This is in response to Jim Beer’s opinion piece in the December 2019 Chronicle, “Donald Trump, Philo-Semite: Our president has an interest in and a respect for the Jewish people.”
While I agree that President Trump may have an interest and respect for the Jewish people, he has a lack of understanding as to what is good for the State of Israel. Mr. Beer starts with the accusation that the Democratic Party has deserted Israel on the basis that two congresswomen have a bias favoring the Palestinians. These two of course are entitled to their opinion, but they do not represent the policy of the Democratic Party. Historically both parties have considered Israel an indispensable friend and ally since 1948 when President Harry Truman immediately recognized the new nation.
Next the claim is made that Democratic Jewish support for Israel is decreasing. Jewish Democrats have always supported the existence and the welfare of Israel, even if some don’t support Israel’s Palestinian policy. What they want is good faith Palestinian negotiations and a goal of peace and good relations with the new Palestinian state. The existence of the Peace Now movement in Israel shows us Israeli citizens are also divided on the issue.
The United States position on the Palestinian-Israeli issue has always been one of neutrality for the purpose of remaining impartial so that the U.S. could remain acceptable to both parties. Trump’s thoughtless action on the Golan Heights and Jerusalem effectively destroyed that policy. Israel is the loser, having lost a friend as a mediator. It may also be noted that in effect, Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since 1949 when the Knesset held its first meeting in Jerusalem.
The withdrawal of funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, an effective humanitarian organization, is unconscionable and calling it corrupt cannot demonize its fine work. The ignorant, uninformed action of one man is not in the best interest of any nation. Breaking with our allies over the Iranian agreement is only further evidence of ineffective action by Trump leading to our loss of world leadership. Our reputation in the world community has been a great asset in our ability to the most effective friend Israel has had since 1945.
I know Jim Beer and value his opinion, however I disagree with his assessment of Trump. The actions of Trump have been short-sighted with long term negative effect on the State of Israel.
Stan Holland is a resident of Fox Point.