Trump team warns Obama against major moves against Israel at UN

“Obama shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing policies that clearly don’t match Trump’s positions,” the president-elect’s national security adviser tells Politico • Senior Trump adviser: With Trump there won’t be any coercion against Israel.

Shlomo Cesana and Israel Hayom Staff

President-elect Donald Trump with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, Sept. 25 | Photo credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Reports surfaced last week, before the Nov. 8 elections, that outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama could be preparing an unpleasant surprise for Israel, most likely in the form of calling on the United Nations Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state.

Now, with Donald Trump set to step into the White House, his aides say Obama should not even think about taking such steps, according to American political website Politico.

“On big, transformative issues where President Obama and President-elect Trump are not in alignment, I don’t think it’s in keeping with the spirit of the transition … to try to push through agenda items that are contrary to the president-elect’s positions,” a Trump national security adviser told Politico on Thursday. “It’s not going to be just counterproductive, but it will also send mixed messages.”

He added: “The machinery of government is going to have to keep grinding as best it can. But Obama and his aides shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing through policies that clearly don’t match Trump’s positions.”

Israel vehemently opposes any move by Obama to secure a U.N. Security Council resolution, which it views as hostile to Israeli interests, especially if he was to ask other world powers to embrace U.S.-drafted parameters for a two-state solution.

One Israeli official, who asked not be identified, told Politico that any such move would represent a “dagger in the heart” of the peace process — perhaps forever.

Senior Trump adviser Jason Greenblatt, seeking to allay Israeli concerns, said: “With Trump, there won’t be any coercion for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He thinks Israel is in a tough position, needs to defend itself and won’t force a solution on Israel. Peace has to come from both sides. If Trump will have an idea that can contribute to the sides he will contribute it, but he doesn’t intend to force a solution.”

Greenblatt, who is also the executive vice president and chief legal officer at the Trump Organization, made the comments during an interview with Army Radio on Thursday.

He said Trump “does not define the settlements as an obstacle to peace, and as evidence of this he will present the situation in Gaza, where the Jewish communities were evacuated and yet peace still wasn’t forthcoming. He does not see the settlements as an obstacle to peace.”

Regarding Trump’s comments that he would transfer the U.S. Embassy, currently located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, Greenblatt said that “when Trump gives his word he stands by it. For Israel, he recognizes the right of Jewish nation to preside in its eternal capital of Jerusalem and is revolted by UNESCO’s decision on the matter.”

Asked whether Trump intends an Israel-related role for him, such as Middle East emissary, Greenblatt answered in Hebrew that such an appointment would be a “bracha” [“blessing”] and added, “It’s too early to tell, but I very much hope so. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve in that capacity.”

‘Maximum aid for Israel’

During the election campaign, Greenblatt and David Friedman, Trump’s adviser on Israel, formulated an official document stipulating that on the matter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. is interested in coming to an agreement, but that “a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

“Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza, so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state. Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that actively seeks Israel’s destruction. We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.”

The document also states that “the Palestinian leadership, including the PA, has undermined any chance for peace with Israel by raising generations of Palestinian children on an educational program of hatred of Israel and Jews. The larger Palestinian society is regularly taught such hatred on Palestinian television, in the Palestinian press, in entertainment media, and in political and religious communications. The two major Palestinian political parties — Hamas and Fatah — regularly promote anti-Semitism and jihad.

“The U.S. cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant. The U.S. should not support the creation of a state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion.”

Regarding Israel’s future borders, the document specifies that “Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.”

On the issue of the Jewish and Israeli connection to Jerusalem, the document states that “the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and [the Trump administration] will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, on the matter of the Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the U.S. on defense aid for Israel, the document describes it is “a good first step, but there is much more to be done. A Trump administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the MOU will not limit the support that we give. Further, Congress will not be limited to give support greater than that provided by the MOU if it chooses to do so.”

The U.S., according to the document, “should veto any United Nations votes that unfairly single out Israel and will work in international institutions and forums, including in our relations with the European Union, to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel, impose discriminatory double standards against Israel, or to impose special labeling requirements on Israeli products or boycotts on Israeli goods.

