Israel will get ‘more understanding’ from Trump’s negotiators because they’re all observant Jews, Sharansky says

US Politics
on 37 Comments

Donald Trump’s Middle East negotiating team is preparing a “serious” peace proposal, because the team is made up of observant Jews who understand Israel better than previous American negotiators, says Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

“Frankly, forget about the president, but if you take simply the people who are involved in negotiations– know that these people understand Israel much better than the previous set of people,” Sharansky said. “And they definitely understand the concerns of Jews, because they are part of this… It’s really very interesting to see that when prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] sits with Ron Dermer, [Jared] Kushner, David Friedman, and [Jason] Greenblatt, the only one who does not have kippa [yarmulke] is prime minister. So you can expect more understanding.”

Jared Kushner’s family foundation has given tens of thousands of dollars to illegal Israeli settlements. In years past, Netanyahu stayed in the family’s house in New Jersey. David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, led an organization that raised money for a settlement.

Sharansky said that Israeli Prime Minister will come out with a peace proposal for a demilitarized Palestinian state, and the Palestinian leadership will reject the deal, but Arab countries will put pressure on the Palestinians to accept it. “They [Arab states] will not be automatically with the Palestinians. It’s a new situation.”

Sharansky spoke at the Manhattan Jewish Community Center on Tuesday night. He said he based his prediction on no inside information, though he had spent time with Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer and attended recent speeches by Netanyahu, in whose government he once served.

Natan Sharansky

“If you simply careful, careful listen, it’s absolutely clear to you that something is preparing,” he said. “Simply listening to what he is saying to all the people in the world, I have a feeling, again it’s not official, unofficial, I have a feeling that something serious is prepared.”

As to the outlines of the deal, Sharansky said: “From the speeches of Bibi, I understand more or less what will be. The Palestinians probably will get, well, the state, but the security issues will not be in their hands… because in today’s middle east the competition will be between Hezbollah and Hamas– who will be controlled. So Israel cannot afford it.”

Sharansky said that President Obama’s secretary of state, John Kerry, never envisioned a Palestinian state without an army.

Netanyahu, he said, “knows how to give them [Palestinians] an opportunity to rule their life, how not to give them opportunity to control security in the Middle East.”

Overwhelmingly Israelis would support a peace plan, because they want hope, he continued. “I’m almost sure that… the Palestinian leadership will not accept it. And again I don’t know what is prepared. I’m sure that the reaction of the Arab world will be very different from the past.”

Sharansky said he had spent his entire life, including when he was imprisoned in the former Soviet Union, trying to build bridges between Jews and Israel. The organization he heads, the Jewish Agency, helped foster the creation of Israel in the last century and today works to build global Jewish support for the state.

Sharansky spoke with Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times and Amir Tibon of Haaretz. Listening to the speech, I was struck by the arrogance of the arrangement. Can you imagine a forum on sexual harassment issues today at which only men were invited to speak? Impossible. Yet over and over the peace process is debated in the United States– and negotiated too– and the less powerful party, Palestinians, are never invited as equals. The game is transparently rigged. And you wonder why the peace process has produced nothing in 25 years.

Update: I should have noted that the event was not about the peace process as such, but Israeli-Diaspora Jewish relations. “Israel Forum: Israel and The Progessive Diaspora: Divided By the Wall?”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

37 Responses

  1. Citizen
    November 30, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Big donors rule USA politics more and more with each passing day and the US pubic has never had much interest in foreign policy unless a member of their family came home crippled or in a body bag. There’s no conscription. The Palestinians are screwed royal. Most Americans will remain obvious.

  2. Citizen
    November 30, 2017, 3:36 pm

    New poll: Americans oppose the “Anti-Semitism Awarness Act” http://www.mintpressnews.com/poll-americans-oppose-the-anti-semitism-awareness-act/234977/tism Awareness Act”:

    • hophmi
      December 1, 2017, 10:08 am

      Lol. Maybe you could ask the question in an even more ridiculous way next time. #lyingwithstatistics

  3. Keith
    November 30, 2017, 3:39 pm

    NATAN SHARANSKY- ” I’m sure that the reaction of the Arab world will be very different from the past.”

