The Times of Israel is reporting that when big-time Republican donor and pro-Israel philanthropist Sheldon Adelson was recently asked whether he could support Donald Trump, he responded “Why not? Trump is a businessman. I’m a businessman.” So much for the concerns some have about Trump’s comments on the need to maintain an attitude of “neutrality” going into negotiations on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
Trump’s statement didn’t bother me in the least. As a long-time negotiator for my legal clients, I know that you can believe that your client’s position is superior, but it’s important not to give out that you think the other side is a POS. It doesn’t create the right atmosphere for getting to “yes” when you’ve spent months bad-mouthing the opposition. As a businessman, what Trump said would have made a lot of sense to Mr. Adelson. And to Israelis generally, who prefer him to everyone else, in the polls.
Donald Trump was right when he said that the Israelis want peace, only they want it on terms they can accept. Just like we American free-traders want free-trade on terms we can accept. The problem in American politics is that we’ve come to value the sound-bite over substance. Like when Carly Fiorina said she wouldn’t even talk to Putin. When I heard that I understood why she was a business failure.
Or like when Cruz said he’d “carpet bomb” ISIS. That off-the-wall comment was more acceptable to “conservatives” than Trump’s sober recommendation of working with Putin to achieve the destruction of ISIS. Diplomacy has become a lost art here in America under the Obama administration, and Cruz supporters aren’t keen to revive it
After meeting Trump last December, Adelson praised him for his “charm.” That’s a major difference between Trump and Cruz. Cruz never managed to charm his own wife long enough to make her want to live with him under the same roof. No matter how much you like Cruz, you will never, ever call him “charming.”
This is why I don’t worry about Trump’s ability to make people like him. Look folks, if your two ex-wives have only good things to say about you no matter how much they are baited by the media, you are a charmer, no question.