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The title says it all. Are there statements from Trump or his inner circle indicating what the stance of a future Trump administration would be towards the ongoing Israeli aggression against Gaza (which the ICJ has ruled could plausibly be genocide)?

From his previous stint in office we know that he is heavily pro-Israel with his administration moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory making the US the only country in the world to do so.

However, a complicating factor is that it has widely been reported that there is personal antipathy between Trump and Netanyahu based on Netanyahu accepting Biden as president and not going along with Trump's stolen election claim. This may have been what led him to criticising Netanyahu in the immediate aftermath of October the 7th and calling Hezbollah "smart".

So what can we expect from a potential Trump administration:

  1. Similar to what we currently see from the Biden administration. A general anguished wringing of the hands without much concrete action.
  2. A free hand to Israel to do as they see fit, up to and including the destruction of Gaza's civilian population.
  3. Something else.
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    I voted to close because as far as I know Israel has not been found guilty of genocide, and this is a push question. Commented Mar 24 at 17:57
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    @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica: A large fraction of public opinion perceives a genocide is taking place; and even the ICJ has already found that there is a plausible case to be made of a genocide being in progress in Gaza. Having said that - your objection could translate into an edit rather than a close vote.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 24 at 22:46
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    @BenCohen : Is your goal with this question to argue about what crimes is Israel guilty of, and to give you an opportunity in the comment section to list all your arguments for those crimes in case someone bites your hook? Or is your goal to really learn what kind of plans Trump has in case he is re-elected? If the latter, then you can just formulate the question as "conflict" and leave out the "genocide" part as it does not add anything to the question. And if you want to discuss whether it is genocide or not, then ask a separate question instead of trying to disguise the intent of this one.
    – vsz
    Commented Mar 25 at 5:22
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    @BenCohen There are many words that are better than genocide. Conflict (just because one side is losing badly doesn’t mean they don’t exist), This site generally uses war, aggression, and occupation are all less biased words than genocide. Also, I don’t see the point of the “which the ICJ has ruled could possibly be a genocide,” relevant to the question Commented Mar 25 at 12:57
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    I'm voting to reopen because the idea that this is a push question seems very shaky to me, being based on single words in a question with a hundred of them.
    – Allure
    Commented Mar 27 at 2:24

5 Answers 5

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It's difficult to predict the future, but all signs point toward a Trump term consisting of unequivocal support for Israeli actions—at least, insofar as ideological consistency is something that Trump is inclined to pursue—and little to no concern for the fate of Palestinians.

  • First, there's everything he did in his first term, including moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. His policy then was generally very supportive of Israeli claims.
  • And indeed, whatever personal animosity he occasionally has with Netanyahu, he has expressed his belief that American Jews should be loyal to Israel and him specifically. In general, Trump also has a history, with authoritarians from Xi to Putin to Kim Jong Un, of veering between personal insults and shows of affection.
  • Then, there's what he said in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks, he promised to "fully support Israel defeating, dismantling, and permanently destroying the terrorist group Hamas," which suggests an escalation of support. He also promised to reinstate his travel ban against various nationalities, generally viewed as anti-Muslim, and specifically include Palestinians from the Gaza Strip therein.
  • His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a major figure in Trump's first-term policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has recently expressed support for expulsion of Palestinians and annexation of the Gaza Strip.
  • Trump also recently agreed that he was "firmly in Israel's camp" and suggested that Israel had to "finish the problem," suggesting support for a continued or perhaps even escalated invasion.

In general, Trump's political interests also firmly align with supporting Israel, because support for that policy is high in the Republican Party, and in the past, he has generally supported establishment Republican policy (in taxes, and so forth) when he did not have a strong personal opposition.

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    Another thing: Trump is big with evangelicals, and they generally favor Israel
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 29 at 20:02
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Additionally, Trump's administration cut all funding for UNRWA, at a time when other countries didn't, i.e. in 2018, add slashed all other aid:

News that the Trump administration will end all funding to UNRWA comes on the heels of Trump ordering the United States to cut $200 million in aid to Palestinians.

The press speculated it was because they rebuffed his peace plan (Abraham accords), although officially that was not the reason invoked, just something more bland:

Trump earlier this year of US assistance to the Palestinians had established that that money “is not in the best interests of the US national interest and also at this time does not provide value to the US taxpayer.”

Somewhat related, he repeatedly attacked the 'liberal Jews' even before Oct 7, but perhaps even more so thereafter.

“Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion,” Trump retorted Monday on a talk show. “They hate everything about Israel.”

And likewise for the 'Democrat Party' as a whole, now in relation to the ongoing war:

Trump, in an interview, had been asked about Democrats' growing criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his handling of the war in Gaza as the civilian death toll continues to mount.

"I actually think they hate Israel," Trump responded to his former aide, Sebastian Gorka. "I think they hate Israel. And the Democrat Party hates Israel."

And Trump got an open endorsement from Itamar Ben-Gvir, who advocates a cash for emigration scheme for Palestinians.

“Instead of giving us his full backing, Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel [to Gaza], which goes to Hamas,” said Ben-Gvir, giving voice to popular sentiment among many right-wing Israelis. “If Trump was in power, the U.S. conduct would be completely different.” [...]

