Israel Hayom newspaper Foreign Editor summarizes Netanyahu-Trump summit; gauges Trump much more attentive to Israel's security needs.
The Foreign Affairs Editor of the Israel Hayom newspaper Boaz Bismuth in an editorial today (Thursday) summarized the implications of the Netanyahu-Trump summit, expressing the unambiguous conclusion that strategically and ideologically, “Trump is good for the Jews”.
“If anyone persisted in doubting that President Donald Trump is good for Israel, yesterday's pre-summit White House press conference with Netanyahu proved that Trump is good for the Jews, despite the 'anti-Semitism in America' sirens heard since he won the elections. It marks the advent of a new, much more invigorating era in Washington.
“The joint press conference between the President and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was like a U-turn from everything we have heard, known, internalized, and ruminated on (without really digesting, however) for several decades.
“The two-state solution as the sole peace option, the Roadmap, multilateral negotiations, international initiatives, sanction threats against Israel, accusing fingers pointed at the settlements – essentially, these have all been rendered irrelevant; ancillary at best.
“Not only have eight years of Obama been relegated to history, even the Clinton era strikes one as archaic, antiquated, and in reality incompatible with the present. Trump has transferred Oslo and the peace initiatives to the treatment of archaeologists.
The Trump administration is working on a new formula, which certainly will not appeal to the Israeli left, but we also must wait and see how closely it matches the aspirations of the right. Overall, Israel has a good friend in the White House, and yesterday it was evident. While no one can really guarantee that peace with the Palestinians is waiting for us around the corner, we can expect peace with the White House. After eight years of Obama, it's also something. They told us we lost America? Not really.
“It may be deduced from the press conference that the President enjoys Gulf state support for a regional peace initiative. Trump focuses on the long term and also hopes for regional peace (as he said in an interview with Israel Hayom last week). He does not have a clear formula, but the President obviously did his homework, even if he did utter a sentence that will probably become a classic: 'I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like'.
“There is no doubt that the Saudis will have much to say. Trump's new formula will induce the Saudis to resuscitate their own initiative, but it will be Jerusalem's responsibility to convey its problematic points. The idea is good, its application, less so. The Iranian threat will spur the sides to compromise. At whose expense? Not necessarily Israel's, and this is the enormous transformation that characterizes the Trump Era.
“Donald Trump acknowledged that 'I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians — if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.' In other words, the idea of a Palestinian state has encountered a serious obstacle. The Palestinians have been determined not to agree or recognize Israel ever since the partition proposal. It is quite possible that they've missed the train.
“Perhaps another solution exists – increasing the territory, establishing autonomy, not evacuating settlements. Suddenly an abundance of new possibilities has emerged. The deck of cards has been re-dealt. Overall it can be concluded that the two-state idea is in advanced stages of demise, with no doctor to be found in the Washington operating theater to come and save it.
“Donald Trump is much more attentive to Israel's security needs. Iran and Jihadist terror are for him enemies to be fought against – and defeated. He also considers Palestinian Authority education to terrorism to be problematic and very dangerous, and he is willing to call Islamic terror, 'Islamic terror'.
“Trump believes that both sides should make concessions. Both us and the Palestinians. This, too, is undoubtedly a novelty. We are accustomed to only Israel needing to make concessions. Now it also applies to the Palestinians.
“Of course, the issue of settlements came up in the meeting. While Trump believes that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace, yesterday he again asked Israel to coordinate with him: 'As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit … I would like to see a deal made'.
“There are those who will accentuate the word 'hold', but after eight years of Obama it is permitted to actually put the emphasis on the word 'little'. Everyone left the White House with what he wanted to hear.
“There were those who left yesterday's press conference and said that Donald Trump does not understand, that he is unlearned in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Donald Trump wants to close a deal. How exactly to do it, he still does not know. And maybe it is just as well: We saw where we were led by all those experts who are learned in Peace.
“We can breathe easy. The President is a friend. A true one.”