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Netanyahu’s tweet for Trump suggests two leaders have cut a deal on Jerusalem or Iran, says former ambassador

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Two days ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted the following endorsement of Donald Trump’s immigration policies, and the comments have since roiled the American Jewish world, turning leading Jews against Trump.


Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has posted a series of tweets seeking to explain Netanyahu’s self-destructive intervention. Shapiro notions a possible deal between the two men: Trump squeezed Netanyahu for the tweet in exchange for concessions on settlements, the embassy, the Iran deal:

PM ‘s top aide’s told me a key goal in Trump’s era was keeping bipartisan support for Israel. Now this?

Hard to explain this intervention on a hotly debated issue in domestic US politics. Unless….

his endorsement is Trump’s demand of Netanyahu for something Netanyahu wants, the quid pro quo. But for what?

Canceling the Iran deal? Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem? Supporting building in settlement blocs?

To me, it looks like Trump is already squeezing Netanyahu hard. “The Art of the Deal.”

(Bear in mind, a former Netanyahu aide a year ago referred to Shapiro as “little Jewboy.” Revenge is a dish best served cold.)

Here is some of the American Jewish outrage. Dylan Williams of J Street says the tweet will drive a wedge between American Jews and Israel:

This is Netanyahu telling the huge majority of American Jews horrified by bigoted Trump border policies exactly what he thinks of our values

Lara Friedman of Peace Now wrote:

And in one tweet, Bibi sums up the ugly – and shared – illiberalism at the core of current Israeli and US policies.

Americans for Peace Now released a statement yesterday by Ori Nir telling Trump to bug out or he could break up the pro-Israel lobby:

APN calls on Netanyahu to stay out of America’s heated debate on immigration, and to take into consideration the impact that statements on issues like this have on Israel’s relations with broad, key segments of the American public and with the vast majority of American Jews….

As Israel’s leader, Netanyahu must take into account all aspects of the US-Israel relationship, Israel’s chief national security asset on the international arena. He should avoid alienating broad segments of the American public and the vast majority of American Jews and American Jewish institutions, which view many of Trump’s policies, including his policy on immigration, as a violation of the Jewish values and the American values that American Jews hold dearly, and as a violation of their very identity as Americans and as Jews.

Jewish Insider quotes a number of liberal Zionists who also fear the wedge-driving element to it. Note the panic from Ann Lewis (who has said that an American president must support the Israeli people no matter what they do politically) over the possibility that liberal Dems might fall out of love with Israel.

“The completely unnecessary tweet by the Prime Minister on such a divisive issue that has nothing to do with Israel serves no useful purpose and alienates key constituencies from whom we need support,” Alan Solow, former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations, told Jewish Insider.  “This tweet also damages our ability to build coalitions to fight against the BDS movement,” he added….

Ann Lewis, former White House Communications Director in the Clinton Administration, told Jewish Insider, “All weekend, I’ve watched and cheered crowds with self-identified young Jews protest against Donald Trump’s appalling executive order. These are the values of the young people we work with to maintain support for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East – the country that provides medical care for wounded Syrians, and has just welcomed a number of Syrian refugees. Those are the shared values that keep the relationship strong. The Prime Minister’s tweet doesn’t help.”

Ali Abunimah has a piece up at EI saying that “Netanyahu’s support for Trump’s racist policies opens eyes of liberals to Israel’s real character.” Will that be the case? Abunimah writes:

Israel is the dystopian model all Western authoritarians admire and want to emulate. No wonder Netanyahu loves Trump

It is having diplomatic consequences too. Mexico has expressed its anger at Israel. Haaretz’s Barak Ravid:

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry expressed on Saturday night its “dismay and disappointment” over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tweet on the wall that U.S. President Donald Trump is interested in building on the border with Mexico.

“The Mexican Foreign Ministry told the Israeli government, through its ambassador to Mexico, its deepest dismay, rejection and disappointment over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Twitter message regarding the construction of a border wall. Mexico is a friend of Israel, and must be treated as such by its prime minister,” it said in an official announcement.

As they say, good times. Netanyahu is due to visit the White House on February 15.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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36 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson on January 30, 2017, 4:58 pm

    RE: “Netanyahu’s endorsement of Trump immigration policies suggests two leaders have cut a deal, says former ambassador”

    MY COMMENT: Beware the Washington-Jerusalem Axis of Fascism! ! ! Something very wicked this way comes!

