CNN's Zakaria Frets Over Trump Not Demanding Concessions from Israel

May 14th, 2018 11:09 AM

On Monday's New Day on CNN, during a discussion of the day's upcoming relocation of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem, CNN host and plagiarist Fareed Zakaria repeatedly fretted over President Donald Trump not demanding that Israel make concessions to Palestinian Arabs in exchange for recognizing the Jewish state's capital. 



At 8:50 a.m. Eastern, after fill-in co-host Erica Hill referred to the Palestinian protesters at the border between Gaza and Israel, juxtaposed with Israelis in Jerusalem who are "jubilant" over the move, she wondered what the "bottom line" was about the day's events. Zakaria began: "I think it was a very nonstrategic move -- by which, I mean to say, Trump is supposed to be the master of the art of the deal. It's very rare to make a major concession to one side without getting something from the other."

He soon added: "This is a very big gift to Israel. You would normally imagine that, if it were part of a larger strategic plan, you would ask the Israelis, in return, to do a certain number of things -- settlement freezes, whatever it is. Instead, it has been a pretty lopsided thing."

He argued that, even though he believes Jerusalem should be the capital, other countries have kept their embassies in Tel Aviv because of Palestinian Arab claims to Jerusalem, and then continued: "Here what you've done is you've made a very unilateral concession -- it looks very striking and bold -- but when you sort of think to yourself, 'What did you get for that?'"

Co-host Chris Cuomo then jumped in: "Well, he got a win, right? ... And that's what was on his mind. And Kushner really is playing with a little act of deception here. Many administrations wanted this easy win." He then added 

To be fair, what's happening on the left part of your screen is not new and is not motivated simply by what's happening with the embassy today. The fence that is there, the wall that is there, this outward symbol of separation has been an agitating force for since its construction. But the idea of what comes next, it's hard to see how this move it being contemplative of the thing that follows.

His description of security barriers as being an "agitating force" belies the fact that the absence of barriers would be an even greater "agitating force" because it would be easier for terrorists to attack Israel -- which is what happened before barriers were erected.

Zakaria soon repeated his concerns about Trump not demanding concessions from Israel: "It's difficult to see, as I say, on the ground, if you were doing this as a strategy, why you would make a one-sided move without getting something -- just simply bargaining."

And moments later, he reiterated:

This was a, you know, a giveaway to one side, and it's stunning that, if you were going to do that, and then these guys are supposed to be great negotiators when they buy and sell buildings, the simple logic would say, if you're making a huge concession to one side, say to them: "Here are the three things we want in return.