12

Trump is a strong supporter of US ally Israel. On April 14, 2024, Washington Post reported - Trump supporters echo pro-Palestinian ‘genocide Joe’ chant:

“Genocide Joe” is a phrase used by pro-Palestine protesters against President Biden because of his unconditional support of Israel amid its onslaught in Gaza. But supporters of former president Donald Trump adopted the chant at his campaign rally Saturday night ... Supporters began to chant “genocide Joe, genocide Joe,” as Trump spoke from a stage in a large field at the Schnecksville fire hall.

Trump paused before saying: “They’re not wrong, they’re not wrong. He’s done everything wrong.”

... Congressional Republicans have urged more U.S. support for Israel, although the Republican-controlled House has yet to take up a bill passed months ago in the Democratic-controlled Senate that would send aid to Israel along with Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific.

This is obviously a clever political campaign to sway some of the anti-war protestors to not vote for Biden, without making any real political commitments to them.

The term "Genocide Joe" is obviously meant to disparage Biden which Trump supporters may find appealing. But the term "genocide" in it also brings attention to the gross human rights violation of Palestinians in Gaza and also invokes sympathy for them amongst the Republicans. This must obviously be making some American supporters of Israel and the Israeli administration very uncomfortable. So it could also indicate a shift in Trump's political views on Israel's war in Gaza as a growing majority in U.S. now disapprove of Israeli action in Gaza.

Are there any supporting evidence to suggest that Trump's political views on the ongoing Israel war have changed?

0

2 Answers 2

24

Are there any supporting evidence to suggest that Trump's political views on the ongoing Israel war has changed?

Trump doesn't take positions.

First, Trump doesn't have any real power now. So we're going on rhetoric and past actions. That said, Trump doesn't have many policy and moral positions. He says what he thinks people want to hear with a bias towards what his supporters want to hear. He is a populist mirror. His number one monetary interest is his brand. When his brand would not suffer he relies on other material interests to change his mind.

That is to say nothing changed.

And as pointed out in this coverage by the news outlet Breaking Points on Trump's agreement with the term "Genocide Joe", this is the strongest argument for supporting Trump to bring an end to the conflict:

  • Biden is an ideological Zionist, and always was.
  • Trump is likely to do what's in his best interest at that time; and, as you've shown in the question, it's not in Biden's best interest to continue down a massively unpopular path of supporting Israel and ultimately suffering an electoral defeat for a bloc that will almost certainly support the Republicans anyway.

Trump in Biden's position would flail and then realign (likely stirring up drama and firing everyone in the process).

6
  • 1
    I think your characterization of Trump is fair; what could be added is that his not having strong convictions makes him an ideal vehicle for people who do (advisers, donors, lobby groups etc.) in synergy with his populism. That is evident in his anti-abortion and general conservative-Christian agenda which, by inference from his relationships and conduct, is probably not his original stance. Commented Apr 18 at 8:30
  • I agree, he also rapes women. It's not especially relevant to a question on Israel. “The jury’s finding of sexual abuse therefore necessarily implies that it found that Mr. Trump forcibly penetrated her vagina,” Judge Kaplan wrote, calling it the “only remaining conclusion.” But yeah, trivia, etc. Commented Apr 18 at 8:39
  • 2
    It is indirectly relevant. I used it as an example where it is very clear that he has strongly claimed positions that do not originate in his personal convictions. This supports the idea that his Israel/Arab positions are similarly not his own convictions (and hence potentially subject to change), even if there is less evidence from his pre-political life. (There is evidence for his stance on cultural issues because like everybody he was embedded in and interacting with culture; but Trump did not interact much with politics in his earlier life, so there is not that much evidence.) Commented Apr 18 at 8:47
  • I don't think it's convincing argument, nor a persuasive one. You've listed "advisers, donors, lobby groups", I don't see Trump as being more influenced by these groups than others. I agree, he doesn't have principles that sit higher on the totem then the things you've listed; you can't reason because principals aren't higher he'll be more influenced by money. He could have a different number of things higher than money, with the same or greater weight. And he could have more things on his totem north of money too -- he simply needs less of it. He doesn't have to outspend Biden to win. Commented Apr 18 at 9:26
  • 2
    @trlkly May be. Is there a Turing test for politicians? Is there an ontological difference between the positions a politician projects to the public and the ones they have? ;-) Commented Apr 18 at 10:59
13

Yes and no. Trump has not taken a strong stance on the issue of the war in Gaza, so there's not much to compare previous stances to. That said, what little he has said does seem to suggest at least a small shift.

Trump's video on Oct 13 could be summed up as

I kept Israel safe

That isn't a position as much as a campaign slogan. Trump's first quote on the war appears to have been on March 5

“You’ve got to finish the problem,” Trump said on Fox News on Tuesday when asked about the war. “You had a horrible invasion that took place that would have never happened if I was president.”

And later

“President Trump did more for Israel than any American President in history, and he took historic action in the Middle East that created unprecedented peace,” Karoline Leavitt, Trump’s national press secretary, said in a statement, adding, "When President Trump is back in the Oval Office, Israel will once again be protected, Iran will go back to being broke, terrorists will be hunted down, and the bloodshed will end.”

Israel Hayom did an interview with Trump on Mar 25. He was asked about the rise in antisemitism and this was Trump's response

Well, that's because you fought back. And I think Israel made a very big mistake. I wanted to call [Israel] and say don't do it. These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, Oh, that's a terrible portrait. It's a very bad picture for the world. The world is seeing this…every night, I would watch buildings pour down on people. It would say it was given by the Defense Ministry, and said whoever's providing that that's a bad image.

That looks like a shift from "finish it". Then, there's this exchange on Apr 4

HEWITT: But you are still standing 100% with Israel? You achieved the Abraham Accords, which was the first peace deal since Sadat.

TRUMP: Right.

HEWITT: And so are you still 100% with Israel? And what’s your advice to Netanyahu beyond get it over with in a hurry?

TRUMP: Well, that’s all the advice you can give. I mean, that’s the advice. You’ve got to get it over with, and you have to get back to normalcy. And I’m not sure that I’m loving the way they’re doing it, because you’ve got to have victory. You have to have a victory, and it’s taking a long time. And the other thing is I hate, they put out tapes all the time. Every night, they’re releasing tapes of a building falling down. They shouldn’t be releasing tapes like that. They’re doing, that’s why they’re losing the PR war. They, Israel is absolutely losing the PR war.

This seems contradictory on the surface. Standing with Israel "100%" is hard to square with "Israel is absolutely losing the PR war."

The position here seems to be "Get the war over with so it's no longer a political issue." It's unclear what Trump's position will be if the war continues to drag on. He clearly doesn't like the optics, but that's not terribly dissimilar to the views of Joe Biden.

As to the "Genocide Joe" chanting, Trump loves chants denouncing his political rivals. His 2016 rallies featured crowds chanting "Lock her up" in relation to Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee. Since Clinton was not ever charged by Trump's DOJ, it's hard to believe this represents a policy position.

1
  • 2
    Standing with Israel "100%" is hard to square with "Israel is absolutely losing the PR war." - this might just be the fact that "standing with" is not a well defined term.
    – Rob Grant
    Commented Apr 18 at 13:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .