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Israel and the Middle East: What Trump Can Learn from Truman

05-17-2017
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Donald Trump should be more like Harry Truman. That's the advice of Christians United for Israel Director David Brog.

When Israel declared independence in 1948, President Truman's advisers told him not to recognize the Jewish State, predicting that America's Arab allies would turn against us. Even his own secretary of state, George Marshall, told him not to do it, but Truman did anyway.

"Harry Truman didn't listen," Brog told CBN News. "He had a longer view, he understood the Jewish connection to this land, he recognized the state of Israel, and, by the way, none of those terrible things that were warned came to pass."

On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, but an administration official says the president has decided not to make the move "for now," according to a report by Bloomberg Politics.

Brog believes the "inside-the-Beltway-types" are once again sounding their doom and gloom alarm.

"I'm afraid that the Trump administration is falling a little bit for some of the warnings and the caution given to them by the State Department types and we're seeing that in the way that they talk about Jerusalem and in the back and forth over moving the embassy," Brog told CBN News.

"My hope is that, ultimately, the Trump administration, President Trump, will see that this advice is not wise. It is the same old advice that has led us nowhere in the Middle East," he said.

A shining light in the administration is U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who has vocally stood up for Israel and said she supports moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. She's also called out the anti-Israel bias at the United Nations.

"I'm pleasantly surprised that she has the guts and the wisdom to see and say it – the bias has been clear to everybody, the anti-Israel venom of that body has been clear to everybody," Brog said. "What's different is that Nikki Haley has the moral clarity and the courage to actually recognize it and call the UN out."

Her outspokenness could lead to change because as long as the bias is ignored, no one will do anything about it, the CUFI director said.

"I think these double standards and the ridiculous anti-Israel theme of the U.N. thrives in darkness and ignorance. When someone shines a light on it, even the anti-Israel members have to acknowledge they've gotten carried away," he said.

When it comes to the president's upcoming trip to Israel, Brog says he needs to change the way peace has been pursued in the past.

He noted that typically, Israel has been pressured to give concessions, but the Palestinians always turn it down, sometimes violently.

"The reason why they've rejected these offers is because, ultimately, these leaders don't want compromise; they don't want to split the land with the Jews," Brog explained.

"They cling on to a terrible, dangerous dream that they can destroy the Jewish State. So long as they are in the thrall of that dream they'll never agree to the painful compromises that peace necessitates," he said.

"The key to peace here is to get the Palestinians to give up on their death dream," he continued, "get them to give up on their dream of ruling all of the land, get them to recognize that compromise is not only necessary, but the Jewish people have roots in this land, too. The Jewish people have rights in this land, too."

Brog also said that the Palestinian Authority needs to stop rewarding Palestinians who kill Israelis.

"The first step is saying no more terror and no more teaching your children that Israel is illegitimate," he said. "No more teaching your children that the greatest thing you can be in life is a martyr who kills Israelis."

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