Boycott opponents and embrace your supporters, Binyamin Netanyahu

Trump is inclined to make positive decisions regarding Israel, but unelected Israeli officials could sabotage any positive decision he could make.

Dr. Aviel Sheyin-Stevens,

Aviel Sheyin -Stevens
Aviel Sheyin -Stevens
Credit: INN:AS

The election of Donald Trump upturned everything in the political world. He is the first non-politician without military experience to become president. During his campaign, the elites and the press caricatured him as a loser. He won despite being outspent, out-organized, and without support from his own party or the mainstream media, including the conservative press. Trump is pro-Israel, unlike Barack Obama, his immediate predecessor, who was notoriously hostile to Israel and its elected leaders.

Obama appeased America’s enemies, betrayed its allies, and complacently allowed the rise of ISIS. He orchestrated the treaty of catastrophe that enables Iran, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism, to become a nuclear weapon capable power, allows Iran to reach anywhere in the world with its missiles, and gets the ayatollahs billions of dollars. He surrendered Iraq, in whose cause so many young Americans died, to America’s enemy, Iran. He reoriented America's Middle East policy in favor of the ayatollahs, to make Iran the regional superpower, disadvantaging America’s traditional allies: Israel, Egypt, and the Sunni Arab monarchies.

In 2009, Obama launched his radical foreign policy in Cairo. He denied the 3,500 years of Jewish history in the Land of Israel, and adopted the Islamist propaganda lie that Israel was established because Europe felt guilty about the Holocaust. His administration demanded that Israel should deny its Jewish citizens their civil and property rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, simply because they are Jews. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton offered more of the same. It was not surprising that Americans elected Trump.

American support for Israel is no longer bipartisan. The Democrats do not even try to disguise their disdain for Israel any more. Trump has a pro-Israel team. Vice President Mike Pence is one of the most pro-Israel policy-makers in America. The defense secretary, retired Marine General James Mattis, has an excellent reputation as a brilliant strategist and a sober-minded leader. In 2013, Obama summarily fired Mattis as the head of the U.S. Military’s Central Command, reportedly due to his opposition to Obama’s strategy of embracing Iran through his nuclear diplomacy. Mattis argued that Iran’s nuclear program was not the only threat Iran constituted to the U.S. and its allies, the catastrophic nuclear deal could enable Iran’s rise as a hegemonic power in the Middle East. The national security adviser retired General Mike Flynn, former UN ambassador John Bolton, and Trump’s Israel affairs advisers David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt are all extraordinary champions of the US-Israel alliance.

The pro-Israel friendliness of the Trump administration is even more notable when considered with what Israel could have faced from a Hillary Clinton administration. Hillary is not a friend of Israel. J Street favorite Tim Kaine, who boycotted Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, Huma Abedin, Madeline Albright, Sidney Blumenthal, John Podesta, etc., were on her team. Her cabinet in waiting at the George Soros-funded and Podesta-run Center for American Progress was indifferent to Israel and contained no major advocates of the US-Israel alliance. According to the WikiLeaks publication of Podesta’s emails, like the Judicial Watch publication of her correspondences as secretary of state, her team included many advisers with deep-seated hostility toward Israel.

Trump would relate to Israel as America's most trusted ally in the Middle East. His campaign promise of “America First” could restore America’s reputation as a dependable friend and a ferocious enemy. He is inclined to make positive decisions regarding Israel, but unelected Israeli officials could sabotage any positive decision he could make.


Under the guise of protecting key appointments and decisions from political influence, Israel’s elites have orchestrated a state where appointed officials are only accountable to other appointed officials, judges are only accountable to other judges, and the attorney general is accountable to no one.
The system of parliamentary democracy under which Israelis live is based on the idea that the choice of who governs is not a matter for the people governed, but for unelected officials. The legislature is not sovereign to legislate, and the executive lacks actual control to execute the instructions of the legislature. Under the guise of protecting key appointments and decisions from political influence, Israel’s elites have orchestrated a state where appointed officials are only accountable to other appointed officials, judges are only accountable to other judges, and the attorney general is accountable to no one.

In December 2016, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that the government was boycotting a delegation of visiting European lawmakers because it included a member of Sweden’s rightist Swedish Democrats party. The delegation was in Israel to participate in a leadership summit in Jerusalem. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the Swedish Democrats party “has neo-Nazi tendencies, and therefore the Foreign Ministry decided not to include [its member] in the meeting.” To protest the move, the entire delegation canceled its meeting with the government. Due to its position on the Sweden Democrats, the Foreign Ministry caused Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to cancel her scheduled remarks at the conference. The move was destructive to Israel’s national interests and unjust to the Swedish Democrats.

The Sweden Democrats party is the fastest growing and largest party in Sweden, and it is Sweden’s only pro-Israel political party. It is also the only party that opposed Sweden’s recognition of “Palestine.” The Foreign Ministry’s claim that the party has “neo-Nazi tendencies” is tendentious. In 2016, the party took the extreme step of banning one of its lawmakers from the party after she made an anti-Semitic statement. In the past, it disbanded its youth wing and formed a new one amidst allegations of anti-Semitism.

Generally, Nazi parties do not expel their members or disband their youth wings for hating Jews. The Swedish Democrats identified with the nationalist right, and took an unqualified opposition to immigration. For their opposition to immigration, the Swedish Democrats are castigated continuously as racists by their political rivals, and they are now being castigated by Israeli officials. Moreover, the Swedish Democrats do not participate in anti-Israel demonstrations, unlike members of the Sweden Social Democratic Party, favored by the Israeli elites, that participate in anti-Israel demonstrations where Hamas and Hezbollah flags are prominent. Nevertheless, the Foreign Ministry adopted and implemented a comprehensive, public and undiplomatic boycott of the Swedish Democrats.

