Arnold Flick
Arnold Flick

Clinton, Trump, and Israel

Except for ardent Zionists and Israel-Jew haters, Israel is not an issue in the current US election. But for those, here are facts and speculation.

Hillary Clinton’s position is almost certainly that of then President Clinton on his so-called Taba recommendations: Israel to the 1967 (1948) lines with about 5% adjustment that require bilateral agreement, some provision for 1948 and 1967 Arab “refugees”, Jerusalem an open city and the Capital of both States, the Temple Mount for future negotiations, and a largely demilitarized Palestine. Add to this the last Democratic National Convention where some visitors displayed Palestinian flags in the Convention Hall and the 2012 Convention where mention of a Jewish Jerusalem was booed. Finally, recognize that Hillary Clinton has among her strongest backers people affiliated with BDS, BLM, and the Bernie Sanders campaign…all of these can be assumed to be pushing for more unilateral pressure on Israel. Her relationship to Sidney Blumenthal and Huma Abedin is noted. Recommendations by Jewish officials from the Clinton years must assume that they still support Taba. Chelsea Clinton is married to a Jew but has been largely silent on Israel. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton, in recent public interviews, evidence full knowledge of the current status of Israel with all its nuances.

Donald Trump’s position is unknown. His daughter has converted to Orthodox Jewry (not endorsed by the Israeli Rabbinate). He is aggressive in public condemnation of Muslims, Arab Muslims included. He has made no public comments critical of Israel. Those American Jews most concerned about Israel, e.g. members of the Zionist Organization of America and the Orthodox community, lean to favoring Trump. The “subliminal” message Trump conveys is that while he might pressure Israel he will also pressure the Arabs and his pressure has always been public.

Many in the Israeli Left, i.e. those advertising now in the US Press, are comfortable with Clinton as a replay of Taba with added pressure to satisfy her new anti-Israel component in the Democratic party. Myself, with respect to Israel, I am for Trump. I trust his stance to confront the reality of terror, his closeness to his daughter whom he features during his appearances, the lack of open anti-Semites among his supporters, and the comfort of the Jews with open Zionism with him.

About the Author
Arnold L. Flick was born 1930 of secular, Zionist, Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. He has followed events in Israel since age seven when he first solicited for the “Jews of Palestine” on the streets of Los Angeles as a young member of Habonim. He was in Israel for four months 1990-91 and for two months 2002. He is active in the House of Israel Balboa park, a non-profit museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, that provides information about Israel to its 15,000 annual visitors.