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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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Like many in our Modern Orthodox circle, I heavily consider the American-Israeli relationship when voting for our public representatives. However, many in our community, whether they admit it or not, are one-issue voters whose sole concern is Israel. And because of that, many voted for Donald Trump—the candidate who blasted Obama for being anti-Israel, harshly criticized the Iran nuclear deal, promised to move America’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and seemed, at least superficially, to be the more pro-Israel candidate. Unfortunately, what seemed obvious to me is now becoming crystal clear: what’s best for Israel is a consistent, level-headed and predictable president, not a brash and off-the-cuff one. When President Trump disclosed classified material about airplane safety obtained from Israel to Russia, he compromised Israel’s security and safety and put members of the Israeli intelligence community in great danger. From the initial reports, he did not consult with the intelligence community before disclosing this “highly classified” information. This reckless sharing of sensitive material to Russia was at best misguided, and may have serious consequences, given that Russia has ties to Syria and Iran, two countries that do not have the same agenda as America or Israel. Additionally, President Trump damaged the trust between America and Israel, which may result in less information-sharing between the two countries, thereby putting both countries at greater risk. So, while Trump’s pro-Israel rhetoric and decision to travel to Israel for his first foreign trip may make him appear “pro-Israel,” what pro-Israel Americans should really look for is level-headedness, consistency and common sense in foreign affairs, not a candidate who boasts his support for Israel but has nothing to show for it.

Hillel Koslowe

TABC Senior

Bergenfield, NJ