    Indeed, some sort of understanding between Saudi Arabia and US/Israel may have occurred such that Saudi Arabia no longer pays lip service to Palestinian rights. That would help explain Thomas Friedman’s recent praise for Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS).

  4. aloeste
    November 30, 2017, 4:15 pm

    it’s ‘rigged’ because the losers don’t get to write history , and get limited rights…..

  5. Mooser
    November 30, 2017, 8:04 pm

    Phil, you figure Jared Kushner is going to be around to do any negotiating?

  6. Kay24
    December 1, 2017, 6:31 am

    At this stage of the game, when it comes to Israel, you still will not find honest brokers, and genuinely unbiased peace makers, in the US government. Even if there were, they would not get a prominent place in the peace teams. Don’t they care about how it will all look? How can the Palestinians have ANY faith that their interests will be considered, and taken care of, when the US has Jared Kushner (so close to the Kushner’s, that Netanyahu slept in Jared’s room while on a visit) and his merry band of zionists, pretending to want what’s best for the Palestinians too.
    This is all a farce, and at the end, the Palestinians will be called ungrateful, and accused of wanting to stay occupied.
    Until the last acre is stolen by the zionists, folks.

  7. Danaa
    December 1, 2017, 7:14 am

    I think that indeed, the Israelis are feeling pretty confident these days. They are ever so more comfortable with a Republican administration, and even more so with one not known for its brain power (Trump is known for many things. But braininess is not one of them). Generally, they are delighted to be rid of Obama, who was, to them, one of “those” black people. Whom they don’t trust. And rarely respect.

    But, as always, Israelis are fond of counting their chickens before they hatch. Trump is a two-edge sword, never mind Jared kushner. Oh,, sure, Trump will let Jared ratchet up some “peace plan”, just as he let him play lovey-dovey boy with MBS, the new clown prince. But then, as we may all know by now, the best plans sometimes go awry. They sure did in Syria, didn’t they? and Qatar? a poor move perhaps?

    I don’t know what will happen in the next few weeks or months. But yes, trump thinks he can wheel and deal his way out of anything. Alas his son-in-law is not exactly the brainiset in the bunch and by now, perhaps good ol’ Trump – who has street smarts if not sharp intellect (over-rated anyways) may be figuring that out.

    So, Sharansky thinks he – they – got an Ace in the Hole in the person of the Clown Prince. And the desperation of a KSA that was not able to bring tiny little Yemen to its knees, Billions of warfare materiel notwithstanding. Of course the reasons for KSA’s desperation is another story for another day, but for now, desperation is what holds Israel and KSA together. Like peas in a pod, they sweat together. One can only wonder why (hint: the name starts with an ‘R’).

    In any case, silly Sharansky should think a little more about those Americans with Kippas. People know them around here (here being the US which Sharansky knows nothing about). They are a rather changeable lot, last i heard. here today, there tomorrow. Me thinks he should not be quite so comfortable (you know, butter on which side of the bread, etc).

    • catalan
      December 1, 2017, 9:23 am

      “In any case, silly Sharansky should think a little more about those Americans with Kippas.”
      I am confused why you think that you have some authority over Sharansky, telling him what he “should” do, like he has any need to listen to you. You don’t like him, his country, his ideas, or his style. Indeed, you are posting this on a blog which advocates the worst for him (BDS, etc). If he were to listen to someone, it would be someone who likes him. What am I missing?

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2017, 1:36 pm

        ” If he were to listen to someone, it would be someone who likes him.”

        “Catalan” you need to study your Unitarian-Universalist ethics. You sound like you’re backsliding into the “cult”.

      • Danaa
        December 1, 2017, 2:24 pm

        Sorry, catalan, but BDS is the best thing that hapened to israel in a long time. The reasons for that may be a bit complex for you or for the simpleton Sharansky.

        You are wrong BTW about the reasons I don’t like Sharansky. It’s his looks, not his ideas. Of course, like the picture of Dorian Gray, sometimes the looks come to reflect the ideas, in time, all in good time. He reminds me of a weasel, just not my favorite, alas. There, see how politically incorrect I can be?

