Trump Campaign Claims Palestinians Want “Ethnic Cleansing” of Jews; Sets Up Offices in Occupied Territories
DONALD Trump’s adviser on U.S.-Israeli relations told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz Sunday that the Obama administration “should be ashamed of their misguided reaction” to remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a Facebook video published over the weekend, Netanyahu (check out the cartoon-quality CGI flag pasted in next to him) said that support for the removal of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as part of a two-state peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, was the equivalent of advocating for the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews. (ILLUSTRATION: Donald and Ivanka Trump with David Friedman, Trump’s “advisor on U.S.-Israeli relations”)
Basically, Netanyahu told the victims of a bloody, generations-long expulsion from their own land that trying to get that land back is “ethnic cleansing” — and Trump now agrees.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu makes exactly the right point. The Palestinians want Israel to absorb countless ‘refugees’ — people who never lived in Israel and whose ancestors were never forced to leave Israel — while their so-called ‘state’ is required to be, as the Nazis said, Judenrein (devoid of Jews). It is an entirely racist and anti-Semitic position,” David Friedman, the Trump adviser, related in an email exchange. Contrary to Friedman’s assertion, many of the 700,000 Palestinian refugees in the 1947-1949 War of Independence were forcibly expelled by the Israeli army.
Echoing Friedman, Marc Zell, co-chair of Republicans Overseas’ Israel chapter promised that the absence of such “interference” in Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians “will be a major change under a Trump administration.”
“The Prime Minister’s statement was entirely appropriate and his reference to ethnic cleansing is not out of order in any respect,” said Zell, a resident of the Gush Etzion settlement of Tekoa, who also serves as vice president of the international organization Republicans Overseas.
Zell said that the Trump campaign, in keeping with the Republican party platform which Zell helped shape at the party’s convention in July, would never take such a position.
“Our candidate, Donald Trump, has stated on more than one occasion that when it comes to building in the Land of Israel — whether it is homes, businesses or schools — that is a decision for the Israeli people alone and it is not something the U.S. government needs to interfere in,” Zell told Haaretz. “Trump believes it is for the Israelis and Palestinians to work out among themselves, and that it’s not appropriate for the United States to weigh in on the dispute in a manner that clearly favors one side – the Palestinian side.” Contrary to Zell’s and Friendman’s position, it is a fact that under international law Israel illegally occupies those territories and Jewish settlements there are flagrantly illegal.
Zell and the local Trump team in Israel unveiled a makeshift traveling office in the occupied West Bank last week, touting it as the first campaign office for a U.S. presidential candidate ever opened over the “Green Line” — a reference to Israel’s internationally recognized borders. They plan to move the new West Bank office to various (illegal Jewish) settlements over the course of the campaign. The Palestinians, the majority and the only legitimate residents there, will be shunned by Team Trump.
There are also Israeli Trump campaign offices in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Modi’in devoted to registering American citizens in Israel to vote and convincing them to vote for Trump and the Republican ticket.
Sources close to the Israeli campaign told Haaretz that “hundreds of thousands of dollars” had been invested in encouraging and assisting American supporters of the Republican Party living in Israel to vote. The efforts in Israel, spearheaded by Republicans Overseas, are not directly funded by or directly affiliated with either the Republican Party or the Trump campaign. They do, however, coordinate closely with both in order to remain, according to Zell, “on the same page.”
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Source: Haaretz and National Vanguard correspondents