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Having hope in Trump is naive

    Bill Kristol is a renegade Jew. This was the extraordinary headline on the Breitbart website, attacking Mr Kristol for his refusal to support Donald Trump. And now the chairman of that website is to be the chief strategist and senior counsellor to the President of the United States of America.

    Donald Trump was elected with the support of white supremacists and antisemites, of mysogynists, gun-toting ideologues and gay hating provocateurs. It was support he courted. For all those who support liberal democracy this is a dark moment.

    Let's though, test an alternative thesis. Mr Trump won primarily because he was the Republican nominee. The Republican Party is a broad coalition and Mr Trump is not necessarily on the right of it. Indeed he wasn't a Republican at all for much of his life.

    In office, reality and the Republican mainstream will keep him in check. The constitution has checks and balances. Mr Trump himself may be startlingly ill informed about many of the issues he is going to deal with, but that could be a good thing. It means there is room to grow. He is by no means a stupid man. As he gets a grip, as he learns, showman will give way to deal-maker.

    And so we can expect a more conventional presidency to arise from his unconventional candidacy. And Jews have nothing to fear from that. In fact, not having Hillary Clinton is a lucky escape for Israel. Her advisers have turned strongly against the Jewish state. That's why Breitbart says it called Kristol a renegade Jew, because he was letting down other Jews.

    He is not entirely in control of the forces he's unleashed

    That, as I say, is the counter theory. But no. Sorry, no.

    First of all, Mr Trump's victory is not one that is won by him alone and he is not entirely in control of the forces he has unleashed. There is no reason to believe him personally to be an antisemite. And one might in a moment of extreme (and probably misplaced) generosity dismiss accusations against his strategist Steve Bannon as hearsay from an ex-wife. But this does not mean that his election is not frightening for all ethnic minorities.

    As my colleague David Aaronovitch argues, political victories create atmospheres as much as they benefit from them. The Trump victory will certainly do that.

    But could Israel benefit? After all Mr Trump seems to see the Iran nuclear deal in the same way that the Israeli government does.

    I think it is naive to be hopeful. Mr Trump's manifesto is full of ways in which Hey Presto, he makes the world better. Illegal immigration stops, healthcare is fixed, ISIS is destroyed and Iran stops being such a pain in the neck. And all because the President elect is the sort of person who got the Grand Hyatt Hotel built.

    There is nothing in his career to suggest that he will show the patient application necessary to edge forward, easing problems that won't just disappear. His attention span is famously small and he is quick to anger. Imagine his reaction if he calls on Israel to do something and it doesn't?

    It seems to me quite likely that he will pursue a dangerous and erratic foreign policy that will leave Israel more, rather than less, exposed.

    And he may not particularly care if that happens. Mr Trump's policy is to make America "great again", not the world. And everything he says suggests that his policy is to let the world sort out its own problems. He thinks America is paying too much money and attention to matters which are of no relevance to most of its citizens.

    This policy isn't - it has to be admitted - very consistent. He is much concerned with American prestige and also with Daesh. But to hold out the hope that this would lead him to defend Israel is to assume he will take a long-term strategic view. And I think that is quite hopeful.

    In addition, Mr Trump is quite likely to alienate some Western allies altogether and, at the very least, threatens Western unity. Israel will be a loser - could even be the main loser - of this loss of unity.

    The final part of the counter theory is that "we all thought Reagan would be terrible" and he turned out OK. Well, to start with we didn't all think that. But anyway, Mr Trump is no Ronald Reagan. Above all other things, Mr Reagan was a man of dignity and character.

    And Mr Trump? He simply is not.

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