This article was first published here on January 1st 2018.
Daniel Juster Director - Tikkun International & Restoration From Zion
For the most part Israelis are glad
for the election of President Trump. Many are pleased that he has recognized
Jerusalem as the capital and is relocating the U.S. Embassy there from Tel
Aviv. Generally, they were relieved to see the end of the Obama
administration and the beginning of this new one. They understand that
President Trump is bombastic, but they are primarily concerned about his
Israel is first and foremost interested in how American policy relates to it
as a nation. They believe the Obama administration treated them unfairly.
Israel was regularly blamed for the lack of progress in the peace process,
yet the great majority of Israelis believe that the real holdup is the
Palestinians' refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state. While
the Obama administration declared Jewish housing east of the 1948 armistice
line to be the primary impediment to peace, most Jewish Israelis see the main
issue as the intransigence and insincerity of a Palestinian leadership that
does not really want peace. Twice in the past two decades Israeli governments
have offered nearly all of the "West Bank" to the Palestinians in exchange
for peace. Yet Arafat and Abbas walked away. This has convinced Israelis that
there is no real partner for peace on the other side. Therefore, they elected
a more conservative government under Benjamin Netanyahu.
In addition, since Gaza is ruled by Hamas (considered by Israel and the
United States to be a terrorist organization), and since Abbas is no longer
the elected leader of the Palestinians, there is no party that
represents the Palestinians as a whole. We can talk to President Abbas, but
he doesn't have the authority to implement a peace agreement. Were he to
run in an election, it is very possible he would lose and that Hamas would be
elected in his place.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration is inconsistent. Israelis are aware
of this as well. The ambassador from the United States, David Friedman, says
that settlements are not the problem. On the other hand, the U.S. State
Department in general, has a long-standing record of negativity towards
Israel. Israelis think and hope that Trump's own sentiments are more in
line with those of Ambassador Friedman. In any case, even though President
Trump allows the inconsistency, at least he is more even handed than Obama.
Israel also appreciates that the Trump administration is much more adamant in
its opposition to Iran's nuclear program.
Israelis also admire Nikki Haley. Her strong defense of Israel at the United
Nations is greatly appreciated. This is another great change, especially
since the Obama administration allowed a condemnation of Israel to pass in
the Security Council in regard to Israel.
There are other reasons why Israelis are happy with Donald Trump. Israel as a
whole has moved away from its socialistic origins toward a more conservative
direction. So Israelis are correspondingly comfortable with a more
conservative government in the United States. This is reflected in other
democratic nations as well. Conservative governments tend to be supportive of
Israel, liberal governments less. We can compare Harper in Canada with
Trudeau today. Governments in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand show that
this is true in general.
Israelis might also be concerned that Donald Trump's tendency to shoot
from the lip (my phrase) could undercut the progress and that he could
lose his political influence in America. They worry about Trump's
character issues. There are liberals in Israel who despise Netanyahu, who
want to give in to the Palestinians and who think Israel is the problem. They
miss Barack Obama. But they are by far the minority.
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There have been comments to this article ...
11:43am 02Jan18, Frank Onofrio: Thanks for the Israeli view of Trump!
12:08pm 02Jan18, Ian Liddle: Many thanks for explaining the view of most Israelis. This is
helpful. Trump has also done the USA a big favour in the Lord's
eyes - even if many Americans do not realize it. I am sorry that
my own government (UK) has not followed Trump's lead.
10:13pm 02Jan18, Rev Barbara Parton: Thank you for giving us the Truth about how most Israelis feel
about President Trump and what he did for Israel.
12:40am 03Jan18, Miriam Maranzenboim: Who could say it better? Great article. I LOVE the whole Trump
family and pray for them. Also Bibi's family. We are fortunate as
long as they are where they are!
8:02pm 03Jan18, Darla Ellyson: My husband and I pray for both Israel and President Trump every
day. We are thankful for your insight regarding the US and her
relating to Israel. We pray Benjamin Netanyahu will not waiver
nor cave under pressures and that America will stand more firmly
with Israel and the bigger picture.
Let us know what you think - why not comment to this
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