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Trump Tower, New York,photo by Rhonda Spivak


by Rhonda Spivak, November 15, 2016




Donald Trump took a number of positions on Israel that many of us may not have paid much attention to, since the mainstream media in the United States had virtually crowned Hillary Clinton to be the winner of the election, and additionally the issue of Israel was not once that featured prominently.
 I would like to review Trumps stated positions on Israel, and give some  reflections as to what his policy could be on a number of Israel issues.
But from the beginning , it's worth noting that , Ha'aretz  got a copy of the assessment of Trump by Israeli government professionals: “Trump has expressed contradictory positions on key issues and it isn’t clear if this reflects a practical policy,” the analysts said.
Trump is a "wild card" making predictions difficult. But his apparent top chocie for Secretary of state Rudy Juliani would be very pro-Israel and vice-president Mike Pence also is very pro-Israel. 
1.Trump has promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, to move  the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This would be a "game changer" if he followed through. Other presidential candidates have promised this but never have done it. One of Trump’s key advisers on Israel David Friedman right after the election told the Jerusalem Post that Trump would follow through on his promise. ‘It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it,” Friedman said. But another adviser Walid Phares, a Lebanese -born Maronite Christian and American scholar has said that the US embassy will only be moved to Jerusalem under "consensus."  Since the Palestinians and other Arab states won't agree to this  I immediately assumed that there won't be "consensus." But if Trump was referring to the US Congress and Senate agreeing to Trump's move then there would be American "consensus." What consensus was Trump talking about? Is Freidman or Phares correct? Is it  possible Trump has been telling different things to different advisers, or did Phares not understand what Trump was really saying? 
 NPR.ORG says that  Walid Pharis said that Trump would "create consensus at home" before moving the embassy, but what Trump meant exactly by that is not clear.



I don't count on the US embassy  being moved to Jerusalem, but I think it is  possible-if anyone would do it, it would be Trump, with his Sabbath observant  daughter and three Jewish grandchildren. It would be  a "game changer" if the embassy were moved, because the Palestinians and Arab States up to now have been successful in preventing this from happening. In theory why shouldn't the US be able to move their embassy to West Jerusalem in pre-67 Israel ? How possibly could the Palestinians object to this? It would not foreclose East Jerusalem being a capital of a Palestinian state.The only objection would be if  we say that Israel shouldn't exist at all, which certainly isn't US policy.  Moving the US embassy to West Jerusalem would not foreclose East Jerusalem being a capital of an eventual Palestinian state

Evangelical Christians who voted for Trump and are part of his electoral base would be delighted if Trump made this move. The Palestinians appear to  be afraid of this move being realized since the PA has just threatened to make the US "miserable" at the UN if the embassy is moved to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu so far appears to  has been very pleased with Trump's election-could Netanyahu already know that Trump really will move the embassy?
If the Embassy were really to be moved, it would likely happen right at the outset of Trump' presidency, I would assume. We'll know soon enough.
2. The Republican party platform has walked away from a two state solution.
The previous Republican platform, adopted in 2012, supported a two-state solution, stating that Republicans “envision two democratic states — Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine — living in peace and security.”
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.