As I write these words, the American president has yet to be elected, but the readers already know who he is. Proper disclosure: my preferred candidate was Donald Trump, due to a single issue—the question which of the two is “better for the Jews” and their country.
But even if Clinton was elected, which wouldn't have guarantee an easy life for any Israeli leader trying to protect the national interest in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, today’s Israel is strong enough, and there would be no need to panic.
While it is difficult to forget Clinton’s brutal and insulting pressure on Netanyahu, which forced him to freeze planning and construction in Jerusalem, she did it in the capacity of secretary of state on behalf of the Obama administration—and Obama is leaving. Hillary is not Israel’s friend, and Arab states have likely donated to the Clinton Foundation more than Israel has donated, if at all. She does not, however, possess the mental identification with the Arabs that characterizes Obama.
If we use this timeout to assess our power and ability to endure American pressure, we will realize that we are a country with a population as big as Switzerland, Austria and almost Sweden. All of these countries have solved its water and energy problems on its own and unlike most of the Western world, is enjoying demographic prosperity and has an economy that has not been affected by the global crisis. In addition, Israel is not seeking America’s defense against a Soviet threat. Its relations with Russia are excellent.
Moreover, in today’s Middle East hell the American world power itself needs the safe anchorage provided by Israel and its strength, which provides critical backing to the pro-Western regimes around it. This last point is so true that Obama provided Israel with massive aid, which went to serve the entire West’s interest. With such an awareness of our position and abilities, free of feelings of inferiority, the Israeli prime minister will be able to meet any American president without budging an inch from our national interests.
And why did I support Trump? In order to take a little rest, for a change, from the eternal “nevertheless” and dream about an Uncle Sam who provides unconditional support and friendship, without any pressure. Trump promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s “eternal and undivided capital” and to move the American Embassy to the city, not to harass us with the “two-state” solution, to oppose any agreement forced by the United Nations Security Council, to keep the settlement enterprise complete, to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy on Iran and to fight Islamic terrorism.
The Republican Party as a whole has already changed its platform, erasing, among other examples, its support for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Trump himself was surrounded by pro-Israel advisors with a right-wing orientation, while the Democratic Party increasingly skewed to the left. Clinton’s promises to Israel during the campaign were anemic at best.
Trump’s promises were “too small” for the institutionalized media in Israel and were therefore hardly covered. The media found it difficult to conceal their ideological leaning towards Hillary. Politicians’ promises are usually taken lightly, and I am not naïve, either. But the division between left and right, here and there, is a fact, and its practical consequences—on us, well—are a reality.
What will this reality look like? As I write these words, I can only guess. But their reader may already knows.