        If you dislike this blog so much because of something BDS, you are either a masochist for visiting and being pained over and over, or just so lonely that even our company is better than nothing. You do know that one can find really cheap rates on cruises these days, right? holler and I’ll give you a link. And don’t knock ’em till you try ’em. Some modern cruises offer political discussion circles – it could be fun, you know….real people and all that —

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2017, 3:29 pm

        Judaism, to the safe Hrbor” You do know that one can find really cheap rates on cruises these days, right?”

        “Catalan” has sailed from the choppy waters of Bulgarian Judaism, to the safe harbor of Unitarian-Universalism. His next cruise will be on the good ship “Free Winds”

      • catalan
        December 1, 2017, 3:38 pm

        “you are either a masochist for visiting and being pained over and over, or just so lonely that even our company is better than nothing. “ Danaa
        Actually, I think I am both. I do enjoy being confronted with beliefs different from mine, so maybe that’s masochistic. However, a lot of people here seem rather unhappy in spite of all the success of BDS so maybe I am sadistic. Maybe I am both. As to loneliness, you are spot on. I often think about death, about what it would be to not exist. I also have other metaphysical interests not shared by many. The regular pursuits of people – political, moral, etc, bore me. Your cruise idea is also fantastic, I love Royal Caribbean. I have a young kid though so it won’t work.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2017, 4:07 pm

        ” I also have other metaphysical interests not shared by many. The regular pursuits of people – political, moral, etc, bore me. Your cruise idea is also fantastic,”

        “Catalan” did you click my link? The “Free Winds” cruises would be perfect for you. And they have a wonderful organization called the “Sea Org” which will take care of your kids.

        “…so maybe I am sadistic. Maybe I am both. As to loneliness, you are spot on. I often think about death, about what it would be to not exist…. I have a young kid.. “

        Some auditing sessions on the cruise should clear all that up.

  8. Ronald Johnson
    December 1, 2017, 9:54 am

    We are in a process of decomposition of a government that has become destructive of the people. An earlier example: the Soviet Union. Notice that neither American national party has a prospect of governing effectively, because neither party can tell the truth..

    A good book to read on the subject of usurpation of authority in government, finance, and the free market is, “Shadow Elite, How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market”, by Janine R. Wedel, reviewed by Huffington Post:

    http://janinewedel.info/shadowelite.html

    The book, about 200 pages, is an easy read, as economics goes.

  9. punterweger
    December 1, 2017, 10:06 am

    Why is Sharansky being treated with kid gloves here without any mention of his roles in the Sharon government, his support for the confiscation of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, overseeing settlement construction as Minister of Housing, and opposition to the withdrawal of settlements from Jerusalem? Here a brief extract of his career in Israel from Wikipedia:

    “In 1995 Sharansky and Yoel Edelstein founded the Yisrael BaAliyah … It won 6 seats in the Israeli legislative election, 1999, gaining two ministerial posts, but left the government on 11 July 2000 in response to suggestions that Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s negotiations with the Palestinians would result in a division of Jerusalem. After Ariel Sharon won a special election for Prime Minister in 2001, the party joined his new government, and was again given two ministerial posts.
    …[after 2003 Sharansky] … decided to merge [the party] into Likud (which had won the election with 38 seats) … and Sharansky was appointed Minister of Jerusalem Affairs. From March 2003 – May 2005, he was Israel’s Minister without Portfolio, responsible for Jerusalem, social and Jewish diaspora affairs. Under this position Sharansky chaired a secret committee that approved the confiscation of East Jerusalem property of West Bank Palestinians. This decision was reversed after an outcry from the Israeli left and the international community. Previously he served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Minister of Housing and Construction since March 2001, Interior Minister of Israel (July 1999 – resigned in July 2000), Minister of Industry and Trade (1996–1999).”

    Clearly a key contributor to the rise of the most racist and oppressive government in Israel’s lamentable history.

  10. MHughes976
    December 1, 2017, 1:35 pm

    The Economist for November 23 has a different view, saying that the Trump plan, due in January, will be highly unspecific, a ‘road map without a road’ and that no one will particularly like it. Once again everything will be referred to future talks. Iranian propaganda will be countered, maybe not too effectively, with propaganda emphasising Western goodwill. I would rather that Sharansky was right about ‘seriousnes’, that is that we would have a clear Israeli statement (I may be going beyond what Sharansky means) of what it regards as a fair and final settlement. It would be very clarifying to have a statement of this kind, however unfair and unacceptable it might be.

