Israel, Jews oppose Trump climate decision

Israel has no intention of following the Trump administration’s exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, declared Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. He said Israel remains committed to the 193-nation agreement and to its success.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is trying very hard to avoid any daylight between himself and President Trump, has called it an “important agreement” that recognizes the reality of global warming and “demands international discipline” to fulfill.

Steinitz wrote on his Hebrew Facebook page, “As Israel’s energy minister, I declare my commitment to reducing the use of polluting coal and replacing it with natural gas has not changed, regardless of the decision of the US president, We will continue the process we have started — this year 60% of electricity was produced by natural gas,” reported the Times of Israel.

American Jewish organizations blasted Trump’s decision “as a diplomatic and environmental disaster,” reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The Republican Jewish Coalition website is usually brimming with praise for Trump but had nothing about his speech about the Paris agreement as of early this week.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Penser, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, called it “an abdication of responsibility” that is “physically dangerous and morally reprehensible.”

A Washington Post-ABC News poll this week showed nearly 6 in 10 Americans oppose Trump’s decision to scrap the Paris climate accord.

Columnist E.J. Dionne said Trump’s decision to scrap the universally-backed agreement in the name of “America First” is narcissistic. It “implies that nations can go it alone, that we stand for nothing beyond our immediate self-interest, and that we should give little thought to how the rest of humanity thinks or lives,” he wrote.

To that end, he said Trump – and the rest of the nation — should bear in mind Rabbi Hillel’s famous question: “If I am only for myself what am I?”

Trump refuses to say whether he still believes, as he has said for years and throughout his campaign, that global warming is a hoax. The decision to withdraw from the agreement was based on faulty science, lies, deception, alt-right politics and anti-globalism.   And there was more: spite.

The Paris Climate Accord withdrawal is one more symbol of Trump’s animosity toward Barack Obama, for whom the agreement was a signature achievement. Trump has demonstrated a visceral hatred for Obama for many years. He accused Obama, without any evidence, of tapping his phones at Trump Tower prior to the inauguration. Trump played a prominent role in the birther movement for nearly eight years that made unsubstantiated claims that the nation’s first African-American president was unqualified for the office because wasn’t born in the United States and that he was a secret Muslim.

Trump’s crusade to repeal Obamacare has less to do with providing adequate health care to millions of Americans than to dismantling another signature achievement of the 44th president. As Trump and Republicans try to keep their pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare they’ve demonstrated that after eight years of attacks they still can’t come up with a viable alternative. Now they’re building Trumpcare, which is shaping up to take health coverage away from some 24 million Americans.

Next on Trump’s un-Obama list is closing the openings to Cuba. He has already scrapped the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.
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