This is all a crock. An argument can be made that this atrocity and the ensuing Israeli war against Hamas and invasion of Gaza is largely on Trump, the direct result of his disastrous Middle East policies.
Trump abandoned decades of U.S. policy advocating for a “two-state” solution, something that the U.S. had come within a whisker of achieving in 2000, only to have the Palestinian Authority’s predecessor, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization, back away from after initially agreeing to it. The Israeli government at the time approved relinquishing large portions of the West Bank and removing Israeli settlements from those lands while also agreeing to share control of Jerusalem with the Palestinians.
Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whom he placed in charge of Arab-Israeli policy, displayed their contempt for a two-state solution at every occasion. In 2018, Trump signed the Taylor Force Act into law, which cut about a third of U.S. foreign aid payments to the Palestinian Authority. Later that year, he cut more than $200 million in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority. The administration had previously cut aid to several United Nations bodies assisting the Palestinians, including cutting $300 million from our contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the UN Human Rights Council.
In February 2019, Trump stopped all U.S. aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
Trump endorsed moving Israel’s capital to Jerusalem, a direct slap in the face to the Palestinians, especially the Palestinian Authority.
Moreover, Trump supported Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s increasingly expansionist moves on the West Bank, and enabled and endorsed all of his “Israel right or wrong” tendencies and anti-democratic initiatives .
The cumulative effect of Trump’s policies destroyed any hope of a peaceful resolution of the decades-long Palestinian plight, severely weakened the Palestinian Authority—the only Palestinian entity willing to negotiate with Israel, and bolstered both radical jihadist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. In the eyes of the “Arab street,” it legitimized them and their rejectionist strategy and tactics and radicalized a whole generation of Palestinian youth to support them. This is what can happen when you take away a people’s hope and plunge them into despair.
Out of office, Trump has continued to fan the flames of Middle East terrorism with his praise of terrorists—“Hezbollah is very smart” Not only is this the worst possible message he could be issuing at this time; it also undermines U.S. policy and places Israel in even greater jeopardy. It further demonstrates (1) what a stupid, stupid person he is, and (2) how phenomenally dangerous he would be were he to regain the presidency.
Trump’s calamitous Middle East policies are yet another example of why he must be crushed, if not by the voters, then by the courts.
November 17, 2023