The American swing voter, overwhelming, sympathizes with Israel rather than with the Palestinians. Yet, he also doesn’t like to hear about Israel. Why? He knows why American politicians talk about Israel. Hearing about it reminds him of his impotence in the face of the Jewish lobby he knows about but whose existence he can’t even acknowledge. This is true whether his is a white nationalist, an American nationalist, or simply a voter who asks “which candidate cares about me?”
Trump, however, is immune to the above response. When people hear him talk about Israel, they don’t hear him pandering to billionaires, they hear him speaking his mind, saying the same kinds of things they would. It also helps neutralize the “racist” attack line. Thus, while I would advise any other Republican to ignore Obama’s Israel provocation, Trump should continue to attack him about it, emphasizing how it shows he is a sore loser.
Overall, I am quite happy with Trump’s performance so far. Trump has played it masterfully. The swing voter doesn’t know the difference between Taiwan and Thailand, but seeing the media attack Trump for calling the leader of (what they see as an) independent country, out of “respect” for a communist dictatorship, certainly makes them sympathize with Trump and his condemnation of the elite’s “weakness.” About the media’s Russia-baiting, I think this has stuck in swing-voters’ minds as a negative, but by the time of the next election, they won’t see it that way anymore. Instead, they’ll see Trump as having improved relations with Russia and the media as trying to sabotage it. There’s little inherent negative feeling toward Russia by the American people apart from residual association with communism, and Trump is immune to that association.