Trump Using the Netanyahu Playbook
Trump has stopped being entertaining, and has now become just plain dangerous. He has questioned the exceptionalism of the United States, the legitimacy of our President and Supreme Court. His claim of rigged elections undermines one of the pillars of our democracy. He has asked our enemies to hack U.S. government computers, and claims that President Obama and Clinton founded ISIS. The latest claim is not just another lie, but groundwork for the assassination of his political opponents. It is clear that Trump is using the Netanyahu playbook.
In 1995 Benjamin Netanyahu, then the Likud leader in Israel, ran a similar campaign to Trump. At his rallies he vilified Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as an enemy of the state for entering a peace accord with the Palestinians. Supporters chanted “traitor” at Netanyahu rallies, and held up poster showing Rabin in a Nazi uniform or PLO garb. One of Netanyahu’s supporters, Yigal Amir, attended those rallies and subsequently went to a Rabin rally and shot him twice in the back.
Trump’s call for 2nd amendment solutions, followed up by labeling both Clinton and Obama as traitors, is not accident. Netanyahu used fear mongering to win his most recent reelection, a move mirrored by Trump. Now Trump is imitating some of Netanyahu’s earlier work. With his numbers sinking in the polls, Trump has to portray his opponent as the devil, an enemy of the state, and a traitor in the hope that one of his followers will act out of patriotism on behalf of the American people.
President Obama and Secretary Clinton took office 4 years after ISIS was formed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2004. Initially funded by Al-Qaeda, ISIS later split from them to set up the Islamic State. Al-Zarqawi entered Iraq around the time of the U’S. invasion, and recruited Sunnis who had been kicked out of the military. The Bush administration decision helped ISIS recruitment, but did not create ISIS.
This is not the first time the Trump campaign has blamed Obama and Clinton for something that happened long before they took power. Trump Campaign National Spokesperson Katrina Pierson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Capt. Kahn would still be alive today if it wasn’t for President Obama and Secretaries Clinton’s policies in Iraq. Capt. Kahn lost his life in Iraq in 2004.
First Trump portrayed Clinton as the devil, corrupt, and being responsible for all of America’s foreign policy woes. Then he suggested his supporters seek 2nd Amendment remedies. In case they weren’t convinced, he followed up immediately by making it clear she was a traitor as a founder of ISIS. These are not a series of misspeaks, as Trump himself has confirmed. This is a deliberate strategy to seek a solution for his dwindling poll numbers.