Donald Trump, the American real-estate mogul and Republican demagogue, announced on a Thursday last month he was canceling his trip to Israel. But that is a shame. Israel would do better by him than the United States, or so it seems. Three weeks ago, he called “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” referring to the slaughter of 14 Americans and maiming of 21 when two Muslim jihadists armed with assault rifles opened fire on a special services center in southeastern California.
He declared his decision (which was not actually a decision) on Twitter: “I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the U.S.” This comes in the wake of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu open disapproval of Trump’s recent rhetoric pertaining to Muslims in America. Originally Mr. Trump had been planning to visit the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Jerusalem to Jews and Muslims.
The real reason why Donald Trump was forced to cancel his trip to the Jewish state was because a leftist member of the Knesset was able to gather signatures from roughly one-third of Israel’s legislators, calling on Prime Minister Netanyahu to cancel the meeting with Donald Trump.
The office of the prime minister in the Jewish state put out a statement saying: “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims…” one statement read, according to a news report. “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.”
At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.
But, Israel, really? So idealistic? Is this the 1960s civil rights movement revisited or are we knee deep in the third world war?
Contrary to the diplomatic and pseudo-liberal meanderings of the Israeli prime minister, Mr. Trump’s hard-line conservative rhetoric which sounds to an American mass audience like red-necked bigotry would make more sense in Israel, which is all but experiencing its third Intifada. Last month, 610 instances of unorganized terrorism have been perpetrated on the Jewish Israeli public by isolated Islamic extremists and cheap, low-budget jihadists. These count stabbings, shootings, bombs and other weapons. Keep in mind that twenty percent of Israel’s population is made up of Muslim Arabs.
Perhaps Donald Trump’s rhetoric makes more sense to the Israeli public, who need to separate their Muslim population geographically, when naturally they became spiritually isolated from the rest of the population, Christian, Jewish, secular, et cetera. Recall, Donald Trump’s quip of a rant came on the heels of the isolated incident in San Bernadino, California, east of Los Angeles when two gunmen, connected to ISIS, opened fire, murdering 14 unarmed civilians and wounding scores of others: up to 21 non-lethal casualties.
That the repercussion of Trump’s loose bated rhetoric caused a backlash of outraged liberal American pluralists says something good and resolute about the American people. They refuse to return to their dark history of white supremacy and racism being targeted at one specific people.
In Israel, this kind of rhetoric would be a sign that the Israeli public is waking up from their own kind of slumber. That indeed, some sort of religious marginalization must occur. That it is not just a case of Israel versus the Palestinians, but the religions of the world versus Islam, is a sentiment that is not heard often enough coming from Israel’s right-wing pulpit. This kind of ideological turn around must occur in Israel because the per-incident percentage of terrorism far outweighs what those in America have been made to endure and suffer, so far.
What seems apparent is that the otherwise hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s politicizing is a diplomatic attempt at appeasing both the current and incoming American administration. However, according to a poll taken by The Wall Street Journal, in concert with NBC, just fifty-seven percent disapprove of Trump’s hard-line rhetoric.
Nevertheless, Prime Minister Netanyahu should be less concerned about diplomacy than he is about marginalizing and dealing with such threats at home and abroad as the ISIS, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Israel’s northwest border states), and less concerned about making friends with the American public, based on what they can read in the mass media headlines.