Could this be the initiation of a "deal-making process?"
Whatever Israel wants, he's happy to promise, but then the costs start being enumerated. He says, I want to help you out, but, if I do what you want, it's going to cost me x, y, & z. What does the US get in return? And what do you have for us to give to the Palestinians and Saudis, and EU, and everyone else, to pay for what it is you want?
Let's enumerate wants and costs, and negotiate conflicting interests. See if we can make a deal. But let's negotiate it. Let's get it all on the table. Everything you want! It's yours. But it's not free.
Do you think Trump and Obama discussed this in their initial meeting that went long?
Hey, Donald, Netanyahu wants to play us off against each other during the transition, but maybe we should be doing the playing?
I'm thinking of refusing to veto at the UN, you can condemn me all you want publicly, but then there'll be something more he needs from you, i.e., undoing what will come of the UN vote.
You know I like to make deals, and use whatever leverage I can get. That would add leverage. I was thinking of holding out the Jerusalem embassy, too, but, to get that, you got to do this.
Exactly. To get the embassy, and to get the UN deal undone, well here's what it will take. Carrot and stick.
And if you don't deliver, well I've got Yair Lapid's number here, too. He's totally using my wall idea. Great idea by the way, as political symbols go. I've got Herzog's number, too. I like you, Bibi. I think we can do an historic deal together. Or NOT. Your choice.
But you don't want to face voters with me telling the world that you're holding up the deal to move the US embassy.
Oops, look at the time. Let's keep talking.
I thought it was a good interview, and that Nethanyahu was cast in the position of supplicant at the hem of Trump - a very different attitude than he's grown accustomed to giving Obama: a constant show of disrespect/disdain. I think Netanyahu felt no fear of Obama, either in his ability to affect US policy toward Israel, or to move Israeli voters in their attitude toward Netanyahu. I think he now fears Trump on both fronts.
I get a sense that Trump is already negotiating, and that Yair Lapid's call for new elections, and proposing to just go ahead and "build a wall" to separate the two people in two nations, shows how much and how fast political ground may shift or is already shifting in Israel, due to Trump's election.
I never understand the relationship between the big media outlets and political initiatives (maybe they're actually independent sometimes), but I thought Lesley Stahl cast doubts on the solidity of Netanyahu's position, on Europe, BDS, the Occupation, and in her point, which you leave out, where she rebutted Netanyahu's tired canard that peace is entirely up to the Palestinians, they just need to recognize Israel's right to be a Jewish state. She'd just asked him about how his relations with Egypt, Jordan and the Saudis had been improved into an alliance of sorts against Iran, by the Iran deal, (again, Netanyahu invoked God in his answer - God yes) and she asked whether any of these others states had given such recognition, or whether he'd demanded it of them. [O course not, that's just excuse we use to justify building more settlements]. I thought her attitude showed his canard to be a phony.
You also left out a curious distinction Netanyahu made: Trump's a friend of Israel, of THE Jewish people, and of "Jewish people." Not sure what he meant by that THE, but he seemed to have a distinction in mind, as if the latter was more general than the former. Maybe to your points about the shattering of Jewish unity in the US, the distancing of Diaspora Jews from Israeli Jews.
When she asked about undoing the Iran deal, which Netanyahu nearly drooled at achieving with Trump, she adopted Mattis's follow-up, "then what?" His hemming and hawing led her to push, you've got something in mind, tell me. I've got five things in mind, he said, but I'd rather discuss them with Trump before 60 Minutes. So's he's very eager to get some things from Trump, and he's publicly made himself the supplicant in that process.
As Annie asked recently, what will Trump ask in return?
Great set of connections, Phil & Annie, not being closely examined elsewhere that I saw.
What will he ask for, Annie? That's a great question. He hinted early that he might be able to make a deal in the Middle East, because he's such an awesomely better dealmaker, not afraid to say to the assembled Jewish donors he knew he would be on the short end of their fundraising, because he understood they wanted someone they could control, he understood and respected that, and he wasn't that guy. "Lot of dealmakers in this room," he said. I think he was throwing down the challenge - "you've never had to deal with me."
