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Trump’s path to ‘most pro-Israel’ president paved by bankruptcy expert and real estate attorney who once lived in a settlement

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Speculation is swirling around who will comprise President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet, in part to glean a sense of his policies. Trump dithered on America’s role in the Middle East during the campaign. Yet with regard to Israel, two key advisers with hardline visions not usually endorsed by mainstream candidates have made specific promises in recent months which, in the wake of the election results, are being heralded as ending the “era of a Palestinian state.”

A year ago Trump began his race stating he was “neutral” on Israel. Quickly he shifted gears after catching flack from pro-Israel and Jewish groups traditionally aligned with the GOP. A more hardline Trump debuted at the AIPAC policy conference last March, where he made a commitment usually given by fringe Republican candidates and not frontrunners; Trump said he would move Israel’s capital to Jerusalem.

In his speech, Trump also cooled skeptical Jewish institutions that were displeased with his silence on the anti-Semitic voices fomenting alongside his rallies. His son-in-law Jared Kushner who is an Orthodox Jew was reported to have heavily contributed to the draft. Trump closed AIPAC by reminding his audience, “My daughter Ivanka is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.”

Today, Trump’s stride has positioned him to be “the most pro-Israel candidate this nation has seen,” or so said one of the two men thought to be behind the about face, Trump Israel adviser David Friedman. Friedman was describing why Trump hired him in an interview on Monday with Your Voice radio, a station created to support the Trump campaign according to its website.

Listen to “INTERVIEW: David Friedman (11/7) “Co-Chairman, Trump Israel Advisory Committee”” on Spreaker.

Friedman has talked at length about his view against a Palestinian state and for Israeli annexation of the West Bank, but on Monday he said that Trump’s position was the same.

“We’re taking the view that the Israelis have just as much of a right if a much greater right to Judea and Samaria as the Palestinians, and when they sit down and talk to each other it will be on that basis. That is frankly, a unique position of Donald Trump and one that we are very proud of,” he said, using the religious Jewish term to designate the West Bank.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967 and since that time the official policy of every U.S. administration has been that these are occupied lands. Similarly, every U.S. administration has considered Israel’s capital Tel Aviv.

“It’s not just the commitment of an individual, it’s the commitment of an entire political party to support the state of Israel in ways that frankly Israel has not seen from this country before,” Friedman said.

“A Trump administration Israel relationship is going to look very different from an Obama administration,” Friedman said, conveying to Your Voice that Trump also intends to increase intelligence sharing between the U.S. and Israel, and wipe out the Obama-Netanyahu deal that capped U.S. aid to Israel at $38 billion over the next ten years.

Friedman says that number is too low and does not account for inflation.

Gaza, Friedman said, is not on the Trump to-do list. Friedman has previously alluded to Gaza no longer being a priority during a hot-mic lunch with a spokesperson for a settler organization we reported on a few weeks ago.

As for the Palestinians, their government should expect less from the U.S. under President Trump. Friedman added that Trump would immediately suspend direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying subsidies to the families of imprisoned or killed Palestinians who attack Israelis in nationalist crimes. This issue has been raised by Congress in the past but never became law. 

The financial loss of U.S. direct support to the Palestinian Authority is negligible. Although the Palestinian leadership is cash-strapped, most of the American aid is for USAID projects and not handed over to the Palestinians themselves. The Obama administration made further changes to how the U.S. gives funds to the Palestinian Authority. Now, the U.S. pays Palestinians creditors rather than give the money directly to the Palestinian government to manage and spend, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service earlier this year.

Moreover, the Palestinians have claimed since 2015 they no longer use funds from the West Bank government to finance the prisoner subsidies.

Before zooming into the campaign Friedman was Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer from his Atlantic City casino case and a partner at the same law firm handling Trump’s litigious row with the New York Times. He is one of two chairs to Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee, serving alongside Jason Greenblatt, a real estate lawyer and the chief legal officer of the Trump organization since 1997.

Neither Freidman nor Greenblatt have professional foreign policy experience. 