    • JLewisDickerson on January 30, 2017, 5:45 pm

      “Our Il Duce” | Pauline Murphy | CounterPunch | Jan. 27, 2017
      LINK –

      “Who Will Save Israel” | by Uri Avnery | | May 23, 2015
      LINK –

      . . .Listen to the silence, let it ring on
      Eyes, dark grey lenses frightened of the sun
      We would have a fine time living in the night
      Left to blind destruction, waiting for our sight

      And we would go on as though nothing was wrong
      And hide from these days we remained all alone
      Staying in the same place, just staying out the time
      Touching from a distance
      Further all the time . . .

      . . . Well I could call out when the going gets tough
      The things that we’ve learnt are no longer enough
      No language, just sound, that’s all we need know
      To synchronise love to the beat of the show
      And we could dance

      Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio . . .

    • Misterioso on January 31, 2017, 10:55 am

      Due in large measure to Trumpism, mainstream America, including enlightened Jews, is finally beginning to fully comprehend the ugly truth about Zionism and its spawn, Israel.

      The old adage, “lie down with dogs and you get fleas,” is applicable to both Trump and Netanyahu.

      • amigo on January 31, 2017, 11:43 am

        “The old adage, “lie down with dogs and you get fleas,” is applicable to both Trump and Netanyahu.” Misterioso.

        Who is the dog and who is the flea.

      • Misterioso on January 31, 2017, 11:51 am


        They’ll both get fleas from each other.

        The following article is relevant:

        Haneen Zoabi: ” ‘Israel is the only country not shocked by or afraid of Trump.’ ”

        “The Israeli-Palestinian politician campaigns for women’s rights and against attacks on minorities. She explains why the US president has so much in common with Benjamin Netanyahu.”

        “Israel, she says, wants to ‘close the file’ on the Palestinians’ demand for a state. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, ‘is shifting the paradigm from managing the crisis to solving the crisis – but [his is] a one-sided solution in the interests of Israel.Something has changed in the minds of Israelis: Palestinians have ceased to exist. The walls are not just physical, they are also psychological.’”

        “This mindset is reinforced by the new US president, she says. ‘Donald Trump may seem bizarre and unique to most of the world, but not for Israel. His kind of populism [and] his way of violent speech are the dominant model in Israel. Israel is the only country not shocked and not afraid of Trump. On the contrary, Netanyahu and Trump represent the same model.’ ”

  2. Bumblebye on January 30, 2017, 6:38 pm

    Whoa, what gives? News just said US Attorney General told DoJ lawyers *not* to defend Trump’s EO in court?! Is this payback for Judiciary being dumped from WH website?

    • Mooser on January 30, 2017, 9:02 pm

      “Is this payback for Judiciary being dumped from WH website?”

      Of course, that must be what it is. It couldn’t be some people doing their jobs.

      Don’t worry, these are holdovers from the Obama administration, and Jeff Sessions will be along soon.

    • annie on January 30, 2017, 10:22 pm

      the AG has already been fired and another sworn in. one who will follow the orders.

      • Mooser on January 31, 2017, 12:19 pm

        Not very long from now “fired by Trump” will be something people will proud to have on their resume. I can’t hold my breath quite that long, but some of you non-smokers can. Anyway, I only hold my breath when there’s work for it to do.

  3. JWalters on January 30, 2017, 6:52 pm

    Ann Lewis could use some therapy sessions with Israeli-born, Jewish psychologist Avigail Abarbanel, author of It’s time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped

    and Why I Left the Cult

    Netanyahu is merely revealing reality. Ann Lewis is living in a fantasy.

  4. Rusty Pipes on January 30, 2017, 7:44 pm

    Cut a deal? Maybe. Or Netanyahu may simply be responding to Trump’s initial positive signals to Israel (choice of Ambassador, Kushner as top advisor, Jerusalem embassy move, tear up Obama’s Iran deal), by buffing Trump’s well-known ego. Aligning with a settlement-friendly Trump may also help Netanyahu’s domestic standing.

    • Mooser on January 30, 2017, 9:04 pm

      “Cut a deal? Maybe.”

      Yeah, Trump owes Israel the full value of an embassy move. What a negotiator for America.

      • marc b. on January 30, 2017, 10:24 pm

        Exactly. Starting a war with Iran for Yahoo in exchange for a supportive ‘tweet’. The art of the deal.

      • Citizen on January 31, 2017, 4:16 am

        Draining whatever’s left of strategic, long-term rationality out of three countries at once (US, Iran, Israel), such a deal!