As things stand, Israel should boycott its opponents, not its supporters.

In December 2016, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that Israel’s communities in the Territories and significant part of Jerusalem constitute a “flagrant violation” of international law and have “no legal validity,” Resolution 2334. It was adopted under the non-binding Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter; it did not include any coercive measure or sanction. It could do serious permanent damage to Israel because its purport is establishing Israel’s boundaries. It has essentially repealed the iconic Resolution 242, adopted by the Security Council after the 1967 war, which stipulated that in exchange for Arab recognition of Israel’s right to exist in secure and defensible borders, Israel would cede some of the territories it took control over during the war. The assumption being that Israel has a right to hold these areas and ceding some in exchange for peace would constitute a major concession. Benjamin Netanyahu considered Resolution 2334 backstabbing from the Obama administration, which declined to veto it.

The U.S. often uses its veto power to prevent the Security Council from issuing resolutions condemning Israel or Israeli military action. Since 1989, America has dissented against Security Council resolutions on 12 occasions out of 17 total instances when a permanent member vetoed. Only two out of these 12 occasions are related to issues other than the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Under the Reagan administration, the U.S. withdrew from UNESCO, and withheld its dues to encourage the UN to repeal the 1975 General Assembly Resolution 3379, which determined that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination. In 1991, the UN repealed Resolution 3379. Whereas, the Obama administration often threatened withdrawing America’s protection afforded Israel at the UN. In 2009, the Obama administration abstained from Security Council Resolution 1860, which called for a halt to Israel’s military response to Hamas rocket attacks, and the opening of the border crossings into the Gaza Strip.


Netanyahu should immediately arrange and present the U.S. with suitable options to locate its embassy in Jerusalem, and promptly start a nation-wide discussion of what can be done with the Palestinian Authority, Judea and Samaria, the UN and the EU.
Republicans have repeatedly stated that U.S. taxpayer money should not go to an organization that does not promote U.S. interests, including its alliance with Israel. In January 2017, House Republicans prepared legislation that would decrease, and potentially eliminate, U.S. funding to the UN. According to calculations by the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. currently provides over 22 percent of all UN funding.

The bill to cut the funding was introduced shortly after the Security Council voted 14-0 for Resolution 2334. Mike Rogers, Republican from Alabama, introduced a bill in Congress in January 2017 calling for complete U.S. withdrawal from the UN, and for the UN to remove its headquarters from New York. It would also prohibit “the authorization of funds for the US assessed or voluntary contribution to the UN,” which would include any military or peacekeeping expenditure, the use of the U.S. military by the UN, and the loss of “diplomatic immunity for UN officers or employees” on U.S. soil.

Since the Clinton administration, American foreign policy elites have been seeking to cause Israel to sign a deal with the Palestinians. In their view, Israel must surrender control over all or most of Jerusalem and Areas A,B and C (Judea and Samaria), and transfer the areas Jew-free to the Palestinians: ethnic cleansing. This view is hostile to Israel. It places all the responsibility for making peace on Israel and absolved the Palestinians of responsibility for hatred, terrorism, and warfare against Israel.

Trump rejected the moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorists and Israel, which is the premise of the two-state formula. After Resolution 2334, some Republicans in Congress are calling for the U.S. to cancel its recognition of the PLO and end U.S. financial support for the Palestinian Authority.

The root of the controversy on “settlements” and the two-state solution is the fiction that the territory at issue is “occupied Palestinian” land. Trump celebrates Israeli communities in the area. He invited their leaders to attend his inauguration. He would not join the Obama administration, the UN and the EU to criminalize them. Trump could be more pro-Israel than any recent U.S. president and could be the president that moves the U.S. embassy to Israel’s capital. His pledge to move the embassy has been met with mixed reactions from Israeli officials. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer backed it as “a great step for peace” but Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman questioned whether it would be wise for Trump to prioritize moving America’s embassy.

Trump is pragmatic: With him, what you get is often dependent on what can be done. Netanyahu should immediately arrange and present the U.S. with suitable options to locate its embassy in Jerusalem, and promptly start a nation-wide discussion of what can be done with the Palestinian Authority, Judea and Samaria, the UN and the EU.

If Israel could end its recognition of the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. could follow suit. The Palestinian Authority is not interested in making peace with Israel, so Israel should decide the best way to administer Judea and Samaria. Resolution 2334 destroyed the land-for-peace and the two-state solution policies. Since 1967, Israel has used the land-for-peace process as a means to avoid deciding what to do with the post 1967 territories.

Jews should be allowed to build everywhere they have the legal right to build. If the UN says Israel has no rights to Jerusalem, then Israel has no reason to distinguish between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. The Security Council opened the door for UN members to boycott Israel. Thus, Israel should de-internationalize the Palestinian issue, expel the UN and its agencies, end the illegal operations of the EU in the Territories and expel its personnel.

The Trump administration has given Israel opportunities, and Trump has not even started yet. After the UN vote, he wrote the following: ‘As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.’ Just wait until he moves the embassy to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem.

Dr. Sheyin-Stevens is a Registered Patent Attorney based in Florida, USA. He earned his Doctorate in Law from the University of Miami.




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