“The U.S. should cut off funds for the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish state.”

Regarding the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanction movement, the document declares that the U.S. should view such efforts “as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner.”

On relations with Iran, the document states: “Despite the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, the U.S. State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming, and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. must counteract Iran’s ongoing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and their noncompliance with past and present sanctions, as well as the agreements they signed, and implement tough, new sanctions when needed to protect the world and Iran’s neighbors from its continuing nuclear and non-nuclear threats.”

The document describes the relationship between Israel and the U.S. as an “unbreakable bond” that is “based upon shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, respect for minorities, cherishing life, and the opportunity for all citizens to pursue their dreams.”

It continues: “Israel is the state of the Jewish people, who have lived in that land for 3,500 years. The State of Israel was founded with courage and determination by great men and women against enormous odds and is an inspiration to people everywhere who value freedom and human dignity.

“Israel is a staunch ally of the U.S. and a key partner in the global war against Islamic jihadism. Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow.”

November 11, 2016 | 17 Comments »

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17 Comments / 17 Comments

  1. @ Edgar G.:
    The Palestinian assault on history, on Jerusalem, is more urgent. The endless war in Syria is more urgent. What to do about ISIS is more urgent.

    A G-20 meeting was ONLY reason Obama visited Britain first.

    Your rationale about the US “special relationship” with Britain is correct, but Queen Elizabeth 2 is the world leader I respect AND admire most, but I doubt she would feel snubbed if she gets her DJT hello on a different schedule. otoh, DJT might consider the Commonwealth is a good platform for fair trade deals, so who knows. The Queen has been remarkable in developing the Commonwealth into an alternative (an alternative to the UN)global alliance of nation committed to democratic ideals.

    Think outside the box.

    as for Rep. Ellison as DNC chair? anything to accelerate the destruction of the Identy-Politics muslim loving version of the DNC. Jewish Americans need a head smack like that! which is probably why Schumer is going along.

  2. “In Trump We Trust”.
    Enjoy the victory while we go it.
    For the whining, unhappy, hand wringing “I don’t know which way is up” crowd – save it for your psychotherapist.

  3. Birdalone Said:

    @ Edgar G.:
    Edgar: Why Britain first? My thought about Israel, Jordan & Egypt is because of Syria, and ISIS. And to show strong support

    @ Edgar G.:
    Well, geographically it’s almost next door in flying terms. Also England…maybe i should say Britain, and the US have been the close friends most if not all of the time since before the Civil War….I think. At one time, between them they handled nearly all of the world’s trade, both in partnership and as competitors. Anyway they are amongst the oldest of America’s allies and friends. I don’t consider places like Liberia or a Mediterranean family sheikdom or two. (France maybe, but they had many big differences)

    They came from the same stock, and were so intermingled in their personal relationships that they just could not remain enemies, regardless of the occasional temporary spats-like over the positioning of the border with Canada- which occurred. Together they’ve been making policies which influenced the whole globe and it just seems to me that every President as far back as I can recall, say after Roosevelt, or maybe Trueman, visited Britain first.

    This would not diminish Trump’s strongly avowed alliance with Israel in any way. In fact, if he visited Israel before Britain, (even just to say hello to the Queen), it would be a huge political and even personal, affront……

    We are often carried away by what we read on these Israeli Blog pages, to the exclusion of the outside world. We care for Israel far more than any other part of the world, but we must keep our perspectives in proper focus.

    I’d be happy to be proven wrong, and time will tell. Just my opinion.

  4. Sebastien Zorn Said:

    @ Birdalone:
    I also voted against Schumer. I don’t trust him. And anyway, even warm bodies give a party clout, so it’s enough that the rest of his party is rotten at the national level. But, his opposition to the Iran deal won him many brownie points in the Jewish Community. I voted for Wendy Long (R) who also lost against Kirsten Gillebrand.

