In A Week Of Left Turns, The Trump Administration Quietly Attempts To Strong-Arm Israel

Caricature by DonkeyHotey

So this week saw the triumphant return of Trump to the fold of liberal Democrats, and the laughably absurd scramble by Trump loyalists to explain how liberal policies have been the very song of their hearts for all their lives.


They jumped the Trump train, it took them straight into the land of the lefties, and they love it!

So let’s just recap the week, in order to make sure we’re all clear as to how completely the ruse is over, now.

First, Trump and his loyalists stabbed the GOP in the back, when Trump went into a meeting with Democrat and Republican leadership, to discuss funding for Hurricane Harvey victims. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi wanted to hold victims of Harvey hostage by holding up funds, unless those funds were attached to a raised debt ceiling.

Republican leaders in the room (Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell) balked at the idea, but after Princess Ivanka popped in to say “Hi,” that was the signal and Trump turned, immediately jumping in with Schumer and Pelosi, accepting their offer, right off the bat, shocking and embarrassing his own party leadership.

First offer, no negotiating. So much for his so-called deal making abilities. In fact, since he loves nicknames, we can now call him Little Donnie No Deal.

Another highlight of the week was his decision on DACA. He sent Attorney General Jeff Sessions out to say the “Dreamers” program was being suspended, but immediately tweeted out what that really meant: Congress was to take the Obama-era executive order and make it nice and legal.


Later on, at the behest of his dear friend, Nancy, Trump tweeted out that “Dreamers” had nothing to worry about.

A Friday highlight was the refusal to pursue any charges or further investigation into Lois Lerner and the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

That was a nice touch.

And then there was this little tidbit, sure to please the “Christians” and “friends” of Israel that threw their support behind a Trump administration.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

The Trump administration is considering forcing Israel to hand back some $75 million in U.S. aid dollars that were awarded by Congress following a hotly contested effort by the Obama administration to financially limit the U.S.-Israel military alliance, according to senior Congressional sources and others familiar with the situation.

Interesting effort, considering Palestine was given extra aid in Trump’s recent budget package – in the interest of furthering peace, of course.

Sure, Palestine takes that money and gives it to the families of terrorists who target Israeli citizens, but, you know, peace.

So what happened last year was a struggle between Obama and Congress, where Obama sought to put a cap on how much aid Israel could request. It was called the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Congress fought hard against it.


Now, in a move being driven by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the State Department is attempting to enforce the MOU.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) is said to have “strongly warned the State Department” earlier this week “that such action would be unwise and invite unwanted conflict with Israel,” according to one senior Congressional aide familiar with the situation.

Congressional leaders remain concerned that the Obama administration’s MOU with Israel limits lawmakers’ constitutional right to allocate U.S. aid dollars in whatever manner they see fit. The MOU has long been a cornerstone of the U.S.-Israel military alliance and Congress has traditionally amplified funding after consulting with Israeli counterparts.

The State Department is said to be engaged in a lobbying effort to convince the White House National Security Council (NSC) to allow it to request that Israel hand back the additional $75 million so it remains in line with the Obama administration’s MOU, sources said.

Congressional leaders feel the move harms any attempts by the administration to repair the relationship between the U.S. and Israel that was damaged by the Obama administration.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.) had held up passage of the 2016 MOU over disagreements with the Obama administration’s restriction about Israel personally lobbying Congress for increased funds.

“Congress is not a party to this agreement nor is this agreement binding on future congresses,” Graham said in a statement. “Congress has an independent duty to make a decision about the proper level of support for Israel or our other allies. To suggest this (agreement) will bind future presidents and congresses for the next decade is constitutionally flawed and impractical.”

Graham is said to have viewed it as an effort to trample on Congress’ right to allocate U.S. taxpayer funds and he worked to ensure Israel received the additional $75 million, which was included in the final fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill.


And while some are suggesting that it is Obama-era holdovers in the State Department that are pushing the efforts, Tillerson is very much in front with this move.




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