Having already ridden roughshod over most domestic issues, from immigration to women’s rights, Donald Trump set out his stall in international affairs by accusing Obama and Kerry of having “sold out” Israel through the Iran nuclear deal. Whether or not the Israelis have been sold out will only be clear through Iran’s actions in the coming years, but it’s likely to be a popular position with some in the Republican party who would have liked to block the deal, as reported by CNN, rather than face allegations of having sold out one of their longest standing allies.
On July 1, Trump had this to say to JNS, when discussing the Republican candidates.
“The only one that’s going to give Israel the kind of support it needs is Donald Trump.”
Given that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was strongly outspoken against the deal that allegedly “sold out” Israel, it’s not surprising to see Trump, a long-time supporter of Israel and a candidate hoping to pick up a significant share of the Jewish vote, come out in favor of the “sell out” accusations. However, his rhetoric has moved on from just being pro-Israel and has become increasingly militaristic, which will be of concern to those who breathed a sigh of relief as the deal was signed. The Jerusalem Post reported that not only did he claim that Israel had been “sold out,” but that “forceful action” would be required to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.
Whether or not one believes Trump has any chance of winning the Republican candidacy, his outspoken views and constant media coverage have definitely influenced the debate. With some in the party agreeing or at least partly sympathetic to the idea that Israel has been sold out, there’s a danger that rhetoric on the issue could influence international diplomacy at a time when it was hoped that, following the deal, Iran could use its influence to stem the spread of violence in Iraq, as reported in the International Business Times.
Given the amount of press coverage Trump is getting, and with the Times of Israel reporting not only his “sold out” comments but that he was predicting a “nuclear holocaust” as a result of Israel being “sold out” by the U.S. administration, one has to wonder what impact it will have on political will in Iran to comply with the deal. With Trump’s strong position and two other candidates — Senator Cruz and Governor Walker — threatening to cancel the deal, there’s a real possibility they could face a totally different administration than the one they faced over the negotiating table.
Do you believe Israel was “sold out”? Or was the deal just a necessity to ensure stability in the region?
[Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images]