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Does Trump's love for Israel trump his unpredictability?
Analysis: Speaking to high ranking Israeli officials, Itamar Eichner concludes that while Trump is expected to be a good partner for Israel, it must always be noted that he will put the US first and can change according to his own caprices.
Israeli high-ranking officials agree on one thing: bottom line, Trump is a mystery. On the one hand, Trump is indeed a big lover of Israel. On the other, there is no way to tell how he is going to act.

 

 

These are Israeli officials who know Trump well and this is what they think; he is completely pro-Israel, and he will be an ally in the fields of security, politics, and economics. He understands the economic complexity which Israel faces, and is connected to Israeli businesspeople—particularly those involved in real estate.

 

Many of his friends are Jewish, and he has unbridled warmth towards Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel.

 

Donald Trump and his campaign manager Kellyann Conway (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Donald Trump and his campaign manager Kellyann Conway (Photo: AFP)

 

But not everything is rosy. These officials also describe Trump as impulsive and impossible to predict, and he has a tendency to quarrel with the people he works with.

 

As they say, "alongside the enormous affection Trump has towards Netanyahu and Israel, we can't rule out a scenario whereby Trump uses Israel as a bargaining chip with other countries, with Russia for instance."

 

In other words, he will put America's interests first.

 

Jerusalem heard his words loud and clear when he said that Israel would need to pay for the security assistance the country receives from the US. He went back on this statement, but the red flags have been raised.

 

What is more, no one can be sure if Trump will keep the various promises he made to Israel including moving the US Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, canceling the Iranian nuclear agreement, increasing US security aid, or recognizing the annexation of the settlements.

 

The officials say that Trump will not rush to try and make an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. His foreign policy interests have more to do with trade deals between the US and China and the US and Latin America.

 

Trump and Netanyahu (Photo: EPA, AFP)
Trump and Netanyahu (Photo: EPA, AFP)
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Nevertheless, when Trump finally decides to get himself involved in the peace process, it will likely be an all or nothing affair.

 

He will announce that he will be able to solve the conflict and get the two sides to come to an agreement. However, Trumps aides have promised that the president elect will not impose an agreement on Israel.

 

How reliable is Trump's love for Israel

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But how will Trump react to localized escalations of violence? That is still unclear, the possibility that Trump will rebuke Israel over its use of force in one instance or another can't be denied.

 

Bottom line: Trump is a mystery, and Israelis don't like mysteries or surprises.

 

Head of the Trump campaign in Israel Tzvika Brot is also unsure as to whether or not the president-elect will fulfill all the promises he made, but he has no doubts about one thing; Trump's victory is good for Israel.

 

Brot says that Trump's stance on unilateral concessions is unequivocal, and that he will be tough on Israel's enemies while continuing to stand behind Israel at the UN—a lot more so than Obama did. Brot also said that Trump will be friendly to any government in Israel, regardless of whether it stands on the left or the right. 

 

 

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