Sunday, December 18, 2016

Don't overestimate the effects of Trump's Israel ambassador

Trump will name David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel.  Friedman is probably to the right of Netanyahu.  What does that mean?  Not much.  Some of Trump's picks matter.  Picking Sessions as AG matters a lot.  This one?  Not so much.

During the campaign, one of the more ridiculous fallacies Trump perpetuated was the notion that everything bad that has ever happened in the last 30 years happened because Hillary Clinton didn't stop it.  Cuz', ya' know, as First Lady of Arkansas, she ran the fuckin' universe.  Even if we limit it to her four year stint as Secretary of State, US diplomats don't run the show.  Bad things happen, and there is little we can do to stop it.  That's even more true for ambassadors.

So, time for some good, old-fashioned social science jargon.  The "counter-factual."  As in, counter to fact.  As in, bullshit.  What if the world had been otherwise?  What if Trump made a different pick?  Would there be peace?  Or, less fighting?  I wouldn't bet on it.  One way or another, the Palestinians would never believe that the US is anything other than on the Israeli side, so we could never broker a real truce.  Why?  Because we are on the Israeli side.  Why?  A topic for another post, but it isn't the money, or "the Israel lobby," which is code for "the Jews and their filthy, filthy money."

Anyway, here is where things might get interesting for the Trump camp.  What happens when the antisemitic alt-right comes into conflict with the pro-Israel evangelicals?  The Trump coalition may not be stable...

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