      • Rusty Pipes on January 31, 2017, 10:55 pm

        Then again, maybe the ultimate promoter of Brand Israel is just promoting one of Israel’s brands: the Israeli company that built Israel’s wall could bring some money home if it got the contract for Trump’s Mexico wall.

  5. kalithea on January 31, 2017, 1:36 am

    Crazy Democrat introduced a bill that’s still active giving Trump authorization to go to war with Iran! The bill is still active. There’s a warning about this bill on Ron Paul’s site.

    Here’s what I’d like to know and maybe someone here knows something or where to investigate this.:

    1. Does Aipac have dirt on this guy?

    2. He and Debbie Wasserman Schultz switched Districts in Florida. He had the 23rd District and moved to 20th and she had 20th and moved to 23rd. What’s up with the musical chairs? I don’t trust DWS as far as I can spit. She’s the one that brought down Bernie Sanders.

    3. Is there a payout? This guy also voted against the Iran deal, and while that Resolution was going through the House he introduced a similar bill to this one in September 2015 giving President Obama authorization to go to war with Iran.

    4. Apparently, he’s the poorest member in Congress. Really…really??? With all these favors he’s doing for Netanyahu? Maybe publicly he’s the poorest…privately?

    This individual should be kicked out of Congress. I smell deep corruption. As I said; someone should investigate this.

    Congress is knee-deep in Zionist corruption.

  6. wondering jew on January 31, 2017, 1:59 am

    Bibi and short term thinking go together like French fries and iced coca cola. This has always been true. In political trouble, which he is, only doubles the shortsightedness (half the distance for those keeping score at home.) Currently the man of the hour is Bennett and it seems that bibi feels he need not hide his natural affinity for trump, because it plays so well in Bennett’s thinking. I’m not sure what bibi wants beyond his personal political survival and the far right is his key to survival for the short term.

    • wondering jew on January 31, 2017, 2:03 am

      I think trump does not want to go to war against anyone, including iran. He wants to bluster and win without war. I think his brinksmanship style is dangerous, but his primary desire is to promote: anti immigrant anti muslim, anti media, america first.

      • Mooser on January 31, 2017, 12:23 pm

        You bet, “Yonah”!!! If Trump destroys the immigrants, destroys the Muslims, and the media, that will put “America First”! You know it!

        Gee, Trumps plan to put America sure reminds me of the Jewish plan to recover from the age of antisemitism and the Holocaust.

        But if you think it’s easier to get rid of them than make (or keep) more of us, go right ahead on.

  7. Eva Smagacz on January 31, 2017, 4:34 am

    There is no greater injury to narcissistic ego than having to bow to another narcissist.
    I am so looking forward (does that makes me a sadist?) to Netanyahu meeting with Trump.

    On the other hand – I am a bit scared.

    Wrong move by Netanyahu and Trump can be revengeful.
    Then the only thing that will keep Jews from being treated on par with Muslims will be Jared Kushner satisfying Ivanka Trump in his role of the husband.
    Jared Kushner in the role of biblical Esther……

  8. Ossinev on January 31, 2017, 6:50 am

    Surprised that the bouffant buffoon hasn`t adopted the Yahoo`s term for “illegal immigrants” =” infiltrators”.Perhaps he will do after the upcoming great meeting of minds. It may well be a Likud Party patent though. Never mind I expect a deal can be done.

  9. genesto on January 31, 2017, 1:14 pm

    Maybe they agreed to an annexation of Israel as the 51st state. After all, this has been Israel’s de facto status for quite some time now.

    • JWalters on January 31, 2017, 6:50 pm

      An old Israeli joke says Israel doesn’t want to be the 51st state because then they’d have only two senators.

  10. Pixel on January 31, 2017, 1:17 pm

    I may have missed it but has there been any discussion at MW of THE most important development in Jewish/Israeli relations by the Trump Administration since he took office?

    That would be the *intentional* choice made by the Trump administration not to mention Jews at ALL in his Holocaust Remembrance Day Address.

    It was a BRILLIANT move that flew in the face of all his rhetoric, which implied his unequivocal support of the Zionist agenda. This REALLY shook things up.

    Although they tried, the Zionists had no legs to stand on. The Jews weren’t being dissed. Instead, Trump was being “inclusive” of everyone else who was exterminated by Hitler. In the end, there’s really not much one can say against inclusion A hell of a lot of people in the US and globally were delighted that somebody finally had the balls to so magnificently pull off such a feat. “Regular” people may not have been able to parse out Obama’s move at the tail end of his tenure, if they even knew about it to begin with. But THIS they could see and THIS they did understand.