He wants to make a deal for lasting peace. He wants to eliminate ISIS. He should want to tamp down the sources of jihad - he hasn't articulated that (instead he's made of himself a source of Muslim unrest), but some of his generals have clearly articulated it, few better than Mattis. With the generals and admirals, he wants for the US to be strong and unpredictable when it commits its troops, no longer hamstrung by weak and indecisive political leadership, unwise strategy. He wants to weaken Iran. He wants better relations with Russia. He wants better deals from all of the US's "retainer nations."
He should also want his CIA and Israel's Mossad working toward common goals under guidance from him and whoever he cuts a deal with in Israel [why Lapid's call for elections, and for "building a wall," all of a sudden? Why the Chief Rabbis promising reform of how they treat American women who convert to Judaism in the US, all of a sudden, if not Trump starting to flex his muscles?]. We keep reading that the CIA has been arming jihadi groups, that Mossad has been providing them material support, in Syria at least, that the CIA was involved in shipping arms from Libya to Syria, etc., etc. That CIA-backed fighters were fighting DOD backed fighters.
Today's anonymously-sourced CIA's MSM-reported "consensus" that Russia hacked our election to help Trump, immediately countered by Trump himself, suggests that there's already a great deal of tension there, and that some in the CIA side with the elite establishment in trying to derail Trump (the hack of the RNC at the time in question surely wouldn't have hurt Trump, if released, because at the time in question the RNC was opposed to Trump).
I suspect Trump will want a lot. And that it will largely be unpredictable. And it will be different. If it succeeds in putting America's realistic interests first, then I'm supportive of a change in direction.
I think your parallels are strained and overblown. It is true that Israeli racism gives license to racism elsewhere, especially anti-Muslim racism, but beyond that?
Herzog had none of Clinton's flaws - corruption, lying, two-facedness. [Maybe a lack of charisma held them both back.]
I think you over-estimate the racism of the 52M Americans who voted for Trump. There are racists in there, for sure, but I think most voted for change, for which they are enthusiastic, not for race, fascism, white supremacy, or other fringes the losing elites have been conflating to all Trump voters. A halt to the demonization and denigration of American history and culture, maybe, which is different from asserting White Supremacy. Diversity yes, anti-White people, no. Anti-all-of-the-American-social-institutions-de-Tocqueville-praised, no. Acceptance of other cultures, yes, praise for national anthem kneeling, no. There were a lot of white Obama voters who switched to Trump, or stayed home, and they weren't resonating with any of the feelings of Netanyahu's ultra-right-wingers who were persuaded to concentrate their plurality vote in Likud, against their inclination to go farther right with Bennett. Those Americans wanted a change in direction, and, especially, a change in the voice of the elite establishment, which has lost all credibility.
On a tangent from the Elite Establishment Media:
Did Trump Plan Yesterday's Birther Reversal Five Years Ago?
Few things about Donald Trump have both attracted the attention of, and irritated, the news media than his tendency to forcefully state outrageous falsehoods. But it seems there may be method to this madness. As I've suggested here before, he deliberately creates cognitive dissonance as a tool to fix the attention of the fact-checking class on him and what he says. And he learned this in the World Wrestling Federation.
I was never a wrestling fan as a kid, which I dismissed as "fake." But I still remember a thirty-second snippet of video seen thirty or forty years ago before I could get up and turn the channel. Some beefy, bare-chested, long-haired wrestler was being interviewed about his hope for a rematch of a championship bout he'd recently lost, which would've come with a gold convertible Cadillac, which the interviewer was asking about. "I didn't want that gold Cadillac," said the wrestler. Besides, he said two seconds later, "I went out and bought my own gold Cadillac, just like it."
Why do I remember it? It created cognitive dissonance, and, for those for whom factual accuracy is important, it triggers an emotional need to correct it. And it has stuck with me, like a good joke, as the iconic example of how fake professional wrestling is.
When Trump said he hoped the Russians would hack Hillary's server to find those missing emails, the media descended on him with crushing force, seeing treason, where there was only a stunt to draw attention. The servers were long since de-commissioned and in the FBI's hands. There was no way they could be newly hacked. But Hillary had created them on non-secure servers where they were vulnerable for years, then deleted half of them, at least one set after they'd been requested by investigating authorities. She claimed these were only the "personal" ones, but no one doubts there were juicy political liabilities, as well as serious breaches of security precautions contained in them, as well. The fact-checkers were so intent on slamming Trump that they've talked for weeks about the incident, thus keeping the email issue alive, front and center. To those on the fence, it is more proof that Hillary actually plans to be deceptive and even builds elaborate processes to allow her to cover it up.
