Analysis |

Netanyahu’s Dream Came True Big-time: A Republican President on Steroids

In Donald Trump, the Israeli prime minister gets a U.S. partner who's vulgar, brutal and a bully – the perfect solution for burying the two-state solution.

Yossi Verter
Yossi Verter
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a Likud party meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 30, 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a Likud party meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 30, 2016. Credit: Ronen Zvulun, Reuters
Yossi Verter
Yossi Verter

After Benjamin Netanyahu had already accepted his fate and braced for another four depressing years with a Democratic president – a sharp-minded, experienced woman who doesn’t like him and knows his bag of tricks – his dream came true, big-time. Finally he gets to work with a Republican president, something he has been dreaming about since he began his first term 20 years ago.

This time Netanyahu didn’t get a mainstream sober Republican like the Bushes who could sometimes disappoint him. This is a Republican on steroids. He’s a Republican mutation whose past statements suggest he’ll be the most convenient possible president for the Israeli prime minister scarred by a decade of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The seven and a half lean years of manipulation, quarreling, ambushes and eye-gouging culminating in Netanyahu’s sneaking into the U.S. Congress on the eve of the Iran deal will end in around 70 days. Something new will begin.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking with Donald Trump, September 25, 2016.Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Starting on January 20, Netanyahu’s room for maneuver is expected to expand and get cozier. His detested rival, the man for whose downfall he worked tirelessly in the 2012 election, will leave the White House and be replaced by a man who, to all appearances, is set to be his new best friend. Alongside Vladimir Putin, of course.

How unsurprising that the leaders Netanyahu feels most comfortable with are made of exactly the same stuff as he they’re dogmatic, conservative men; representatives of the old generation whose political and personal style is vulgar, brutal and bullying. Everything Obama wasn’t and Hillary Clinton isn’t.

Their attitude to the media is only a recent example. Putin has been “disappearing” journalists arresting them and sometimes worse. Trump has viciously incited his followers against most of the media in his country and incessantly insulted journalists, all while using them for his needs. Remind you of anyone?

Presumably Trump will be much more “pro-Israel” than Obama. That is, he’ll be more pro-Netanyahu and a supporter of his rightist government.

He’s not expected – unless he totally changes his character – to regularly bicker with the prime minister or send his spokesman to castigate every announcement about new housing units in the West Bank. Nor will he prevent Netanyahu’s right-wing government from implementing its agenda designed to thwart any two-state solution.

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