    • Mooser
      December 1, 2017, 9:23 pm

      “The Economist for November 23 has a different view, saying that the Trump plan, due in January, will be highly unspecific, a ‘road map without a road’ and that no one will particularly like it.”

      Aren’t you looking just a little too far ahead?

  11. Kay24
    December 1, 2017, 4:30 pm

    So finally Nutty got BFF Jared Kushner to do what many other US Presidents refused to do.
    Nutty taking advantage of Trump’s insanity.

    Trump to announce that the US Embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem.

    “Donald Trump expected to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday
    Move would likely complicate Middle East peace process”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-jerusalem-israel-capital-when-day-latest-announcement-wednesday-a8087641.html

    • mcohen..
      December 3, 2017, 4:15 am

      Hi kay 24 says….jerusalem capital of israel.

      Yes it is good news indeed but the nut is in the details

      This is but one step on the road to jerusalem becoming a unified city and a place of worship reserved for the 3 companions of the abrahamic relegion.

      • Mooser
        December 3, 2017, 3:42 pm

        “This is but one step on…/…reserved for the 3 companions of the abrahamic relegion.” (sic)

        If only the UN had taken steps toward that kind of status for Jerusalem in 1948 or so, think how far along that road we would be now!

  12. Mooser
    December 3, 2017, 1:51 pm

    “Israel will get ‘more understanding’ from Trump’s negotiators because they’re all observant Jews”

    ROTFLMSJAO! Haim Saban doesn’t think so! And he should know.

    • Mooser
      December 3, 2017, 6:54 pm

      The relationship between the three main denominations of organized Judaism (“Orthodox”, “Conservative” and “Reform”) are quite funny. Makes tribal unity look like no more than a nod on the street. Here’s Haim Saban speaking to Jared Kushner about Kushner’s role in ME peace negotiations:

      “I mean, how do you operate with people who basically — you know, with all due respect are a bunch of Orthodox Jews who have no idea about anything?” he wondered. “What are you guys doing? Seriously, I don’t understand this.”

      • Keith
        December 3, 2017, 8:26 pm

        MOOSER- “Makes tribal unity look like no more than a nod on the street.”

        Tribal unity is no longer based upon religion, rather, it is based upon support for Zionism and Israel. Part of the Zionist ideology is a feeling of victimhood based upon the notion of eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. Kinship is alive and well.

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2017, 4:17 pm

        “Tribal unity is no longer based upon religion, rather, it is based upon support for Zionism and Israel. Part of the Zionist ideology is a feeling of victimhood based upon the notion of eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. Kinship is alive and well.”

        . As I indicated, I liked and appreciated your comment overall, however, I seem to have a lingering bias concerning Gentiles and anti-Semitism which biases my interpretation of what you (and Tree) actually said. Sorry.

      • Keith
        December 4, 2017, 5:08 pm

        MOOSER- “… I seem to have a lingering bias concerning Gentiles and anti-Semitism….”

        More like a desire to maintain that Jewish kinship (per Phil and Yuri Slezkine) does not exist. And your defensive reaction to any mention of Jewish power or kinship does, in fact, suggest a certain tendency to equate such discussions with anti-Semitism which, of course, you oppose. Of course, I could be misinterpreting your comment which was not exactly clear.

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2017, 5:54 pm

        ” which was not exactly clear.”

        Sorry.

  13. echinococcus
    December 4, 2017, 1:52 am

    Keith,

    Kinship is no longer alive and well, officially.

    In fact, it’s the opposite now.

    Tribal unity was never based upon religion. That’s a basic defect in most readings of Zionism.
    The Zionist **religion** was of course the compulsory state religion of Zionism, an atheistic Nazi-like cult, but it was officially commanding (mythical, not-even-perceived) **racial** inclusivity. The few exceptions, such as those of Chomsky, Finkelstein, etc. were just that, exceptions, officially justified by invoking the defense of the state (interestingly, in its quality of Goddess Roma) but never excluding as a group those racial “Jews” who did not explicitly practice the Zionist state religion.

