CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller said on Thursday that his head was “exploding” over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. Trump, he said, was trying to “intercede” in Israeli elections on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which he said was motivated by domestic politics.
“I was part of the very small group of individuals that tried to facilitate at the request of Israeli prime ministers Rabin, Peres, and Barak an effort to negotiate with Bashar Assad’s father Hafez, and we came pretty close to actually concluding a deal which by Israel would have surrendered the Heights in exchange for normalized relation with Syria,” he said. “I’ve been around negotiations most of my professional life.”
“My head is exploding,” Miller said of the announcement. “The president of the United States in less than 280 characters presumably, I didn’t count them, basically overturns six decades of American policy.”
“And the reason? The logic? The rationale, the justification?” he continued. “To directly and willfully intercede in an Israeli election campaign, very close with the prime minister now under preliminary indictment, for the first time in his career facing a credible challenger.”
“This was an effort, and I would argue gratuitous to essentially do everything President Trump can to make sure that Benjamin Netanyahu becomes the next prime minister of Israel,” Miller went, on, admitting that the U.S. has “played favorites with respect to Israeli prime ministers” in the past.
“But re-electing Benjamin Netanyahu is not a compelling national interest of the United States,” he said. “I know why the president chose to do this. It’s pure and unadulterated domestic politics.”
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