Trump- Israel and the Art of the Giveaway – by Thomas Friedman – NYT


I’m contemplating writing a book on the first year of President Trump’s foreign policy, and I already know the name: “The Art of the Giveaway.”

In nearly 30 years of covering United States foreign policy, I’ve never seen a president give up so much to so many for so little, starting with China and Israel. In both the Middle Kingdom and in the Land of Israel, Christmas came early this year. The Chinese and the Jews are both whispering to their kids: “There really is a Santa Claus.”

And his name is Donald Trump.

Who can blame them? Let’s start with Israel, every Israeli government since its founding has craved United States recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. And every United States government has refrained from doing that, arguing that such a recognition should come only in the wake of an agreed final status peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians — until now.

Today, Trump just gave it away — for free. Such a deal! Why in the world would you just give this away for free and not even use it as a lever to advance the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian deal?

Trump could have said two things to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. First, he could have said: “Bibi, you keep asking me to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. O.K., I will do that. But I want a deal. Here’s what I want from you in return: You will declare an end to all Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, outside of the existing settlement bloc that everyone expects to be part of Israel in any two-state solution.”

David Linday Jr:  Thank you Tom Friedman. What terrible losses this oaf is causing for the United States.  Here is comment that I endorse:


Frankfurt, Germany 15 hours ago

Your point that Trump does not see himself as president of the United States but only of those who elected him is so true. It is why, as you rightly point out, that he pursues policies that are not in the national interest, but which only serve to whip up sentiment among the shrinking group of folks who support him– increasingly the far right or alt-right. He will or should soon lose the support of those working class people who bet on him– destroying NAFTA, TPP and now passing this windfall tax bill for the rich, should disabuse them of the idea he ever was interesting in anyones welfare other than his own. The news from the US gets worse every day.

via Trump, Israel and the Art of the Giveaway – The New York Times


About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. It was published by Footmad and Cherry Blossom Press on September 11, 2017. Find more about it at, also known as,
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