Before he dropped out I wanted to see if Cruz had a position on Israel. The reason I wondered was if his father lived under a communist government I would hope he would have the understanding of what it is like for the Palestinian people to live under the shadow of Israel with its restrictions and rules that treat them like serfs. Since he father escaped Cuba prior to the communist take-over, maybe he would not understand and neither would his son.
I was hoping Cruz would have a Reagan approach – Israel knew Reagan had its back even though he did things to displease it greatly. A prominent American-Israeli supporter wrote: “Reagan was very tough on Israel, and some of his policies caused both short and long-term damage, but his policies also led to significant improvements in Israel’s economic and military strength, and raised the U.S.-Israel friendship to a higher level.
The ledger doesn’t really capture the sense of the time and the man, however, which takes me back to where I started. Reagan projected the feeling that he truly appreciated Israel’s role in the world and that the occasional tensions did not affect his fundamental commitment to Israel’s security, so when he said Israel and America “will always remain at each other’’s side,” we believed him.”
I’d also add that Reagan said that the Israeli settlement were not illegal but merely “ill-advised” and “unnecessarily provocative.” They were uniformly discouraged by all presidents since him.
That’s the approach I favor and that is the approach Obama has taken. It seems to me you cannot continually take land from a defenseless people and expect them not to react. Didn’t we experience that during the 19th century with the native American tribes.
Obama had difficulty dealing with a guy like Netanyahu. He wanted to run America as well as his homeland. In a never before happening in America he was the first foreign leader to come here and campaign against a sitting president. Any disagreement with his ideas he labeled as anti-Israeli. He gave the Israelis reason to mistrust Obama. He did nothing to dissuade the thought that because Obama had a Muslim father and his middle name being Hussein there was a possibility he’d go with his own when push came to shove.
When I wrote about Cruz I told how he was interviewed by the Jerusalem Post. I said his answers should make any American who is hoping that someday Israel and the Palestinians may achieve a fair peace cringe. It seems axiomatic to have peace both sides must be pushed a little more than they would like.
Here’s what Cruz said:
“And I also agree with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to the nation of Israel.” Netanyahu has been urging the United States to attack Iran since the Bush administration. One of his major problems with Obama is that we refused to engage in a war and lose American lives against Iran for Israel .
It is unclear Trump holds that position. Some write that he does, see here and here, and especially here, and others say he will work with it even though he calls it a bad deal. Hopefully we will get an answer but isn’t it amazing that at this late date we still do not know his position on it. That is squarely the fault of our media not to have pinned that down in the many interviews and debates he has provided.
If Trump plans not to go along with the deal, he should follow-up and say what the natural consequences of that action will be. I guess we have to go back to Senator McCain to get a quote: “bomb Iran.” The absurdity of the United States walking away or renegotiating the deal — one by the way that I do not like because it brings Russian and Iran closer but I now accept it because the horse has run out of the barn – leaves all the other nations of the world still free to deal with Iran, All it accomplishes is puts the United States on a war footing toward Iran. We must find out where Trump stands on this. You want more involvement in that area?
When asked about the Palestinians Cruz said: “As it regards to US policy, I think for far too long, American presidents have attempted to dictate the terms of a peace settlement. In my view, America has no appropriate role dictating the terms of a peace settlement. If Israel chooses to negotiate and reach a settlement with the Palestinian Authority, that is Israel’s right as a sovereign state, and America can help provide a fair forum for negotiations. But it is not the role of the American government to attempt to lecture the Israeli people or dictate terms of peace.”
Cruz’s demagoguery was shown. The U.S. has never dictated a peace settlement to Israel so why is he suggesting that it has. The United States has been pushing, urging, threatening to withholding aid, expressing displeasure and other measures but that is far from dictating. We do have the right to lecture the Israeli people. They are the beneficiary of huge American funding by means of outright grants and loan guarantees. If they want our money we do have a right to express our feelings about what they do.
What then is Trump’s position on this?
(Continued in part three.)