Friedman’s most relevant credentials include heading a Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces charity that raises funds for the Israeli military, and Greenblatt once attended a religious school in a West Bank settlement and has authored a tourist guide on family holidays in Israel. He supports 10-day trips for traveling parents and their children. 

In that sense, both Trump and his Israeli advisers are Washington outsiders.

In an interview with Orthodox outlet Yated Ne’eman in August, Greenblatt said he studied at a yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Alon Shuvot before attending university. If Trump ends up giving Greenblatt one of the more than 4,000 political appointments he is to make over the next 70-some days, he stands to become the most senior official in any U.S. administration to have lived in a settlement.

Whatever Trump’s Israel policy ends up being, it will likely be shaped more dominantly by his pick for Secretary of State. Newt Gingrich is the rumored frontrunner, according to cable reports and Politico‘s list of cabinet hopefuls. Gingrich has long championed moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and once called the Palestinians an “invented” people in an interview with the Jewish Channel while he was on the campaign trail for his own presidential bid in 2011.  

Both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned Trump today to congratulate him. Trump invited Netanyahu to Washington DC for a meeting “at the first opportunity.”

Netanyahu then made another call to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wishing her well.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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40 Responses

  1. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    November 10, 2016, 10:08 am

    “In an interview with Orthodox outlet Yated Ne’eman in August, Greenblatt said he studied at a yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Alon Shuvot before attending university. ”

    That’s not quite the same as ‘once lived in a settlement’ (as if that carries a stigma).

    • amigo
      amigo
      November 10, 2016, 2:03 pm

      “That’s not quite the same as ‘once lived in a settlement’ (as if that carries a stigma).” jackduh

      I agree, it,s either lived as a squatter or learned from squatters but it does carry the same stigma, “Illegal”.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        November 10, 2016, 11:56 pm

        @amgio

        In your view, Israel is illegal.
        You and Mondoweiss don’t want a two-State solution, you want one Palestine, from the river to the sea. You want the end of the right of return of Jews to Eretz Yisroel. You want the Jewish State of Israel to disappear altogether.

        You don’t fool anyone.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 11, 2016, 8:43 am

        || Jackdaw: … You and Mondoweiss don’t want a two-State solution … ||

        I want a two-state solution. But the insatiable greed of Zio-supremacists like you seems to have made an equitable two-state solution impossible.

        || … You want the end of the right of return of Jews to Eretz Yisroel. You want the Jewish State of Israel to disappear altogether. ||

        A religion-supremacist “Jewish State” should never have come into existence in the first place. It needs to disappear – and the religion-supremacist “Law of Return” needs to end along with it – so that Israel can become the secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        November 11, 2016, 9:03 am

        To fool anyone, Jack? How do you mean that; he’s saying out loud that it is indeed illegal.

        you want one Palestine, from the river to the sea. You want the end of the right of return of Jews to Eretz Yisroel. You want the Jewish State of Israel to disappear altogether.

        Thank you, Jack. This is an admirably condensed summary of what the exclusive owners of the place have already said and would order again if properly consulted.
        Also, it represents the general opinion of the people across the world.

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 11, 2016, 10:25 am

        @ Jackdaw November 10, 2016, 11:56 pm

        “You and Mondoweiss don’t want a two-State solution, you want one Palestine, from the river to the sea. You want the end of the right of return of Jews to Eretz Yisroel. You want the Jewish State of Israel to disappear altogether”

        Quotes please … thx … otherwise people might think you’re full of sh*t!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 11, 2016, 12:40 pm

        “You and Mondoweiss don’t want a two-State solution, you want one Palestine, from the river to the sea. You want the end of the right of return of Jews to Eretz Yisroel. You want the Jewish State of Israel to disappear altogether”

        Let me make sure I have this correct, “Mayhem” Is it God who will punish us for the awful sin of not liking Zionism and Israel, or will it be an IDF revenge squad?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        November 12, 2016, 11:29 am

        Mooser,

        Is it God who will punish us for the awful sin of not liking Zionism and Israel, or will it be an IDF revenge squad?

