Attack on Kurds: Israel can’t trust Trump

“The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism,” wrote David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker immediately after the election in the United States in 2016. The magazine is among the most respected publications in America and Remnick a veteran journalist.

I’ve been amazed since that some Jews in America and many in Israel have been avid supporters of Trump.

His throwing the Kurds under the proverbial bus—his conferring with Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Israel-hating president, which was followed promptly by the attack on the Kurds by the Turkish military—demonstrates for Israel that Trump cannot be trusted.

Trump will turn on a dime.

Recently I was giving a presentation to a largely Jewish audience and in the question-and-answer period I spoke of the “national nightmare” of Trump.

“How can you say that?” one woman exclaimed. “He has been so good for Israel.”

Another woman seconded that noting Trump recognizing Golan Heights as part of Israel and then Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol.

“Don’t count on Trump,” I cautioned. “He can’t be trusted.”

Said one big Trump booster about Trump’s involvement in the move against the Kurds, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: “The most probable outcome of this impulsive decision is to ensure Iran’s domination of Syria. The U.S. now has no leverage and Syria and will eventually become a nightmare for Israel.”

Said another big Trump booster, U.S. Senator Lynn Cheney, he is “leaving American allies to be slaughtered and enabling the return of ISIS.” (Cheney of Wyoming is the daughter of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.) She said it is “impossible to understand.”

In fact, for anyone familiar with Trump, it is not “impossible to understand.”

As Robert Reich, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, wrote last month in The Guardian, Trump “is seriously, frighteningly, dangerously unstable. And he’s getting worse by the day.” He said: “I think we have to face the truth that no one seems to want to admit. This is no longer a case of excessive narcissism or grandiosity. We’re not simply dealing with an unusually large ego.” And “such a person in the Oval Office can do serious damage.”

In his two-and-a-half years in office, Trump has done a huge amount of serious damage: to U.S. foreign policy and its utilization of alliances; to immigration and those words on the Statute of Liberty of Emma Lazarus that the U.S. welcomed the “homeless….yearning to breathe free,” to environmental action in sending the U.S. backwards on issue after issue including climate change which he terms a “hoax;” to race relations exemplified by his declaring after the confrontation involving white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia that there were “fine people on both sides;” to the press which he repeatedly calls “the enemy of the people;” and on and on.

He has lied constantly. The Washington Post has documents now over 12,000 “false or misleading” statements by Trump.

He has disgraced the office of the U.S. presidency.

The cover of the current issue of The New Yorker depicts Trump and his personal lawyer,  Rudy Giuliani, pushing Uncle Sam off a bridge. This came off the press before he was involved in doing likewise to the Kurds.

As to his being “good for the Jews”—don’t believe it.

As I wrote in March 2016, before the 2016 election, Trump is a con man—and always has been.

He’s a “con artist,” as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a competitor for the presidential nomination, put it. “It’s time to pull his mask off so people can see what were dealing with here,” said Rubio.

I related among other things the story of Trump University which from 2005 to 2010 purportedly offered adult-education classes on investing methods for real estate until it was shut down by lawsuits and multiple investigations by state attorneys general.

“How Trump Did It” was the headline of a piece on Politico about his telling “a group of ‘political operatives’…..I’m going to get in and all the polls are going to go crazy. I’m going to suck all the oxygen out of the room. I know how to work the media in a way that they will never take the lights off me.”

As Howard Fineman, former Newsweek chief political correspondent and now global editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, wrote, based on an interview with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin: “Trump deploys fame for fame’s sake, taps into populist expressions of fear, hatred and resentment and shows a knack for picking fights and a braggart’s focus on the horse race. All of which allow him to play into—and exploit—every media weakness and bad habit in a chase for audience and numbers.”

Due to the vagaries of the U.S. political system, although he lost the popular vote he won via the Electoral College dominated by ballots cast by U.S. states with lower populations.

Trump is defending himself by saying the Kurds “didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example.” Nonsense from a preposterous president.

Trump, now facing impeachment, has some in Israel worried.

They should be. He is very far from a dependable supporter.

About the Author
Karl Grossman is a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury who has specialized in investigative reporting for 45 years. He is the host of the TV program “Enviro Close-Up,” the writer and presenter of numerous TV documentaries and the author of six books.