–He’s said that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and never backed off from that wise but heterodox view;

–He has said that NATO is obsolete because members aren’t paying their fair share, and he has stuck to that position.

–He denigrated the heroism of Senator John McCain, and never apologized or backed off.

–He questioned the official story on the death of deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster in 1993, and not backed away.

But then there’s this. Back in late winter Trump said he was going to be neutral in his position on Israel and Palestine so he could negotiate that deal of deals as president:

If I’m going to be president, I’d rather be in the position, because I will try the best I can, and I’m a very good dealmaker, believe me, to try and solve that puzzle. You’re not going to solve it if you’re going to be on one side or another. Everyone understands that. If I’m going to solve the problem, I want to go in with a clean slate.

He also shocked Israel supporters by saying that Israel should help pay for the American defense budget, not the other way around!

There was huge pushback on those positions, challenges on the Sunday talk shows, and . . . Trump backed off both positions in his speech to the Israel lobby group AIPAC in March.

When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish state. You see, I know about deal-making — that’s what I do. . .

We know Israel is willing to deal. Israel has been trying to sit down at the negotiating table, without pre-conditions, for years. . .

When I become President, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on Day One. I will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately.

Notice: Trump backpedaled completely. Having made the simple point that you have to be evenhanded — that wasn’t good enough for the lobby. Now the Republican Party platform all but awards the West Bank to Israel, and last night in his speech Trump mentioned Israel briefly and favorably. No talk of neutrality going in and the dealmaker making deals.

[W]e must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terrorism and doing it now, doing it quickly. We’re going to win. We’re going to win fast. This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the state of Israel.

Trump’s backing off has had a pronounced effect. Sheldon Adelson and other Israel hawks have gotten on board with the New York real estate mogul. Newt Gingrich informs us that Adelson will work “hard” for Trump because Hillary Clinton will “be a disaster . . .  for the survival of the state of Israel.” A message that Hillary Clinton is already fighting, in her latest ad:

Hillary Clinton publicizes her closeness to Benjamin Netanyahu in her latest anti-Trump ad

Hillary Clinton publicizes her closeness to Benjamin Netanyahu in her latest anti-Trump ad

This is the power of the Israel lobby. Mr. Independent has challenged mainstream thinking in countless areas, and when the flak came, altered not one bit. But when the Israel lobby started coming after him, he dropped the challenge. This shows that supporting Israel is a sacred cow. And Trump got his reward. A few people walked out on him at the AIPAC speech, but most listened, and now he’s getting Israel lobby money. The lobby is also a discursive force; the press isn’t giving him any more pushback on this issue. Because he caved in.

And they’re not covering it either.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz.

22 Responses

  1. Kay24
    July 22, 2016, 1:19 pm

    Trump lied, exaggerated, and spoke half truths last night. He constantly accuses Hillary of being dishonest, but according to Politifacts this graph shows who really is the biggest one.
    I am no Clinton fan, but her campaign should use this kind of graph to show just how much of a liar Drumpf is:

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle
      July 22, 2016, 3:16 pm

      I suspect he just fed those fools at AIPAC what they wanted to hear.

      As far as I know, that was the only speech he read from a script — written by someone else — while all his other speeches he has talked off the top of his head (and thus given us actual insight into his worldview).

      I daresay the Zionist Power Configuration sees it my way as we witness their ongoing 24/7 smears of Trump in the MSM. They are desperate. Like the white slave owners of the 18th and 19th centuries, they are afraid they will get what they deserve.

      • Frankie P
        Frankie P
        July 22, 2016, 7:07 pm

        @Emory Riddle,

        You’re making sense again, and North and Weiss, in the final paragraph, get to the truth. Why not just start the piece with the truth, instead of pulling a New York Slimes tactic and saving it until the end?

        “and now he’s getting Israel lobby money”

        Because here in July, with the election coming up in November, it’s ALL about the money! Yes, those extra Jewish votes in Florida will help Trump win that swing state, but it’s the Jewish money for the campaign that will allow Trump to spend big in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and he WILL cement his lead in those two swing states. Every terror attack in Europe, every black perp pumping a bullet into an American cop, will bring more of those blue collar Democrats in Pa. and Ohio into the Trump fold.

        Now, does the Donald have the ultimate chutzpah, which would be to throw those Jewish backers under the bus after the election and follow through on his original plan, namely negotiating the I/P conflict with a clean slate, without favoring the Israeli side. It would be a truly presidential thing to do, something we haven’t seen from an American president for decades.