        Perhaps you missed the memo? The other name of “Israel” is the Hashemite Kingdom (the real one):
        Hashem is its king and the secular arm inflicts the punishments.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 12, 2016, 1:45 pm

        “The Hashemite Kingdom…”

        Not for me. ” In Montparnasse I once smoked a cigarette reputed to contain hashish, and fainted dead away after three puffs.”

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      November 11, 2016, 1:48 am

      No. As if ‘that’ carries a Sigma (PhiEpislon as in “building better men”) ? Wait, settlement, not university. The shtelment just carries the stench of oppression. No stigma, sigma or enigma, just straight out farshtunken.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    November 10, 2016, 10:13 am

    The bottom line is under a Trump presidency, the Palestinian people are going to be marginalized like never before. If we thought the present and previous presidents, preferred to support their occupier, aid and arm it, under the new president, it seems all hopes for freedom and rights in their territories will lost. The zionist leader and Trump are similar in many ways, twisting arms and attacking those who “dare” speak out against them, seems to be the common factor.
    Let us not forget they are also well known liars, who have conned their way to achieve their goals, devious, secretive, and always up to no good.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      November 10, 2016, 12:50 pm

      I agree with you Kay24, I really do and this is mondoweiss, and the focus is the middle east, but there are millions upon millions of americans who are being marginalized right this minute by the make america hate and make america white crowd, his loyal brownshirts or redshirts or whatever they’ll call themselves. Did you see this? Day One in Trump’s America
      Adam Horowitz on November 10, 2016
      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/11/day-trumps-america/#sthash.HRbtkDDl.dpuf

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      November 10, 2016, 1:17 pm

      @Kay

      ” The zionist leader and Trump are similar in many ways…”

      Can’t bring yourself to say the man’s name?
      Try saying, ‘Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        November 10, 2016, 1:21 pm

        Aw have I offended your sensitive feelings? Tell you what, I will try saying his name and title, when he has given the Palestinians their freedom and stopped stealing lands. Deal.

        Meanwhile zionist leader is good enough for me.

      • amigo
        amigo
        November 10, 2016, 2:05 pm

        “Try saying, ‘Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’.” jackduh.

        Try adding “war criminal and chief of Israeli state terrorism”.

        There, fixed it for you.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 10, 2016, 2:16 pm

        Don’t forget – he’s also leader of the Jewish world:

        … The prime minister of Israel is “by design, the leader of the Jewish world,” the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office said Saturday.

        During a Shabbat sermon in a Manhattan synagogue, Eli Groner several times referred to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the “leader of the Jewish people” and of the “Jewish world,” implying that he earned that title by virtue of heading the government of the only Jewish state. …

        Shame on Mr. Groner for anti-Semitically conflating Israel (and King Bibi) with all Jews and all Jews with Israel (and King Bibi).

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 10, 2016, 4:34 pm

        “Aw have I offended your sensitive feelings?”

        His, and possibly a great many of the 1.8 billion , most of whom are Zionist. Oy can we avenge a slight!

        (Everybody talks about the demographics of Judaism, I do something about it!)

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 10, 2016, 6:23 pm

        “Try saying, ‘Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’.”

        But don’t say it three times in a row!

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 10, 2016, 9:30 pm

        Jackdaw: “Try saying, ‘Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’.”

        Yimakh shemo.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        November 10, 2016, 11:08 pm

        @jackdaw

        Why should someone accord a mass murdering piece of scum with a title? The office he holds? He is the leader of a rogue criminal state. You must be joking. I would no more recognize the scum who leads daesh. That you would speaks loud volumes of your lack of both character and morality.

        To refer to him as the leader is more respect than the head of a criminal enterprise deserves.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        November 10, 2016, 11:49 pm

        @Kay24

        “Aw have I offended your sensitive feelings? ”

        No. But to me, you sound like someone caught up in the thrall of the ‘anti-normalization’ policy.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        November 11, 2016, 1:36 am

        I tried, but just looking at that name and title gives me acid reflux. Actually saying that name and title caused uncontrollable emesis. zionist leader is quicker, but if you want it fancy and all, how ’bout Racist Jackass Zionist Leader. how’s that honey?