Ben-Gvir says his plan is to “encourage Gazans to voluntarily emigrate to places around the world” by offering them cash incentives. He called it “the real humanitarian” thing to do. He said he knew Palestinians would be open to this idea through discussions with Palestinians in the West Bank and intelligence material he received as a minister.

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    Almost forgot another thing Trump's administration did: recognized the annexation of the Golan Heights. Right now there's not a majority who wants to annex Gaza, but there are some (incl. Ben-Gvir) who at least want it resettled by Israelis. Commented Mar 23 at 8:53
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    It's mentioned in the question.
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Mar 31 at 13:42
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This is not meant to replace Obie's excellent answer above, but to complement it. It has recently become apparent to me, just how extremist the Republican party is on this topic. Of course, it has been clear for a long time that the party is very pro-Israel with few if any dissident voices amongst Republican ranks. However, it is becoming clear that some amongst Republicans are not just pro-Israel, but also pro-genocide. See for example, calls by Congressman Tim Walburg to treat Gaza like Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to "get it over quick". Or remarks by Michelle Salzman that the right number of Palestinians dead is "all of them". In the case of Walburg, we have an American congressman following the line set by the most extremist elements of the Israeli government.

Without the support of Congress and the House, Trump would be a lame duck president. So, his personal view and convictions, if he has any, are likely to be put aside in the interest of exercising power.

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Trump is a big fan of war crimes, especially against Muslims. During his first term, he intervened on behalf of Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL platoon leader convicted of posing for a photo with the body of dead Iraqi; another SEAL team member told investigators that Gallagher was “freaking evil,” but Trump said at a political rally that he was one of “our great fighters.” Trump also pardoned Blackwater contractors convicted of killing Iraqi civilians in a wild shooting spree in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. There is no chance that he would try to stop Israel from indiscriminately killing Palestinians.

After the October 7 Hamas attack, Trump was briefly critical of Netanyahu and blurted out that Hezbollah was “very smart.” Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed group designated a terrorist organization by the United States, has battled Israel on its northern border with Lebanon. Trump was immediately and roundly attacked by other Republicans for his comments, and he quickly renewed his long-standing pledge to align the United States fully with Israel. If he’s reelected, he will give Israel unalloyed support for all-out war, and he will do so with the wholehearted backing of the Republican Party.

https://theintercept.com/2024/03/04/trump-biden-israel/

Trump is even more pro-Israel than Biden since most Christians voting for the Republicans have a strong support for Israel. Not only that, but Trump has helped enact several anti-Muslim laws in the past.

Executive Order 13769, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, labeled the "Muslim ban" by Donald Trump and his supporters[1][2] and critics,[3][4] and commonly known as such,[5] or commonly referred to as the Trump travel ban, or Trump Muslim travel ban, was an executive order by President Trump. Except for the extent to which it was blocked by various courts, it was in effect from January 27, 2017, until March 6, 2017, when it was superseded by Executive Order 13780, a second order sharing the title "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13769

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I made a Trump foreign policy philosophy answer back during his first administration, and I think that same approach is best used here too. Specifically, we will use the prism of Walter Russel Mead's 4 schools of American Foreign Policy (cutely named after 4 former Presidents).

Trump is a "Jacksonian", which as a foreign policy philosophy is best summed up by the pithy saying, "Never start a fight, but always finish it." Jacksonians also tend to have little patience for treaties, alliances, and international organizations, viewing them as more likely to weaken the US when it has to act, rather than to help it. Bi-lateral agreements are much preferred.

From this point of view, what's going on between Gaza and Israel is a matter entirely between those two, and none of the US's business. Neither entity is much of a threat to the US, and certainly neither has attacked it. So its not America's fight, and it would be very wrong for it to interfere to make it their business.

Of course non-interference is exactly what Israel wants at this time, so that would probably look a lot like full support for them.

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    I mean, I'm not saying you're wrong in the abstract about Trump's general political philosophy, to the extent he has one. But he had a first term with proactive measures in support of Israel, has suggested that he will have more proactive measures in support of Israel, and is in a party that will reward him politically for affirmatively supporting Israel (and lacks personal scruples). Moreover, his general lack of interest in what most people would understand as "governing" has historically led him to give free rein to members of his party, most of whom want proactive support of Israel.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Mar 24 at 3:53
  • "very wrong for it to interfere". Well, except for aiding just one side with money & weapons & formal recognition of their annexations. Also, Abraham accords for worldwide peace. Doesn't seem that Jacksonian to me. Commented Mar 24 at 19:09
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    If you really want to make the A. Jackson connection, it might be the deportation of Indians [meaning Native Americans]. Commented Mar 24 at 19:51
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    @T.E.D, By "It's none of the US's business." You mean Israel would just like the U.S. to pay for their genocide and keep sending weapons? Unfortunately, it's against U.S. law for Israel to use U.S. supplied weapons for anything other than the defense of Israel. U.S. to review Israeli assurances it is not violating international law. Many Presidents have used this stick against Israel when they've gotten out of control. Maybe this time Israel tests if the U.S. is serious.
    – JMS
    Commented Mar 24 at 20:44
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    If it's none of the US's business then why is the US paying for it, and why does Trump seem to want to increase funding to Israel but decrease funding to Palestine, and why does he make comments about self-hating Jews? Commented Mar 25 at 3:15

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