        By the way Donald, if you want to work with the allies who want to destroy ISIS and stamp out Islamic terrorism, don’t count on the Jewish State in the Levant to help out. They prefer ISIS to the legitimate government of Syria, and their military officers publicly state the fact.

        Frankie P

  2. JLewisDickerson
    July 22, 2016, 2:40 pm

    RE: “Trump’s backing off [on being neutral in his position on Israel and Palestine] has had a pronounced effect. Sheldon Adelson and other Israel hawks have gotten on board with the New York real estate mogul.” ~ James North and Philip Weiss

    ARTICLE: “‘Desperate’ for Cash, GOP Fundraisers Pursue Sheldon Adelson in Cleveland” | By MATTHEW MOSK BRIAN ROSS MEGAN CHRISTIE RHONDA SCHWARTZ | CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jul 20, 2016, 9:17 PM ET

    [EXCERPT] Aside from Donald Trump himself, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson may be the most sought-after man in Cleveland this week.

    Republicans seeking to help finance Trump’s presidential bid have been eager to see if Adelson will give Trump the kind of enormous donation that has become a trademark of past election cycles. He gave close to $100 million in 2012, according to one analysis, and The New York Times reported in May that Adelson was poised to do the same for Trump.

    Organizers of two so-called super PACs, which are legally allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts to support a presidential candidate, told ABC News they are “desperate” to attract large-dollar donors like Adelson while in Cleveland, now that Trump seems to have moved beyond the assertion that he would self-finance his entire campaign.

    “I would love to have more money, if you know somebody who wants to give it we’ll take it right now,” said Ken McKay, who heads the Rebuilding America Now PAC. “We need the money desperately.”

    McKay said emissaries from his group have met with Adelson in Cleveland. Known in fundraising circles as a “whale” because of his ability and willingness to give so much, Adelson has been pursued all week.

    The casino magnate has been a conspicuous presence, moving in and out of his Ritz Carlton hotel suite with a large security contingent. When ABC News approached him to ask about his plans for 2016, security guards brushed reporters aside and put their hands up to block cameras. Calls to his spokesperson were not returned. Trump was spotted Wednesday night greeting supporters in Adelson’s private box at the Quicken Loans Arena. . .


    • JLewisDickerson
      July 24, 2016, 3:43 am

      P.S. RECALL:
      Christie’s apology to Adelson on “occupied territories” is a shift
      Mar 31, 2014 – It was clarifying indeed to watch the rush by Chris Christie over the weekend to make up for the sin of using the term “occupied territories” in his in his speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, where Christie and three other 2016 contenders had assembled to court billionaire casino magnate and profligate political donor Sheldon Adelson. Never mind that Christie’s comments were couched in a strongly pro-Israel riff, or that the term “occupied territories” has been used, at various points, by the U.S. government, then-Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Supreme Court. No, Christie was harshly scolded for his language and issued an apology for his transgression to Adelson. . .
      LINK –

  3. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover
    July 22, 2016, 3:31 pm

    I hope HRC is in such fear of losing to DJT that she adopts the GOP’s platform on Israel and the Iran deal. That would make it easy for me to vote for HRC without hesitation.

    • Walker
      July 22, 2016, 8:27 pm

      Tell me, Steve, how do you feel about Presidential candidates being in such fear of the Lobby?

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        July 22, 2016, 11:08 pm

        Not fear. Taking wise and prudent advice.

    • David Nelson
      David Nelson
      July 22, 2016, 9:22 pm

      Actually, though i am sure you and me are quite opposite on our views toward the region, i do sometimes wish the US Republicrats would abandon any and all pretense to fairness regarding Palestine and Israel. US should greenlight Israel for any and all their twisted plans. I am more than happy to watch Israel implode.

      • David Nelson
        David Nelson
        July 22, 2016, 9:24 pm

        I say that, but then i back away, knowing how many innocents will be wasted.

      • Mooser
        July 22, 2016, 11:45 pm

        “I say that, but then i back away, knowing how many innocents will be wasted.”


        I don’t know, call me full of internalized persecution, but I am not sure presenting the world with that dichotomy (and being proud of it doesn’t help, either) will redound to the glory of the Jews in the coming decades. Might just reveal a chink in our ethical armor or something.

