Following reports that President Donald Trump gave Russia top secret information about ISIS obtained from Israel, putting Israeli intelligence assets at risk, ex-Mossad Chief Shabtai Shavit said that he would not provide information to the CIA under these circumstances if he were still in charge.
When will Republican Jews hold Trump accountable? Aaron Keyak writes that "We're waiting for those who supported [Trump] to acknowledge they elected a man who has put our nation, Israel and the world at risk. Trump doesn't need to hear it from those of us who never supported him; he needs to hear it from those who did."
Jane Eisner addresses Trump's supporters in the Jewish community, writing that
The president has seemingly disrupted the flow of information from Israel, America's most important ally in the Middle East; he has potentially endangered Israeli lives, and he has signaled to Israel - which is highly dependent on its intelligence relationship with the United States - that he and his administration cannot be trusted.
And this was the pro-Israel president of your dreams?
Truth is, many American Jews think it is wise not to tear up the Iran deal, or to move the embassy when Jerusalem's status is not finalized. But they didn't vote for Trump. You did.
So I ask you to explain how you can still support a leader who cannot be trusted to protect the country that is supposed to be his very best friend. Silence will not do here. Silence is acquiescence, approval and, in my opinion, morally suspect.
I would add only that this applies to those who voted for neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton, as if it made no difference to them who was elected.
Under President Barack Obama, military and intelligence cooperation between the U.S. and Israel rose to unprecedented levels, but as the NJDC observed, "It is unprecedented that President Donald Trump so cavalierly released such sensitive information to a country that is being actively investigated for interfering in our presidential election, and that he did so in a way that endangers the intelligence assets of one of our closest allies."
Maybe our Republican friends just don't want to admit they were conned. Yair Rosenberg reminds us that
Not to mention that the Trump administration twice last week referred to the non-existent state of "Palestine" and told Israel that the Western Wall is "not your territory." The White House attempted to walk back the Western Wall comment, but when asked about it later, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster (didn't another president have a top aide named H.R.?) refused to say whether the Western Wall is part of Israel.
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley couldn't resist the opportunity to demonstrate that she is in over her head (or maybe couldn't resist the opportunity to kick off her 2020 campaign) by stating that the Western Wall is in Israel. But as Josh Lederman explains, "the longstanding U.S. stance is that the site is in Jerusalem, full stop. That distinction - Jerusalem, not Israel - reflects the U.S. position that the city's fate is an issue for Israelis and Palestinians to work out through future peace negotiations."
We might not like that policy, but as pro-Israel advocates we have to understand U.S. policy. Sad that our U.N. ambassador doesn't know or care what U.S. policy is on such an important subject is.
The word "Palestine" was used during the Obama administration, and of course President Obama also adhered to long-standing U.S. policy on Jerusalem. Trump is even sticking with the Iran deal (he waived Iran sanctions on May 17). The difference is that our right-wing friends howled and screamed when Obama did it, but they lose their voice when Trump does it -- and much worse. As Eisner asks, when is enough truly enough for our Republican friends? Short of a tax increase, I don't know.
But as Richard Cohen writes, Trump doesn't embody what's wrong with Washington. Vice President Mike Pence does.
How to advocate for Israel on campus. Northwestern's Hillel, J Street U and Wildcats for Israel held a vigil last week in a perfectly calibrated response to a Students for Justice in Palestine event celebrating Rasmea Odeh.
Northwestern student Joseph Charney's letter should be used as a model of pro-Israel rhetoric and argument by college students across the country.