Samaria Regional Council head says Trump Administration may condemn ‘settlements’, but will be much friendlier to Israel.
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, was not content with his meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, but also met with several leaders of the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, one of the regional heads who met with Greenblatt, spoke with Arutz Sheva about his meeting with the US representative.
While Dagan is careful not to reveal specific details of the conversation, he said that the conversation was conducted in a pleasant atmosphere, and that the US envoy “was attentive and asked questions. He is a serious individual and a lover of Israel.”
When asked if he believes that the Trump Administration could turn out to be more right-wing than the government of Israel, he said that he administration is waiting to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu what his expectations are and what policies he wishes to promote. “I reiterate my position, one which I stated before the election and maintained after [the election]. I openly supported Trump’s nomination for president. Although I stated it in the Israeli and the American media, I’ll say it again – this administration is more sympathetic to Israel than ever before. It is a good administration which will want to do good by Israel. But as always, the American Administration will be caught between Israel and the Islamic world, [and will have to take into account] their interests regarding Russia, China, the Sunni states, etc.”
“Where Obama was inclined to favor the Arabs, Trump is inclined to favor the Jews. So I believe that this administration will give more leeway to the Israeli government to take steps which were impossible under Obama. I was against [the kowtowing to Obama] and said that [Netanyahu] needed to confront the Obama Administration and say clearly that we are building in the heart of our homeland, that this is what is good for Israel and that this is our country.
When asked how optimistic his meeting with Greenblatt left him, Dagan answered: “I’m not euphoric, because my expectations and demands as an Israeli citizen are aimed at our Prime Minister, the Cabinet ministers, and the government. I am an Israeli citizen and I expect my own government to fulfill my expectations [and not a foreign government]. The second thing is that this administration’s new approach is not just to talk about ‘settlers,’ but to speak directly to them.
It was a very important meeting, but I appreciate that the Trump Administration may condemn Israel for the ‘settlements’ and possibly for other things. I have no requests from the US administration, but I am confident that he won’t ‘go to war’ over condemning [construction] and that he won’t pick a fight over it [the way Obama did]. This reality gives the government an opportunity to exercise sovereignty over the ‘settlements’ and to maintain momentum in construction.
There is no reason why, with such a friendly administration, that the situation stay the same as it was under the past eight difficult and terrible years of Barack Hussein Obama. There would be no way to justify that and it is absolutely necessary to build new communities in Judea and Samaria.”