By Gil Hoffman | 9 November 2016
THE JERUSALEM POST — Right-wing Israeli politicians competed Wednesday in their praise for US president-elect Donald Trump, expressing hope that America’s policies toward Israel would soon change dramatically.
Former minister Gideon Sa’ar said there is a strong basis to think Israel has an unprecedented window of opportunity after the very pro-Israel statements Trump made during his campaign.
“It is time to rethink our diplomatic flexibility,” Sa’ar said.
“In past years, diplomatic pressure led to a lack of building in Jerusalem. There will be less pressure from Trump, so we should be building much more in our capital. I will not be surprised if the new president keeps his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.”
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett went further, declaring that “the era of a Palestinian state is over.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause,” Bennett said. “This is the position of the president-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple.”
The Knesset’s Land of Israel caucus held a celebratory meeting in the Knesset in which more than a dozen MKs called upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take advantage of the US election to restore construction throughout the country, abandon the two-state solution, and begin annexing Judea and Samaria.
Likud MK Yehudah Glick even invited Trump to celebrate his victory on the Temple Mount. He invited Trump to “visit Israel and Judea and Samaria to see for himself, as he claimed, that settlement is the way to peace.”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) congratulated Trump in the Knesset plenum, speaking in English, despite protocol prohibiting MKs from addressing the plenum in a foreign language.
“Distinguished members of Knesset, allow me to congratulate, on behalf of the Knesset and myself, the elected president of the United States of America, Mr. Donald J. Trump and vice president-elect Mr. Mike Pence,” Edelstein said. “I am confident that the longstanding friendship and alliance between the United States and Israel will remain strong during Mr. Trump’s term in office. We send our best wishes to the American people and are certain that they will remain united in dealing with the challenges facing America and the world today. Good luck!”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat sent a congratulatory letter to the president-elect praising him and asking him to follow through on his recent pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the capital.
“You have been a dedicated friend to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and the heart and soul of the Jewish people,” the letter continued. “And through that, I thank you. In your term as president, I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Trump’s campaign was indicative of “the continuation of a global trend of disgust with the old, power elite and the desire for swift and direct change.” He called the Trump election a “social, economic and leadership tsunami,” and said it could lead to change in Israel as well.
His Zionist Union colleague, MK Merav Michaeli, complained that Trump ran on a banner of harming and humiliating women. She expressed disappointment that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was not allowed to break the glass ceiling and become the first female US president.
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen said that Trump and Clinton hold almost identical policies regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “and it doesn’t seem that the identity of the winner would have changed the US’s unfair mediation policy in the region, in which it automatically sides with Israel.”
Jabarin said that the only hope to salvage a two-state solution is a move by US President Barack Obama in his last two months in office to recognize a Palestinian state and support a UN Security Council resolution that would set a timetable for the formation of a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines.
Joint List MK Basel Ghattas told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the elections would not change anything for the Palestinian people because the two-state solution ended when Netanyahu was elected, not when Trump was elected.
He expressed hope that American institutions limiting the president’s power would “prevent him from doing nonsense.”
Likud MK Oren Hazan, who has attempted repeatedly to draw parallels between himself and Trump, said in response to the result that he had predicted the surprise outcome.
“My friends in the media, I don’t want to say I told you so, but it’s fitting,” Hazan tweeted.
Hazan compared media scrutiny of Trump to the scrutiny he himself has faced in the Israeli media.
“In the beginning, there were those who called Trump a clown (sound familiar?) and I answered that he would be the next president!,” Hazan added, sharing a video clip of an interview he gave to the Post in which he predicted Trump would win.
— Dan Eisenbud and Jerusalem Post Internet staff contributed to this report
By Jerry Gordon | 3 November 2016
The Times of Israel reports that U.S. voters in Israel polled as the U.S. election nears now favor Trump over Clinton by 49 to 44 per cent of those responding.
One reason may be this Joint Statement from Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman co-chairs of the Israel Advisory Committee. It presents a solid program of support for Israel in contrast to what we have posted on Obama’s lame duck strategy of seeking the UN Security to sanction Israel for building towns in Judea and Samaria and other initiatives to eviscerate Israel’s eternal capital of Jerusalem.
Note what the Greenblatt Friedman Statement offers in the way of constructive commitments to support America’s only democratic ally in the troubled Middle East. Then ask yourself what Hillary Clinton has put out in the way of something as substantive as this sealing the US commitment for the Jewish nation.
Note what the statement contains:
· The unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel is based upon shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, respect for minorities, cherishing life, and the opportunity for all citizens to pursue their dreams.
· Israel is the state of the Jewish people, who have lived in that land for 3,500 years. The State of Israel was founded with courage and determination by great men and women against enormous odds and is an inspiration to people everywhere who value freedom and human dignity.
· Israel is a staunch ally of the U.S. and a key partner in the global war against Islamic jihadism. Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow.
· The American people value our close friendship and alliance with Israel — culturally, religiously, and politically. While other nations have required U.S. troops to defend them, Israelis have always defended their own country by themselves and only ask for military equipment assistance and diplomatic support to do so. The U.S. does not need to nation-build in Israel or send troops to defend Israel.
· The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the American and Israeli Governments is a good first step, but there is much more to be done. A Trump Administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the MOU will not limit the support that we give. Further, Congress will not be limited to give support greater than that provided by the MOU if it chooses to do so. Israel and the United States benefit tremendously from what each country brings to the table — the relationship is a two way street.
· The U.S. should veto any United Nations votes that unfairly single out Israel and will work in international institutions and forums, including in our relations with the European Union, to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel, impose discriminatory double standards against Israel, or to impose special labeling requirements on Israeli products or boycotts on Israeli goods.
· The U.S. should cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish State. UNESCO’s attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel’s 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations.
· The U.S. should view the effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner. The BDS movement is just another attempt by the Palestinians to avoid having to commit to a peaceful co-existence with Israel. The false notion that Israel is an occupier should be rejected.
· The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.
· A two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state. Hamas is a US-designated terrorist organization that actively seeks Israel’s destruction. We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.
· The Palestinian leadership, including the PA, has undermined any chance for peace with Israel by raising generations of Palestinian children on an educational program of hatred of Israel and Jews. The larger Palestinian society is regularly taught such hatred on Palestinian television, in the Palestinian press, in entertainment media, and in political and religious communications. The two major Palestinian political parties — Hamas and Fatah — regularly promote anti-Semitism and jihad.
· The U.S. cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant. The U.S. should not support the creation of a state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion.
· The U.S. should support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians without preconditions, and will oppose all Palestinian, European and other efforts to bypass direct negotiations between parties in favor of an imposed settlement. Any solutions imposed on Israel by outside parties including by the United Nations Security Council, should be opposed. We support Israel’s right and obligation to defend itself against terror attacks upon its people and against alternative forms of warfare being waged upon it legally, economically, culturally, and otherwise.
· Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.
· The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and Mr. Trump’s Administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
· Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the U.S. State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming, and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. must counteract Iran’s ongoing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and their noncompliance with past and present sanctions, as well as the agreements they signed, and implement tough, new sanctions when needed to protect the world and Iran’s neighbors from its continuing nuclear and non-nuclear threats.