"Religious Fanatics Have Hijacked America's Israel Policy. And They're Not Even Evangelicals"

By Ori Nir

July 14, 2019 "Information Clearing House" - Trump's extremist, maverick pro-settler envoys, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, aren't resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They're fueling it - and Congress should investigate

With ten-pound hammers in their hands and ecstatic religious-nationalist zeal in their hearts, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and White House Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt stood underneath the most religiously volatile place on earth, and smashed a wall Ė and with it, any last semblance of reasonable U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The two senior U.S. diplomats were among the guests of honor, together with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, at the inauguration of an archaeological tunnel in East Jerusalem that unearths a path claimed to lead from a ritual cleansing pool to the Second Jewish Temple.

There could not be a more apt metaphor for the Trump administrationís approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trumpís team, led by ideologically pro-settler right-wing extremists, has no interest in conflict resolution. Rather, you could call their approach "conflict contribution." They are intentionally contributing to the conflict by adding fuel to its fire.

Contrary to common belief, what drives Trumpís aides is not innocent ineptness. Clumsy and ill-informed as their policy may seem, it is deliberate.

   

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