Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat, joined Arutz Sheva in its new studio in Jerusalem to discuss US-Israel relations past, present, and future.
“I don’t think that we will see uprooting,” he said decisively. “I think that most of the talk of changing the previous administration’s policy is internal to the Democratic party, but the administration hasn’t decided where it wants to go yet.”
“We really need to be asking ourselves, ‘What should we have done differently in the last four years?’” Revivi explained, “We should have prepared differently for the possibility of a change in government. We missed a lot of opportunities.”
The “Deal of the Century,” Revivi believes, represents one such “missed opportunity.” “I was one of those who supported it,” he explained. “But even within the right-wing parties there was too much opposition. The Prime Minister couldn’t muster the backing he needed, and it was eventually taken off the table.”
Revivi explained that the issue of sovereignty fell by the wayside for external political reasons. “The Prime Minister was hoping to get things done before the change of American administrations. He was told explicitly that the American backing for the move was because it was an American interest. The economic interest of improved relations with the Gulf states took precedence for the Americans, and Israel shifted its own priorities to help those deals go forward.”
Revivi thinks it no accident that the next ambassador to Israel has yet to be announced. “They don’t want to put the ambassador out before the policy has been decided. Once they have a plan, we’ll hear who the ambassador is - at the moment, all we know is that they are down to a shortlist of three candidates.”
“I was one of the few people who tried to maintain relationships with both parties,” Revivi added proudly. “It’s already proven very worthwhile - people running for office in the USA are in touch with me, asking me questions, trying to get me to convey messages to the government. We need that dialogue to carry on until they have their vision for the next four years.”
Revivi remains optimistic about the coming years. “Fifty-three years after we returned to Judea and Samaria, we have created a new reality. The Arab countries are starting to understand that instead of changing it, they should work with us, and try to make this new reality a better place for everyone.”