    Listening to what people say is never as important as what the do. One of Trump’s adages is never show your hand or let anyone know what you’re going to do. Netanyahu’s tweet was total pandering. He’s a MASTER himself at saying one thing and doing another, and he recognizes someone who is as good – or even better – at that game than he is. He’s terrified. He tweeted because Trump tweets; he’s trying to kiss Trump’s ass. But Netanyahu doesn’t really know how to do that because nobody does.

    Regarding the 7 countries at the front of the news today, it’s more important to understand why he didn’t include others that in many significant ways appear to be the same. Geopolitically they are not. State secrets and weapons were sold to those countries – and other countries, such as China – by treasonous criminal psychopath HRC. That has complicated things greatly.

    If we haven’t read all the related Wikileaks emails – and there are many of them – we,have no legs to stand on. In short, we have no idea what the fuck we’re talking about because we don’t know what’s going on or why. You don’t have to take my word for it and I hope you don’t. But don’t dismiss it, either. Temporarily suspend your disbelief, keep an open mind, and do the research.

    I have already suggested, in previous comments, the Wikileaks emails. A quicker and more interesting way to get up to speed, however, is going to George Webb’s YT channel and begin watching at Day 60. He sometimes has more than one segment a day, but they’re each only about 12 -15 minutes long.

    Who is he? Watch Day 60 and you’ll know. Days 1-59 were yanked. If you go there you’ll understand why. It stopped when Trump came in. But why did Trump win? Why did so many Libs, Dems, Progs, etc. change sides and even vote for him (and, no, Hillary did not win the popular election). They knew what those in the Hillary Cult didn’t take the time to find out. HRC supporters were 1000% sure that they were right. In fact, they were 1000% wrong and many still don’t know that, yet.

    Until we take the time to educate ourselves, we will NEVER understand Trump. He’s playing the long game, the smart game, he knows what all the secrets are and where all the skeletons lie. Was it insane to put Bannon on the security council (NSC) and drop the joint chiefs? We will believe that Trump is a mad dictator until we understand how deep and insidious the shadow government has been and the powerful remnants that remain, of which Netanyahu has been and is a part. (Day 60)

    • Mooser on January 31, 2017, 2:22 pm

      “Pixel” I’ll say it once, and not again. What you just wrote in that comment is going to be in your archive, maybe for years and years to come.

      Oh, won’t it be fun to look back and see how prescient you are.

      “Until we take the time to educate ourselves, we will NEVER understand Trump. He’s playing the long game, the smart game, he knows what all the secrets are and where all the skeletons lie.”

    • oldgeezer on January 31, 2017, 8:58 pm


      Trudeau did it in 2016 but quickly caved under pressure and added a statement in relation to intolerance and antisemitism after the initial release.

  11. Misterioso on January 31, 2017, 5:06 pm

    “Netanyahu Is Getting Trumpier and Trumpier”

    “The prime minister views the new president as a role model – and potential lifesaver.”
    Chemi Shalev. Jan 31, 2017, Haaretz.

  12. amigo on January 31, 2017, 5:36 pm

    Make hay while the sun shines !!.

    Israel approves an additional 3000 , ( to the 2500 last week) illegal squats in Occupied Palestine.

    Yup , they cut a deal.War criminals committing crimes in broad daylight.

    “We are back on track in Judea and Samaria ” stated Lieberman.

    What was that about a TWO STATE SOLUTION , Jon S.

  13. Ossinev on February 1, 2017, 7:02 am

    “Who is the dog and who is the flea”

    Easy – peasy. Its abundantly clear which one is the bloodsucker.

  14. Rashers2 on February 1, 2017, 10:04 am

    Is the Mileikowsky Tweet really so significant and redolent of some secret “deal” already cut? Or does it merely show one demagogue and ideologue who has difficulty engaging his brain prior to opening his mouth, opening his mouth about another demagogue (altho’ not an ideologue!!) who suffers from the same problem? I wouldn’t be surprised if, following the “honeymoon”, relations between POTUS and Mileikowsky deteriorated rapidly: Adolf, contemporaneous accounts tell us, became frustrated and annoyed by Benito’s personal vanity and his bombastic pretensions to a political importance and sway that Israel’s (oops, Italy’s!) circumstances and relative weakness didn’t at the time justify…..

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