Is Donald Trump wrong for taking a “neutral” position when it came to negotiating a peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians? Hillary Clinton certainly thinks so– she is regularly criticizing him for not being “100 percent pro-Israel”, apparently, on all matters. (Although Clinton supported the deal Obama made with Iran on the nuclear deal, much to the consternation of many Jews). Most recently, at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference, Clinton slammed Trump saying, “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who-knows-what on Wednesday.” We think Clinton’s position is disingenuous because she has supported Obama on many issues that are considered not to be in Israel’s best interest. Moreover, such a hard-core “nonnegotiable position has throughout history led to horrific consequences throughout the world– indeed, world opinion supports neutrality in such matters. On the other hand, world opinion supports Trump’s neutrality position. Fundamental fairness calls for neutrality, not blind unabated support for one side of the conflict as expressed in Clinton’s statement, “We must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate, and impugn Israel and the Jewish people.” Clinton reduces herself to a “political hack” when she says such things, her detractors say.

When reviewing a book, we recently said: “the violence that develops directly from religious beliefs is not only blasphemous and altruistically evil, it also cuts against God’s basic commands of love for all humans.” We also said that “much of the angst between religions is based on misreadings of the documents”, or misplaced significance on small parts of sacred scriptures. Having said that, we are not so naive as to think that pure harmony can be attained between groups divided by centuries of religious thought. But we also believe that compromises can be made between warring religious bodies. The severe and rigid position of Hillary Clinton is not only not workable, it is dangerous as we have seen around the world. Peace can only be obtained through peaceful negotiations, not by announcing absolute inflexibility and refusing to listen to the positions of all parties. While it is popular to tell Israelis you support them “100 percent”, it is a hurtful speech for the millions of Palestinians in this country and around the world. Ironically, an increasing majority of young voters already believe that the Palestinians have been treated unfairly– Bernie Sanders has captured their support. Clinton, no doubt, will tell these young voters a different lie when she is not in front of AIPAC. Donald Trump’s position of neutrality is not only correct, it is essential if we seek peace in the world. As we said, the world favors neutrality, not a hawkish, my-way-or-the-highway approach that has so far led to millions of deaths throughout history.

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