Trump is not stupid. He did launch the Birther movement five years ago, and looking back, I think he demonstrates a true mastery of WWF method, because he picked an issue that Hillary's close aid Sidney Blumenthal had raised in 2008 to smear Obama. He has often said he's "not ready, yet" to withdraw that. I think he knew the origins of that issue when he launched it, and has stuck to it for so long, because he planned to "end" the controversy, in the election's final weeks, as he did yesterday, claiming credit for ending it, while pinning its beginning on his opponent. The mainstream media have loudly denied that Hillary had anything to do with it, that Trump is making that up, too, but today's news confirms that Sid Blumenthal urged a McClatchy editor in 2008 to look into it, causing them to dispatch a reporter to Kenya. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article102354777.html
Her campaign memos from that time stress she was born in the middle of America, an Iowa campaign worker for her (unidentified in recent reports) forwarded reports of his Kenya birth, and was reportedly fired for it (Hillary's cover story), but Sid Blumenthal wasn't fired. He remains her close confidante. Hillary and her many supporters in the media look stupid and hypocritical, they look "had," as a matter of fact. Most of the fact checkers don't even get that they've been had, either, by this master of publicity manipulation. They think Trump is below their level of intelligence. They do not entertain the possibility that he could outsmart them.
Who knew ham-handedness could be so subtle?
Next up: watch for Hillary's and the Elite Establishment's demonizing of Russia-tied-to-Trump to blow up in their faces, as well. Victoria Nuland https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/13/the-mess-that-nuland-made/ and Howard Kagan, watch out. http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/neoconservatism-vindicated-fawning/ http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/1.577114
No insider information here, just seeing a pattern emerge. Trump looks so relaxed and confident when the Russia issue comes up. He looks "in charge," like he's got something something up his sleeve.
Excellent interview, interesting guy, although how you go from being a Neocon to being a Mondoweiss fan is a tough stretch.
On a tangent, Congress yesterday unanimously passed the sue-the-Saudis bill, after a dozen years of suppressing the 28 pages detailing Saudi involvement with the 9/11 attackers. Those Saudi connections were the most concrete leads the country had into who was behind the attacks, those and the Mossad agents with box cutters who'd been listening in on the hijackers, and who were arrested on 9/11 for celebrating in New Jersey in their white van. Yet the Mossad agents were sent home, though the FBI found them to be lying, the investigations into the Saudis were terminated and preliminary results suppressed. A Justice Department search warrant issued by a 9/11 grand jury to raid a Dallas-based Muslim charity got its cover blown by Judy Miller, no doubt tipped by one of her neocon pals in the government whose identity she refused to divulge, when she called the charity for comment during the short time period between its secret issuance and its execution shortly thereafter, which provided the opportunity for any inconvenient documentation to be removed.
Whenever Congress overwhelmingly does something - whether it was to ignore whodunnit and focus instead on the Patriot Act and War in Iraq, then to suppress the 28 pages for so long, or now to unanimously reverse course to approve suing Saudi Arabia for its involvment - one suspects that Congress's paymasters are keeping them in line, in pursuit of hidden agendas.
The Saudis have promised to dump $750B in Treasuries, by way of financial reprisal, if it passes. Obama has vowed to veto it, but unanimity would override the veto. Throw in the possibility of a contested election or even a Trump victory, with other things that could go wrong in the world, and there could be a financial crisis.
It's now been as long from the dotcom bubble bursting to the subprime mortgage lending bubble bursting, as from the latter to the present. Could it be financial catastrophes are coming at 8 year intervals? I think it was 2010 I heard a top OMB official addressing a group of business leaders, one of whom asked: "Two bubbles in eight years (2000 and 2008), is historically uncommon. Is the government anticipating continued greater frequency for these events?" to which the official, possibly Jacob Lew, replied, "That would be above my pay-grade."
Also, as to how the NYTimes willingly worked with the CIA to propagandize similarly fascistic behavior in the 50s and 60s (various assassinations of elected leaders to be replaced with compliant strongmen, helping various industries, reported along pure propaganda lines), see David Talbot's "The Devil's Chessboard," about Alan Dulles.