      • David Nelson
        David Nelson
        July 23, 2016, 12:00 pm

        Yes, you’re right Mooser, implosion or wishing of it not the answer, there will be nothing happy about it. The fallout will fall on all the wrong people. The ethical armor needs buffing from time to time–peace means peace even in frustration.

      • eljay
        July 23, 2016, 3:20 pm

        || David Nelson: Yes, you’re right Mooser, implosion or wishing of it not the answer, there will be nothing happy about it. The fallout will fall on all the wrong people. … ||

        Yup, it amazes me how perfectly content Zio-supremacist Jews are to anti-Semitically advocate, commit, justify, excuse, defend and/or boast about all manner of intransigence, belligerence, supremacism and (war) criminal behaviour committed by Jewish people and by the “Jewish State” project in the name of all of the world’s Jewish people.

        The unjust and immoral actions of Zio-supremacists undermine international laws and human rights and the protections they are meant to afford to all people.

        I fear for the well-being of non-Zionist Israeli Jews and non-Zionist non-Israeli Jews who are bound to suffer some of the blowback if (when?) it hits.

        And I still cannot comprehend why Zio-supremacists hate Jews so much.

      • Mooser
        July 23, 2016, 5:45 pm

        “And I still cannot comprehend why Zio-supremacists hate Jews so much.”

        Well, look at all the work and worry they have to do to provide a “homeland” for us. And it’s almost impossible to get Jews to go there if they aren’t in trouble and suffering.

        The worse things are for Jews, the better they are for Zionists and Zionism. That’s why.

    • captADKer
      July 23, 2016, 9:33 am

      that strategy has come and is now gone with the appointment of a virulently anti bibi and pro nuke deal vp. too bad. your advise does return a familiar historically unified policy statement for israel between our political parties. the consequence then makes this choice of hillary’s terminal for her presidential aspirations.

  4. Kay24
    July 22, 2016, 4:38 pm

    For those who miss Jon Stewart, here is a treat from his friend Stephen Colbert:

    I really miss the guy.

  5. RoHa
    July 23, 2016, 4:01 am

    Here’s an interesting article about Trump and war.

  6. Ossinev
    July 23, 2016, 1:35 pm

    I think JSIL Firsters in the US may be wetting their pants over the prospects of Trump becoming President. Yes he can do the “peace” “face to face negotiations” “two state solution” crap when reading carefully and painfully from an AIPAC prepared script. But this man has proven time and time again that he can go off script at a whim. Their greatest nightmare if he gets in to office is that he will start saying things along the lines of ” I don`t agree that the Palestinians should have their own state ” as this will blow the carefully nurtured 50 year old charade of the 2SS being the only objective and only solution in terms of US policy out of the water. It will then inevitably usher in the reality of a flagrantly Apartheid “state” being the America`s principal ally in the Middle East.

  7. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    July 23, 2016, 2:07 pm

    This post takes Trump seriously and treats him with kid gloves. Here is a man, a billionaire, trying to use the highest office in the land in order to make more billions and because of Israel-Palestine, serious people like North and Weiss feel that Trump deserves serious treatment. Here is a man who uses his run for the presidency to get a judge dismissed because he’s hispanic, but still let’s treat him seriously.

    On foreign policy, here’s a man who says, let russia invade the baltic states, we will do nothing. one billionaire to another, trump and putin are going to be big pals, but on mw, he is treated with respect.

    • Mooser
      July 23, 2016, 5:42 pm

      “one billionaire to another, trump and putin are going to be big pals, but on mw, he is treated with respect.”

      Well, “Yonah” why are you signalling your approval and support of Mondoweiss articles with your “hits” and your comments?

      Do you think the web works one way for everybody in the world, and another way for “Yonah Fredman”?
      “Yonah” comes, “Yonah” comments. That means “Yonah ” approves and supports. That’s the way it works.

    • RoHa
      July 23, 2016, 8:45 pm

      Here is a man who stands a very good chance of becoming President of the USA. Perhaps it is time to start taking him seriously.

      Here is a man who knows that Russia has no intention of invading the Baltic states* or anywhere else, that Putin is an intelligent and reasonable man, and that trade and talk are preferable to war. What is not “serious” about that?

      *Probably be a good thing for those places if Russia did take them back.

  8. James Canning
    James Canning
    July 23, 2016, 4:26 pm

    Such indeed is the power of the Israel lobby. Yet most Americans are scarcely aware it exists.

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