    With the most recent practices, the end of “tribal solidarity” (rather: racist exceptionalism) as a basis for the Zionist entity has been officially declared.

    The “liberal” genocidaires, patiently waiting in the aisles to replace the so-called religious totalitarians in power today, are not more likely to go back to the racial basis; in fact they are the “secular branch” of Zionism, already on the record as the main proponents of the exclusion of non-Zionists.

    • Keith
      December 4, 2017, 10:53 am

      ECHINOCOCCUS- “Tribal unity was never based upon religion.”

      During the period of Classical Judaism (about 800AD-1800AD), it most certainly was. The enlightenment shattered Jewish religious unity based upon Rabbinic control. You might care to read the delightfully short and hugely informative “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” by Israel Shahak if you haven’t already.

      • echinococcus
        December 4, 2017, 1:49 pm

        Classical, shmassical. History is nice to read but with Zionism we sure had a system based entirely on rac(ism) instead of religion; also it may be relevant right now to go after the recent, official change in the basis for Z. And to use it against them to the full.

        Besides, it was never religion, classical or not. It always was based on race, as the religion has always been (then even more than now) racially based and definitely non-universal. The religion itself does not impose belief but requires birth.

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2017, 6:36 pm

        “Besides, it was never religion, classical or not. It always was based on race, as the religion has always been (then even more than now) racially based “

        Now I’m flummoxed. Can’t quite grip.
        I know Jewish people come from a wide variety (or maybe not that wide when you consider the bulk of us, but wide enough) of ethnic or national backgrounds, but which “race” (as in “based on race” and “the religion has always been based on race”) are we?

        And what are the defining or identifiable characteristics of this “race”?

  14. echinococcus
    December 5, 2017, 12:52 am

    Mooser,

    Again you’re “playing the donkey to get more straw”, if you’ll excuse my French.
    Of course there is no one real race (or several) here except in what the practitioners of the Zionist religion, and those of the Jewish religion before them, pretend to believe. Membership in the religion was not at any time conditioned upon belief but ancestry, and the most racial thing on earth is definition of people by the womb they are out of. So we have a “religion” that’s an exclusive club for ancestry from mythical shepherds who invaded 12 or 14 back country hills, and now we have a “land claim” entirely based on invented mythical ancestry from the same.

    So it is two racist religions, the older one with a god it won’t share, and the newer one with a fake “nation” replacing that. You can’t get out of that by invoking the reality of ancestry or “ethnicity” or anything like that. Or by wisecracking.

    • Mooser
      December 5, 2017, 1:45 pm

      Are you trying to say that some Jews (you can decide how many or say all) are in a process (a long continued process, you might say, maybe it’s more recent) to racialise themselves*, (in that even by usual standards Jews are lots of ethnicities, with a religion, not a “race”) because they think ‘racialising themselves’ (*I can’t think of a better term for the process right now) will be of advantage to them?
      Am I sort of close to grasping it?

      (Very risky, too. They are racialising themselves with a view towards proving superiority or entitlement. Not a good idea if you haven’t got Darwin on your side. numbers, demographics)

  15. echinococcus
    December 5, 2017, 4:52 pm

    Mooser,

    I’m not trying to say but am saying in plain English that the “Jewish religion” has always been entirely racial by being restricted to a kinship group from the start (whose gods were, and later was, imagined to beat others’ gods) and by defining its members certainly not by belief or ethics but by distaff-side racial descent; that the realities and biologics of race or ethnicity etc. are completely irrelevant to that thoroughly documented fact; that the newer religion of Zionism has taken these characteristics to build a Nazi-like cult where belonging is also by birth only but the god is a racial “nation” with subclasses, more fake than anything ever.

    What the “Jews” do is of no major interest in itself, insofar as any people who are calling themselves so have not rejected all of the three elements wombline, worship and Zionism, and the ovewhelming majority are adhering to the Zionist religion (no need for such ultra-racists to “racialise” themselves.)

    PS to Weiss: you could tell your censors about the right of response.

    • Mooser
      December 5, 2017, 5:41 pm

      ” not by belief or ethics but by distaff-side racial descent”

      Now I see where the “racial” difference is. We Jews descend from the female species.

Leave a Reply