And guess who’s responsible?

by Justin Raimondo
March 07, 2016

Let’s do a little experiment. Now I realize that what people most remember about the recent Republican presidential debates is the vulgarity, the inanity, and the name-calling, but there have been a few moments of lucidity when history has been made, precedents have been set, and – yes – even reasons for optimism have been highlighted, although these may have been lost amid all the brouhaha.

So on to our experiment. Which candidate said the following?

“As president … there’s nothing that I would rather do to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors generally. And I think it serves no purpose to say that you have a good guy and a bad guy.

“Now, I may not be successful in doing it. It’s probably the toughest negotiation anywhere in the world of any kind. OK? But it doesn’t help if I start saying, “I am very pro-Israel, very pro, more than anybody on this stage.” But it doesn’t do any good to start demeaning the neighbors, because I would love to do something with regard to negotiating peace, finally, for Israel and for their neighbors.

“And I can’t do that as well – as a negotiator, I cannot do that as well if I’m taking … sides.”

Okay, I’m going to give you a few moments to contemplate the answer. I mean, here is a rare example of a Republican candidate speaking reasonably, rationally, in a statesman-like manner about one of the most controversial issues in American politics. Here is someone who is defying the bipartisan consensus on Israeli-American relations, which is that we must always give unstinting and unconditional support to the Jewish state. Here is an outright abrogation of the conditions of the so-called “special relationship,” that one-sided love affair that dictates Washington must kowtow to Tel Aviv and ignore the horrific conditions under which Palestinians have been condemned live.

Okay, you’ve had enough time. So what’s the answer? Who would dare to step on the third rail of American politics and defy the Israel lobby?

The answer has to be Donald Trump – doesn’t it? And indeed it is.

He said it in Houston. He said it in Detroit. And the two other main contenders attacked him for it, both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Of course they didn’t have any substantial or terribly convincing criticism – there can’t be any. How can one argue against evenhandedness? Cruz merely repeated his pledge to give Israel everything it wants, and more, while Rubio simply repeated the Israeli embassy’s talking points: Hamas, Hezbollah, terrorism, and of course “moral equivalence,” in short the usual nonsense – as if the Palestinians and their allies have no right to resist the occupation.

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