On the verge of nomination: A win for Trump in South Carolina

Trump. Wikipedia, Liam leae

yesterday (Saturday), Donald Trump took an important step towards victory in the Republican primary, defeating Nikki Haley in the country’s election by a large margin – 60% to 40%, as of the time of writing. This victory was especially impressive considering its emergence in the state where Haley had the best chance of winning—because before her tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (under Trump), she served for many years as governor of South Carolina. This loss is predictive of her chances later, and almost assures that Trump will win the final nomination.

The U.S. presidential election is expected to take place in November, with two major parties holding primaries and internal elections to elect a candidate. While the Democratic Party has no real opponent to president Biden, the Republican Party has had many candidates of all kinds—but right now it seems that no one is able to stand up to the former president and stop Trump’s wave of “Trumpism” and final takeover of the party.

There are major implications for Israel on three levels: The first level is in the short term (next year), in which the nature of the confrontation in the presidential election may influence President Biden’s and the United States’ approach to Israel and the war in general. If, for example, Trump attacks Biden primarily for his conduct in the war, Biden may change his approach a little to avoid criticism; on the other hand, some voters (Muslims for example) may threaten not to vote for Biden if he does not change his attitude toward Israel more negatively.

The second level is the medium term (the next four years). The war proved that the president of the United States has a huge influence on Israel’s manoeuvrability. On the one hand, Trump appears to be more anti-Palestinian than Biden; on the other hand, Trump would also be more cautious about using money or military force to Israel’s benefit.

The third, and most important, is the long term (the coming decades). As a close ally, there is great dependence on the United States in Israel. But an internal challenge to the power of the United States, which may result from an economic crisis or social ruptures, could significantly reduce the power that the United States is capable of projecting around the world, and to Israel’s aid. This is a strategic point that must be considered when examining the elections of the greatest democracy in the world.

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