Kelley Vlahos reports that Trump is keeping people on different sides of the debate wondering what his Israel policy will look like:
But no one—not Bergman on the right, J Street on the center-left, or Walt from his realist point of view—knows what Trump is really going to do, how much is bluster, or whether he will actively pursue Israel’s interests or merely pull back from a proactive negotiating role in the peace process and let both sides do their thing.
It is possible that Trump’s hard-line advisers, the language of the GOP platform, and his hawkish rhetoric on Israel, settlements, and the nuclear deal with Iran don’t tell us which way he’s going to go, but it seems fair to assume that hard-line, one-sided backing of Israel is what Trump thinks has been lacking from the current administration. Vice President-elect Pence has a reputation for being similarly hard-line on these issues. More evidence that this is the direction his administration will take comes from his nominee for U.N.ambassador, Nikki Haley, who will make supporting Israel at the U.N. a priority according to her prepared remarks for her hearing today:
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is preparing in her confirmation hearing to harshly criticize the Obama administration for allowing the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israel and pledge never to let it happen again if confirmed as the next U.N. ambassador.
Some of Trump’s nominees have expressed views at odds with his public statements, but in this case Haley isn’t saying anything that he hasn’t already said before. Haley may have more conventionally hawkish foreign policy views overall (to the extent that she has any), but here she and Trump seem to be of one mind that one of the priorities of U.S. foreign policy should be covering for the illegal behavior of a client state. Unfortunately, I think we are getting a very clear picture how Trump will approach these issues, and it isn’t going to be good for the U.S. or Israel.