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Flop on Israeli Policy Disappointing

Time:2017-02-07 03:47Shoes websites Click:

Flop policy Disappointing Israeli

The following letter to the editor was submitted to Patch by Matt Helfrich of Harleysville. To submit a letter to the editor, please email justin.heinze@patch.com.

Dear Editor,

I've been disappointed with US policy towards Israel and the Arab world from the days of Jimmy Carter to the end of the Obama Administration. During that time, the US has been afraid to support Israel publicly in an effort to appease the Arab countries, few of which have treated us with much respect. As a result, I was pleased that President Trump promised to support Israel and take a much more direct approach with the Arab countries. His support extended to the expansion of Israeli settlements, an issue that has been a point of contention between previous Administrations and Israel for 30 years.

As you can imagine, I was disappointed to hear the President reversed his policy towards Israel after one meeting with the Jordanians. Immediately following this meeting, the President urged the Israelis to stop building settlements to placate the Jordanians over this issue. It took less than 2 weeks for Mr. Trump to sacrifice his convictions and reverse his policy towards the Arabs and Israelis. Ultimately, he “folded like a cheap suit” because he wasn’t prepared for the meeting and had little knowledge about our past relations with Jordan and their concerns over the expansion of Israeli settlements.

Trump's advisors say we shouldn't worry about his strange behavior or that he doesn't feel it's necessary to read or receive briefings from his cabinet. Trump’s blunt, crass behavior and criticism of the Washington “elite” was certainly a message that resonated with many people who ultimately voted for him into the Presidency. But he's the President now. Continuing to behave like a bull in a China shop has little or no upside for him now, and it can be costly in foreign relations. It's equally important that Trump be well prepared and understand the critical issues before meeting with foreign leaders, as his experience with the Jordanians clearly demonstrates. This mishap will hamper his relations with the Middle East for several years because he has essentially made promises to both the Israelis and the Jordanians that will be impossible to keep.

Mr. Trump may continue to pound out executive orders, but he can only realize meaningful accomplishments if he demonstrates the ability and willingness to work well with others – Congress, foreign leaders, and the Executive branch of his own Government. The outcome of Trump's meeting with Jordan demonstrates that foreign policy is much more layered and complicated than he thought. If he wants to take a harder line with the Arabs and be more supportive of Israel, he needs to understand the history of our relations with the Middle East and spend some quality time with his advisors to create a direct, yet tactful approach to hold Arab leaders accountable without damaging the decent relations we established with them over the past 30 years.

I hope Trump is willing to change and learn from his mistakes during his time in the Oval Office. The success of our country depends on it. He'll need to be better prepared and demonstrate some tact and diplomacy if he wants to renegotiate better trade deals with the Chinese, develop a better health care plan to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act, and improve our relations with the Middle East.

-Matt Helfrich, Harleysville

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