At the beginning of the month, my colleague Eric Levitz noted that Donald Trump’s campaign had made the unusual decision to open field offices in Israel to service American citizens living in that country. He also observed it made some sense considering the pro-Republican proclivities of many American-Israelis, even if it was odd for a campaign and candidate that generally disdained such frills as field operations and voter targeting, especially given the small number of votes available there and the fact that many of them would be cast in noncompetitive states.
But Levitz also drew attention to a particularly strange fact (echoed today at Politico): Two of these offices are in the occupied West Bank. Considering Trump’s global reputation for Islamophobia, isn’t that a rather provocative gesture?
You’d guess the Israeli government might have some private misgivings about the potential security strain created by these far-off outposts of Trumpism. But beyond that, it’s a striking symbol of the kind of international image Trump as president might well create for the U.S. as a whole: a truculent presence proud of its determination to stand with allies and stand up to its enemies without all of that elitist crap about diplomacy and mutual respect — you know, the global version of political correctness.
As Election Day approaches, the quintessential representation of Trump’s domestic appeal is one of those voters hoping against hope the mogul will reopen America’s shuttered coal mines and bring back the good old days before enviro-hippies and minorities and uppity women ruined everything with their demands. But quite possibly the best representation of what he promises to do for America’s role in the world is the West Bank Trump-for-president field office. Screw you, the campaign seems to be saying to the surrounding Arab population. We’ll do any damn thing we want wherever we want.
And this is the guy who is going to stop anti-American terrorism. Right.