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        November 11, 2016, 12:27 pm

        “No. But to me, you sound like someone caught up in the thrall of the ‘anti-normalization’ policy”

        Wow you have some talent reaching the wrong conclusion. I guess misreading comments for convenience was part of the training. I think you got some really good responses to your comment showing annoyance that the zionist leader was not addressed with the respect you mistakenly think he deserves.
        Looks like he has not earned any.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      November 10, 2016, 5:50 pm

      “Let us not forget they are also well known liars, who have conned their way to achieve their goals, devious, secretive, and always up to no good. ”

      Politics as usual, then.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        November 10, 2016, 7:59 pm

        These two top all levels when it comes to lying. Just saying.

  3. iResistDe4iAm
    iResistDe4iAm
    November 10, 2016, 8:19 pm

    A more hardline Trump debuted at the AIPAC policy conference last March, where he made a commitment usually given by fringe Republican candidates and not frontrunners; Trump said he would move Israel’s capital to Jerusalem.

    Sounds like deja vu.

    Here’s George W Bush promising AIPAC in May 2000 that he would “begin the process of moving the U.S. ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital,” a reference to Jerusalem.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/23/us/bush-says-clinton-misstepped-in-israel.html

    And here’s Barack Obama promising AIPAC in June 2008 that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
    http://www.nysun.com/national/obama-promises-undivided-jerusalem-as-israeli/79363/

    And here’s Mitt Romney telling Israelis in July 2012 that “a nation has the capacity to choose its own capital city, and Jerusalem is Israel’s capital”, and promising to “follow the same policy we have had in the past, our embassy would be in the capital, and the timing of that is something [he] would want to work out with the government”.
    http://thehill.com/policy/international/240905-romney-says-jerusalem-is-israels-capital-vows-to-move-us-embassy

    • Egbert
      Egbert
      November 11, 2016, 3:29 am

      I suspect they keep trying for a president sufficiently ignorant of the implications of the acts he is asked to do. Trump may be the man.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 12, 2016, 1:48 pm

        “I suspect they keep trying for a president sufficiently ignorant of the implications of the acts he is asked to do.”

        Yup, I think Hilary has a case of being “ignorant of the implications”. But you get more than that with Trump. He’ll not only be ignorant of the implications, he’ll be ignorant of the acts themselves! It’s a two-fer!

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    November 11, 2016, 7:43 am

    The ZioZombies in the Land of Desecration must be for the moment delirious about the the outcome of the election. Not so sure about the Yahoo. @Jackdaw I call him that partly because for me he epitomizes Swift`s creature and partly because he can`t make up his mind about his own name – used to be a ” Ben Nitay ” in America when he didn`t want to be burdened by a name that Americans would find weird/foreign/vaguely threatening and his family name was I believe Miliekowsky. They say what`s in a name – well it is more a question of what`s in the mind of the person who keeps changing his name – trying to hide something,ashamed of something denying something ? Anyway back to the Yahoo , the self designated leader of all the Jews in all of the world and the problems he may have with Trump. I think these will emerge sooner rather than later because we have two super egos at play here and Donald is the one who will I believe soon put the Yahoo in his little place if he steps out of line by daring to question his views or comments ( as he was able to do in that squirming White House address to Obama ).

    As for a Palestinian State – gone,all done and dusted,will never happen – not that it ever was going to happen. Hopefully soon the Palestinians in the West Bank will kick out Abbas and his cronies and start the process of campaigning for equal rights and citizenship. At some stage in the very near future the ZioZombies will be looking at what they have done and they will be the ones berating themselves for “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity ” to facilitate the creation of a separate Palestinian state.

  5. Mooser
    Mooser
    November 11, 2016, 11:08 am

    Trump’s election heralds coming of Messiah’ says Deri

    This is it, the God of history has finally decided to give us what we got coming.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      November 12, 2016, 1:53 pm

      Can you imagine scouring the paper in the morning, or watching the cable news shows, hoping to divine (heck, or seeing clearly) the hand of God in the affairs of man, and the working of His plan leading to the eschaton?