    Here is Ellison’s profile. Pretty awful:

    @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Maybe I am, but he seems, in my mind to be connected to both Wexler and Nadler. He actually was running for and won a New York State Legislature seat in 1974 just at the tail end of Nixon, but he was campaigning long before that, so perhaps I saw him at the beginning of his political career, when Nixon was being forced out of office.

  5. @ Birdalone:
    I also voted against Schumer. I don’t trust him. And anyway, even warm bodies give a party clout, so it’s enough that the rest of his party is rotten at the national level. But, his opposition to the Iran deal won him many brownie points in the Jewish Community. I voted for Wendy Long (R) who also lost against Kirsten Gillebrand.

    Here is Ellison’s profile. Pretty awful:

  6. @ Edgar G.:
    Edgar: Why Britain first? My thought about Israel, Jordan & Egypt is because of Syria, and ISIS. And to show strong support.

    No mas. I am more interested in State Dinners.

    In other news, Schumer just indicated support for Rep. Ellison for DNC chair, which boggles the mind. Hand the keys to the Muslim Brotherhood!

    I did not vote for Chuck in 2010 because he pretended he was not even on the ballot whilst Gillibrand tested the War on Women – she had to run in 2010 because then Gov. David Patterson had appointed her when HRC moved over to SecState. Chuck’s opponent drove all over New York State with a live size photo of Chuck, who refused even one debate.

    from PJMedia:

    “Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump — who said he has a concealed carry permit — called for the expansion of gun rights Friday, including making those permits applicable nationwide. …”

    That should get the Dems in congress in a group hissy fit!
    Assuming they are not killed by accident in all of the riots for the third night in a row. Crickets chirping in the White House. Guess Soros owns that too…

  7. @ Edgar G.:
    Found this article.
    “He told the Wall Street Journal he favours keeping two pillars of the bill because “I like those very much”.
    One is a ban on insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    The other provision that the president-elect told the newspaper he favours allows young adults to be insured on their parents’ policies.”

    Though I oppose Obamacare, I am in agreement here.

  8. @ Birdalone:
    Schumer may be a “good” Senator now, BUT….. when Nixon was in trouble with that damned narcissist grabbing at his moment in the sun…Sam Ervin…. Schumer, Wexler and that bloody 2 ton Nadler were about his worst critics. You couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing them, sometimes one after the other and occasionally together. This of course would have been the way the TV management arranged the clips.

    Since then, I have been disgusted by all three of them (who were really looking for publicity and the opportunity to kick someone who was down) and couldn’t care less how “good” Schumer is now. If he supports Israel, mazaltov. As for the others they have rather sunk into obscurity and are not important…any more.

  9. @ Birdalone:
    I think his first visit will be to England, then France and Germany, and perhaps another European country or two, then Israel. It will take about a week or 10 days. I’m not sure how long a new President should absent himself from the country, but I feel that the first visit will be to England, surely.

  10. @ Birdalone:
    I don’t know why Spitzer did so much better than Hillary. I mean, they have so much in common! Ha Ha.

    From a cat’s eye perspective:

    There are two kind of leaders, those who think outside the box, and those who go outside the box.

  11. Schumer opposed the Iran deal — even if there had to be protests and sit ins for him to finally commit.
    Talk about “Dog Whistles”. The anti-semitism that Obama laid into him with. About which the Left was silent, of course. The dems tried to destroy his career.
    They did railroad Menendez. Into jail on some bogus charge of accepting a campaign donation from a friend who was just a dentist or something.@ Birdalone:

    Plus, please don’t make the mistake that the mainstream media makes of confusing National with local politics. They say people vote a split ticket out of ignorance.

    It ain’t necessarily so.

    IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO by Cal Tjader Modern Mambo Orch 1953 Latin Jazz

    I, myself, though I have views on various issues, am purely a single issue voter, and since the parties march in lock-step on certain issues, that means single party in certain races that affect those issues:

    a)I always vote Republican in Federal Races.
    b)I always Vote for The Democratic Candidate in NY State Races because I support renewing the Rent Stablization Law, and on the Working Families Party Line because that serves as a referendum on closing the loop-holes: Vacancy decontrol, Major Capital Improvements, Income Caps, the Urqhardt Law.
    c)I can go either way on Mayor depending on the individuals running and whether I am more worried about anti-semitic incitement and violence or my rent going up.

