Much remains unclear about President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy, and so the two months before his inauguration will be “crucial” as Israel determines how its relationship with the United States will evolve over the next four years, a former Israeli national security advisor told reporters Monday.
Gen. (ret.) Yaacov Amidror praised the wisdom of American electoral system, which will give Trump “two months in which he has to shape his policy. We have the opportunity to see what his policy will be and to influence this policy by meeting people that are part of his system.” Trump’s lack of foreign policy experience did not present a special challenge to the Israeli military establishment, Amidror said. Israeli leaders will continue to communicate with presidential advisers so that the members of the new administration will understand Jerusalem’s needs. “These two months will be crucial to shape the policy from our side and in the U.S.,” he added.
Amidror specified that Israel wants to see a continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding governing military aid, as well as the “very good” cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence communities. Amidror was emphatic that Israel should not ask for changes in the memorandum, but that if the new administration wishes to make favorable changes to the deal, Israel would certainly be receptive.
When asked if Trump’s much-publicized promise to move the American embassy to Jerusalem was good for Israel, Amidror didn’t hesitate. “No question. It will not change anything fundamental on the ground but it would be very symbolic that the capital of Israel is becoming a real capital in which foreign countries are building their embassies,” he said. “It’s very important symbolically.”
Amidror also warned that the Obama administration’s rumored plan to support a United Nations Security Council effort to impose an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would amount to “a huge mistake from the traditional American point of view.” He added that he could not see someone as “wise” as President Obama taking such an action.
A complete recording of the conference call with reporters is embedded below. It was organized by The Israel Project, which publishes The Tower.
[Photo: Harvard University / YouTube ]