Is Trump Forcing Bibi to Build?

In Frontlines, Partnerships by Micha Gefen

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After it was announced today that Israel approved 2,500 homes in Judea and Samaria, Bibi Netanyahu released the following tweet:

“Agreed with Defense Minister on construction of 2,500 housing units in Judea and Samaria. We build and continue to build.”

There is no way to know the actual substance of the call between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump, but one thing is for sure there is an apparent Trump effect.

With the approval announcement already making waves around the world, it is noteworthy that no criticism or even a peep was heard from the United States. Trump’s election is more than an earthquake in the USA, it has changed how Israel relates to itself. Donald Trump is not a man who backs away from statements.  It is not his brand.

Of all the rightwing bonafides of PM Netanyahu, he has never governed Israel with a President that will essentially let Israel be truly independent. Those who know the Prime Minister remark on the extra careful manner Bibi Netanyahu approaches everything.  This approach worked during the Obama years, but Trump is different, very different. It is obvious the Prime Minister and even the Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have yet to truly appreciate that for the first time we may be just left alone to really develop our own future.

The one thing we know is that President Donald Trump likes winners.  He likes those that succeed.  In his mind the more you build the more you are a success. Trump never stayed still and it is why he has defied all odds to become President.  Bibi Netanyahu has been a brilliant tactitician, but there is no reason to play by the old rules anymore, the Donald is here and he wants us to build.


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