Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Jewish Business News

The A-List

Officials in Jerusalem are missing Obama earlier than expected

Analysis: Trump wants to reach a formula for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement within a year. His special envoy’s determination is making Jerusalem tremble, as no one knows how the US president will react if the Middle East deal he is concocting fails or is sabotaged.

obama-netanyahu-last-meeting-sept-2016-new-york Photo Kobi Gidon GPO

Jason Greenblatt, Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, has received a mandate from the American president to reach a formula for an agreement in the Middle East within a year.

Greenblatt arrived in Israel last month, allegedly in the capacity of a student, but its seems that he is not just a fast learner—he is already starting to tie up some loose ends. And the Middle East—from the Saudi king to the Israeli prime minister—is on tiptoes around him.

Please help us out :
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at
Thank you.

Greenblatt doesn’t have behind him a president with an ideology, whose vision and heart’s desire is to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ahead of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Trump has adopted the world view of the three chief security officials surrounding him: His secretary of defense, General James Mattis; his secretary of homeland security, John Kelly; and his new national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster.

These three generals commanded forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and were exposed over the years to intelligence reports pointing to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the factor that is making it difficult for the American armed forces to reach the required accomplishments in these conflicts.

According to their perception, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an obstacle which must be pushed out of the way in order to advance the American administration’s security, economic and diplomatic interests in the Arab world. Ending the conflict, according to this perception, will also help the administration end the Islamic State affair as a regional and global threat.

Trump’s approach towards the settlements, Area C, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, etc., is therefore not afflicted by romanticization, but is rather driven by a pure strategic American interest. Greenblatt’s determination, as the emissary of a president who may react unexpectedly if the Middle Eastern deal he is concocting fails, is making Jerusalem tremble.

Last Thursday’s Security Cabinet discussion, which focused on a gradual freeze of the settlements and extensive gestures in Area C—according to the American demand—was held in untypical media silence. Jerusalem is beginning to miss former US President Barack Obama earlier than expected.

Last week, during a farewell ceremony for interim National Security Adviser Yaakov Nagel, he was praised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the person who had brought the largest defense aid package Israel had ever received. Minister Yuval Steinitz was heard commenting quietly, “It’s a good thing we finalized the deal with the previous administration.”

Israeli officials are beginning to comprehend that with all his hostility towards the Israeli policy in the territories, Obama contributed to Israel’s security more than any other American president. During his term, in addition to $3 billion in regular annual defense aid, Israel received an addition of $200 million on average for special projects. And if that were not enough, Obama arranged a fixed budget for the defense establishment in the coming decade, which would make it possible to manage the defense establishment without any budgetary anxieties.

Trump may not be as charming if Bayit Yehudi Minister Uri Ariel and Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich sabotage his deal. When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announces that he is very optimistic ahead of his meeting with Trump, it should ring alarm bells in the Prime Minister’s Office. Obama was a “sucker”: He set “red lines” for Israel in the territories, but didn’t exact a price from Israel when it crossed them. How will Trump act is Israel fails him in the regional negotiations? It’s hard to know. But when he doesn’t get what he wants—he punishes.

Trump didn’t hesitate to demand that his close allies—Japan, South Korea, Germany—increase their defense budgets considerably, as he is no longer willing to carry the burden of protecting their security. And these are rich countries. What reason does he have not to present the same demand to Israel, if it fails to deliver the required diplomatic flexibility?

As they sat down for the Passover Seder next week and sang “Dayenu,” (It will suffice) all the defense establishment heads should have asked for is: If Trump doesn’t add a penny to the defense budget—dayenu, it will suffice! If he leaves us alone and doesn’t touch the defense aid budget we received from Obama—dayenu, it will suffice!

By Ynet News

(Translated and edited by Sandy Livak-Furmanski)



You May Also Like

World News

In the 15th Nov 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:   ·         A new Israeli treatment brings hope to relapsed leukemia...


The Movie The Professional is what made Natalie Portman a Lolita.


After two decades without a rating system in Israel, at the end of 2012 an international tender for hotel rating was published.  Invited to place bids...

VC, Investments

You may not become a millionaire, but there is a lot to learn from George Soros.