    I switched from Independent to Republican – despite the risk of being lynched by neighbors or not getting mail delivered properly by the Post Office –because all of the Republicans are pro-Israel, but some more than others. The Democrats, forget it. I wanted to vote for Huckabee, the only candidate who recognizes Yesha as part of Israel. Period In fact, he’s led yearly solidarity tours to Jewish Settlements and speaks before the Settlers Council of Judea and Samaria whose champion he has been for many years in and out of office. There were a lot of second and third choices.

    Dov Hikind — who is politically more of a pro-Israel Conservative on most issues — runs as a Democrat because it’s a simple fact that with rare exceptions (Queens and Staten Island, only at that) Republicans don’t get elected in NY. They don’t even bother to run most of the time. That’s local elections.

    McCain didn’t bother to have a NY campaign HQ. The polls said Obama would win by 80 percent in NY. He did. The real race is in the Democratic Primary. General elections are like Soviet elections with only one real candidate. You have a choice. You can vote or not vote. (Voting for independent parties or individuals is the same as not voting.)

    Free and Fair Elections: The Illusion of Choice [“Moon Over Parador” 1988. Richard Dreyfuss, Raoul Julia]

  12. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Schumer got >600,000 MORE votes than HRC in 2016. Voter turnout in Rockland County (where that Chasidic town is located) was so low I wonder about voter intimidation.

    In 2006, Spitzer got >500,000 MORE votes for Governor, than HRC did for her Senate re-election.

    In both elections, hard to know if it was the Jewish vote, or a coincidence. My protest vote in 2006 was solely because she was a bad Senator, not about Israel.

  13. @Birdalone
    Trump did the required diplomatic thing gracefully and thanked Tricky Hillary, saying we owed her a big debt for her many years of public service.
    But, actually, we do her a debt for one thing. During the nine years she served as U.S. Senator from New York – needing Jewish support, New York having the largest Jewish population in the U.S.* — did introduce Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch** to Congress to testify for the first time.***

    Jewish population in the U.S. – State by State – 1899 to present

    I just googled it and did the math, admittedly not my strong point. But, New York at 19.76 million people and there are 1 million 226 thousand 800 Jews in New York (according to above cited known statistics) so Jews are 15.4874476361 percent of the states population. Most of us vote. A lot of us are interested in and involved in politics, law, finance, media. She was wise to suck up to us even if she was an anti-semite. Principle has never been an obstacle for her. As a progressive she opposed the XL pipeline and then switched her vote when she got a bribe. Likewise, I recall her being supportive of a Chasidic town in upstate NY. Ever the opportunist. But it worked for us here. Thank you Pillary, I mean Hillary.


    ***Senator Hillary Clinton and PMW in joint press conference introducing report on Palestinian schoolbooks

    On the other hand, it explains part of why Liberal Jewish (and non-Jewish) supporters of Israel could have been so bamboozled**** by her on the issue.

    ****bamboozled. That’s a great word. Ain’t that a great word? Only in America!

  14. DJT WILL build a beautiful new embassy in Jerusalem. Best ever Hannukkah gift!

    Last night, I decided that DJT’s 1st foreign trip should be to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, in that order, to listen to what Netanyahu, King Abdullah, and Al-Sisi think is the solution to Syria, and more. In my fantasy, DJT also proposes permanent deployment of USS aircraft carrier to Eastern Med, Haifa?

    Wonderful they notice the hate-filled Palestinian schools/textbooks – an issue that has been ‘banned’ by the O’Democrats (and EU) – you actually can NOT mention that without gasps, and then, being labeled as …

    Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders wants muslim Rep. Keith Ellison as next DNC chair! insert “my eyes are rolling” emoji here.


  15. I would love to know if Trump as a President and smart Businessman will re-evaluate the US financial support of the UN in terms of value for money in view of the fact that the UN spends most of its time drawing up ridiculous resolutions against Israel whilst all but ignoring massive HR violations by numerous other countries.