The Trumpists Have Fallen – but U.S. Jews Should Not Celebrate Yet

If Donald Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds in north Syria to the non-existent mercies of Turkey and the Assad regime was not so tragic, we might have been permitted a smidgen of satisfaction at the comeuppance of Benjamin Netanyahu. How the Trumpists have fallen.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 44

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 44Haaretz

Netanyahu, who just a month ago had covered Israel with massive campaign banners showing him and Trump together, and had promised on the eve of the election that Trump would soon negotiate with him a U.S.-Israeli defense pact, has now gone five weeks without even a phone call with Trump. Last Thursday, when he spoke at the annual memorial service for soldiers killed in the Yom Kippur War, he stressed that the American emergency airlift of weapons arrived “only towards the end.” He was using a historic detail to tacitly acknowledge that Israel can’t rely even on the most friendly, from his perspective at least, American administration.

It didn't begin with Trump

But this isn’t just about Netanyahu and Trump. There’s a good chance that by January 2021, neither of them will be leaders of their countries. The cavalier and vainglorious fashion in which Trump jettisoned an alliance with the Kurds is not just a badge of shame for America, it’s an indication of increasing disengagement not just of the U.S. from the region, but of the broader group of Western nations, including France and Germany. And this of course didn’t begin with Trump. Barack Obama began that process of scaling back America’s involvement in the region and his change of policy was mirrored by a similar reluctance of the main European countries to exert their influence, which is waning anyway.

Those on the left who campaigned against the war in Iraq and other Western military interventions in the Middle East are rejoicing. Justifiably from their point of view. Trump has effectively brought the Republican Party around to their way of thinking. And unlike Hillary Clinton, who in her presidential campaign advocated a more forceful course of action than Obama’s, including imposing a no-fly zone on northern Syria, it doesn’t look like the current front-runners in the Democratic field have much interest in foreign policy.