Trump is not an alternative to Israeli decisions
Op-ed: Israel’s best option right now is to restore the Bush understandings on the settlement blocs and east Jerusalem, add the Jordan Valley and even upgrade the Golan Heights. This requires, however, an effort which has never been made in the Netanyahu era—to present an Israeli diplomatic plan.
Here’s a campaign story: Two weeks ago, Trump’s election headquarters looked into the possibility of adding Israeli representatives to the campaign. The target audience was the evangelicals, who see Israel as a symbol. Until Jesus comes and we all become Christian, it’s also an excellent political leverage. The main problem was that they could not find big and familiar enough names for Jesus’ ardent supporters. But need is the father of invention. That’s how Samaria Council head Yossi Dagan and Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Hagit Moshe popped up. They are both first-class respected leaders. And they both have a title which, as far as Trump’s people are concerned, impresses evangelical voters.
The Kingdom of Israel was in Samaria, and the Kingdom of Judah was in Jerusalem. Who else but Trump can reunite the two kingdoms, restore the days of King David. The idea was dropped at the last moment due to security issues, but the attempt demonstrates the perception of Trump’s people regarding Judea and Samaria. All that is left to find out is just how connected to reality this settlement-supporting campaign is. Where is the lie and where are the real intentions?
In general, it can be declared that truth died last week, and so did institutionalized lie. People who strongly believe in telling the truth have no place in politics, and not just in America. Liberalism is an institutionalized lie; Trumpism is a lie coming from the street. What’s worse? The Americans have decided.
The moment of truth
I first got to know America through a beautiful tourist I met in Guatemala on a post-army trip. We hiked together for a few weeks on some mountain, and when we said goodbye she invited me to visit her in Los Angeles when I got the chance. It took me a few days to realize that she didn’t really invite me. It was for the sake of politeness. It took me a few years to realize that it’s a cultural thing.
Many years later, in 2011, I accompanied Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a meeting with US President Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly. Hillary Clinton was in the conference room. When she shook hands with members of the Israeli entourage, she gave each one a huge smile and said, “It’s so good to see you again.” Most of us she had never seen before, but it’s customary. Like the cashiers’ smiles in America’s shopping centers. Like the good manners of a tired waitress. The lie is part of the political culture.
The ugliest election campaign to ever take place in America conceals a deep ideological dispute between the supporters of globalization—liberals seeking to improve the world, and the local patriots, who first of all want to improve their own lives. When liberal US talks about human rights and caring for the minorities of the world, it’s lying. When it avoids defining Islamic terror it’s a lie, and when it condemns construction in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood it’s a political lie which touches us. The condemnation is for the allies in Saudi Arabia, not for the sincere and moral conscience.
The biggest lie in Washington is the big museums on the Jewish Holocaust and the history of slavery. There is no such thing as “never again.” There have always been and there will always be interests. Those who are weak cannot rely on the kindness of world powers kindness. So the Zionist iron wall has no party or elections. The US did not prevent the Holocaust against Europe’s Jews, and it will not prevent a genocide in Syria, Sudan or any other place in the Middle East. More than half a million Muslims have been massacred so far by Muslims, and that wasn’t even an issue for debate in the elections.
Trump lied about his past and about his future. He is an actor, a demagogue and mainly an excellent politician. Bread and circuses. Against Hillary’s moldy lies, he presented charismatic lies and sex scandals which make the average Israeli feel proud of his politicians. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.
The moment of truth in Israel’s eyes is when he enters the White House. Israel needs a working plan on the biggest gap between the two countries so far: The 1967 borders. One of late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s greatest achievements in this issue was President George W. Bush’s acceptance of construction within the settlement blocs and in east Jerusalem. Bush spoke about two states for two people, but accepted the construction. When Obama was elected, he canceled these understandings. He froze the construction. It was a first step towards chaos in his foreign relations in the Middle East.
Those who think Trump is about to join the Bayit Yehudi party tomorrow morning fail to understand what happens to a presidential candidate the moment victory has been declared. His speech was carefully written: Beyond being the complete opposite of the campaign—national and appeasing—it also included a commitment to the world’s countries. A term which contains both Arab oil exporters (and the Republicans’ interests in this oil) and Iran. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is another interest in the game.
Israel’s best option right now is to present a plan before the initiative: Israel can restore President Bush’s understandings on the settlement blocs and east Jerusalem, add the Jordan Valley and even upgrade the status of the Golan Heights. It can make the annexation of the blocs and the Valley a distant target. The Palestinians will object, Europe will object, and it mainly requires an effort which has never been made in the Netanyahu era—to present an Israeli diplomatic plan.
What does this mean? Dealing with the Palestinians openly and not just through the Civil Administration, and drawing maps instead of waiting for the High Court to decide on another Amona. Trump is not an alternative to Israeli decisions.