Trump’s Advisors and Israeli Friends Say Palestine is Over
BY: Meshal Abusalem/Contributing Writer
Many leaders have called to congratulate the next president of the United States, Donald Trump, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has been particularly interested in what Trump envisions for Israel, even though Trump himself has been reluctant to express his plans.
Trump has made general statements about how politicians are adherent to the agendas of their big donors. However, at the last minute, Sheldon Adelson, the largest pro-Israel donor in the U.S., gave the Trump campaign funds to help push him to the finish line. Candidates often strive for financial support from the pro-Israel community around the United States in order to ensure an election win, and Trump’s last minute deal with Adelson could be why his advisors and supporters are so sure that he will do what they say.
1. The Jewish settlements in the Occupied West Bank are not an “obstacle to peace.”
Jason Greenblatt is the Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President of the Trump organization, and now one of Trump’s advisers on Israel. Greenblatt was on Israel’s Army Radio, a day after the election, stating: “The two sides are going to have to decide how to deal with that region, but it’s certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activity should be condemned and that it’s an obstacle for peace – because it is not the obstacle for peace.” Greenblatt also suggested that Trump will not impose any solution on Israel or “impose peace on the parties.”
2. Trump has “every intention” of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
David Friedman, another Trump attorney and soon-to-be advisor, told the Jerusalem Post: “It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it,” when asked about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. This came on the Wednesday following Trump’s victory, which is technically the same day the won the election.
Friedman also declared that Trump wants peace, saying that “Trump believes that everyone in Israel – from people on the right to people on the left – want peace. No one wants their children to continue to be killed in wars.” If the U.S. embassy moved to Jerusalem, it would mean that the U.S. considers Jerusalem the capital of Israel – a notion which has already infuriated the Palestinians who also view Jerusalem as their future capital.
3. “The era of a Palestinian state is over.”
Naftali Bennett is Israel’s Minister of Education who leads the religious-nationalist Jewish Home Party. Immediately following Trump’s election, 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 era of a Palestinian state is over.” Bennett has previously asked Israelis to give their lives for the annexation of the West Bank, and said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not conservative enough.
4. “There will be less pressure from Trump, so we should be building much more…”
Another far-right Israeli politician and former Minister of Education is Gideon Sa’ar. After Trump won the election, he declared after Trump’s win: “It is time to rethink our diplomatic flexibility. 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.” Sa’ar joined many others from Israel’s Likud Party to rejoice in Trump’s win, believing it will mean less trouble for Israel.
Trump’s advisors and supporters appear extremely confident that Trump will fully back the right-wing Israeli agenda, regardless of international law. Trump has advocated for war crimes during his campaign, making it seem as though he would be comfortable helping Israel continue to break international laws.
5. “I’d like to do … the deal that can’t be made.”
Donald Trump takes pride in being a profitable businessman capable of making “great deals.” In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Trump said: “As a deal maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.” This deal, according to Trump, must be made between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Trump administration looks to play a significant role in these peace agreements that will provide “just, lasting peace”
Trump claims he has a desire for peace, while those around him are saying there will be an end to the Palestinian state. Is it possible that Trump is telling his advisors and Israelis something different than he’s telling the public? Regardless of what the president-elect does, the fact that Israel is the main talking point after the election makes it seem like Trump’s message was “Make Israel great again”.