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        November 13, 2016, 2:46 pm

        I see the hand of something every day.
        I heard Trump bragging about the grabbing ability of his almighty hand.
        I saw a grizzly swipe on the side of a cow that got away the other day.
        I saw a kid just walk up and take another kids Halloween candy.
        I saw a woman slap away a mans hand he had brought to his lips to form the universal sign for silence.
        I saw a pile a freshly chopped off hands and feet once. Actually two piles.
        A little bit ago a group of cowboys (also means cowgirls) passed around a can of chew before riding off to gather strays.
        Just this week frail old lady hands pinned poppies to the coats of all those who went by the post office.
        About a month ago one of our democratic candidates shook hands with dick cheney who’s daughter had come to town to run for congress.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 13, 2016, 11:10 pm

        And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard.
        It’s a hard rain, a-gonna fall.

  6. SonofDaffyDuck
    SonofDaffyDuck
    November 11, 2016, 11:22 am

    I believe that we can now assume that the cleansing of Palestine will move to it’s conclusion…aided and abetted, if not accelerated by American money and AIPAC power. In fact, the same would have true of Hillary, with Schumer leading a democratic senate, beholden to AIPAC and donors.

    As Americans, our war on the Palestinians may require a steep price as we go forward, and I hope we are prepared to pay it. Unlike the powerless Native Americans who were driven into exile in their own land, the Arab world is not powerless to exact that price.

    Additionally, as I searched Google on Schumer, I found myself rather limited in articles addressing his connections…in ways I have not felt before. Is this just paranoia or are the folks at Google beginning to tweak their search engine. They would appear to have unlimited power of censorship should they chose to exert it.

  7. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 11, 2016, 12:01 pm

    Friedman has talked at length about his view against a Palestinian state and for Israeli annexation of the West Bank, but on Monday he said that Trump’s position was the same.

    “We’re taking the view that the Israelis have just as much of a right if a much greater right to Judea and Samaria as the Palestinians, and when they sit down and talk to each other it will be on that basis. That is frankly, a unique position of Donald Trump and one that we are very proud of,” he said, using the religious Jewish term to designate the West Bank.

    Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967 and since that time the official policy of every U.S. administration has been that these are occupied lands. Similarly, every U.S. administration has considered Israel’s capital Tel Aviv.

    “It’s not just the commitment of an individual, it’s the commitment of an entire political party to support the state of Israel in ways that frankly Israel has not seen from this country before,” Friedman said.”

    So Friedman essentially supporting one state or apartheid. Or both

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      December 25, 2016, 2:46 pm

      Just another Kahanist who supports the violation of international law and the Palestinian’s right to self determination.

  8. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 11, 2016, 12:07 pm

    http://www.npr.org/2016/11/09/501451368/here-is-what-donald-trump-wants-to-do-in-his-first-100-days
    “* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
    WATCH: Hillary Clinton Concedes Presidential Race To Donald Trump
    Politics
    WATCH: Hillary Clinton Concedes Presidential Race To Donald Trump

    * FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;

    * SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.”

    Trump sure sounds like he wants to play hardball with foreign lobbyist or officials who lobby for a foreign country and are generally wrapped around one another, Do you think these bullet points for his first hundred days do not apply to Israel?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      November 11, 2016, 1:46 pm

      “Do you think these bullet points for his first hundred days do not apply to Israel?”

      Excuse me, but I don’t think Trump is at all haunted by that hobgoblin of small minds, whether it’s a foolish consistency, or any other kind.

    • John O
      John O
      November 11, 2016, 1:48 pm

      I’ve been laughing at the “pundits” talking on the radio here in the UK about what Trump is likely to do about trade agreements, NATO etc. They seem to have forgotten he is a pathological liar. Soon, someone will ask him about that wall and he’ll just say, “What wall?”

  9. kalithea
    kalithea
    November 11, 2016, 2:13 pm

    AIPAC’s one of the swamp creatures and here’s the RealDonaldTrump:

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/01/21/article-2265942-033A719D0000044D-803_634x331.jpg

    Drain the Swamp!

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