Placing Faith in Donald Trump on Israel
After one of the most hostile anti-Israel administrations ever, Steve Bannon, the newly-appointed chief strategist and senior adviser to Donald Trump, will attend the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) annual dinner in Manhattan on Sunday.
I am a longtime proud supporter of the ZOA, which believes in the right of Jews to live anywhere they choose in the land of Israel, and I have not seen many White House officials attend its events. I consider this a sign that the Trump administration will emerge as an unusual and pleasant surprise for the Jewish community.
The people most likely to advise the new administration on Israel-related issues represent a dream come true for many of us:
Rudy Giuliani (who is a consultant to my Public Relations firm): The current leading candidate to serve as secretary of state, has long been one of Israel’s best advocates in the US. This is a man who will stand with Israel — and there’s no one better for Israel’s interests.
Jason Greenblatt: One of three members of Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee, he is a former student of Yeshivat Har Etzion, a Zionist
“hesder” yeshiva. He’s modern Orthodox and lives in Teaneck, New Jersey — and has noted that the incoming administration “does not view Jewish settlements as an obstacle to peace.”
David Friedman: Trump’s other Israel adviser is an outspoken supporter of Judea and Samaria, and serves as the president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions. As he’s written in Arutz Sheva, “The US State Department – with a hundred-year history of anti-Semitism — promotes the payoff of corrupt Palestinians in exchange for their duplicitous agreement to support a two-state solution.” Friedman has referred to the Iran agreement as “… undoubtedly the worst international accord since Neville Chamberlain conceded Eastern Europe to Hitler.”
Then, of course, there’s the Modern Orthodox couple Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (whose children attend the same school as my kids); Lew Eisenberg, who has shared stories with me of his close relations with Prime Minister Netanyahu; and Michael Cohen, Donald’s longtime lawyer; and others. These are people who are pro-Israel and proud Jews through and through.
There can be no doubt that the Trump White House vision of the Jewish state is aligned with the settlement movement, and will support a strong secure state of Israel. If Obama idealized Israel’s kibbutz, there can be no question the Trump Administration will stand with Gush Emunim and the Menachem Begin ideology.
Ronn Torossian is a Public Relations executive, and serves on the Republican Jewish Coalition Vice Chairman’s Council. He writes this in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the RJC.