The Times of Israel reports: One of President-elect Donald Trump’s leading candidates for secretary of defense has said Israel’s settlement project could turn the country into an apartheid state and that the United States pays a price for its support of Israel.
Retired Marine Corps general James Mattis met with the incoming president Saturday at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to reportedly discuss a cabinet post.
According to CNN, Trump was extremely impressed by Mattis, who is now his top choice to run the Defense Department, a position whose power over the US military is second only to that of the president.
Mattis’s resume includes over two years heading the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) under President Barack Obama from August 2010 to March 2013, a post that has command authority for all US forces in the Middle East.
During Mattis’s tenure, he held a commanding presence in the war theaters on Afghanistan and Iraq, experiences for which Trump offered high praise after their hour-long meeting. “All I can say is he is the real deal,” he said. “The real deal.”
When Trump was asked by reporters if Mattis would have a role in the upcoming administration, he said: “We’ll see. We’ll see. He’s just a brilliant, wonderful man. What a career. We are going to see what happens, but he is the real deal.”
In July 2013, shortly after leaving his post running CENTCOM, Mattis said the current situation in Israeli was “unsustainable” and that settlements were obstructing the possibility of a two-state outcome between Israelis and Palestinians, comments that seem to fly in the face of Trump’s position as reported by his Israel advisers. [Continue reading…]