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Rosenberg: Israelis 'Cautiously Optimistic' about Trump Victory

12-08-2016
Joel Rosenberg

Best-selling author Joel Rosenberg believes the mood in Israel is upbeat following Donald Trump's surprising victory in the U.S. presidential election.

Rosenberg, a former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, now lives in Israel with his family but is in the United States for a month-long visit.  

The question he says he is asked far more than any other by Americans is, "What do Israelis think about the election of Donald Trump and the transition to a Trump-Pence administration?"

On his Epicenter blog, Rosenberg summarized his analysis of the Israeli reaction.  

He believes the Netanyahu government is "enormously encouraged" by the results, and that optimism is high because "they will have true and dependable friends and allies at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue [in the White House and Congress] beginning on January 20th."

Since he took office in the spring of 2009, Netanyahu has been heavily pressured by the Obama administration, especially in the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Netanyahu denounced as a "terrible deal," potentially deadly for both Israel and the United States.

Rosenberg wrote that Netanyahu addressed a diplomatic conference sponsored by The Jerusalem Post just before Thanksgiving. While the prime minister didn't mention Trump specifically, he described himself as "supremely optimistic" about Israeli's economic and diplomatic environment and the long-term future.

Among Rosenberg's other conclusions: "Israelis were as stunned as the rest of the world by the elections – especially since the media said Hillary Clinton was a 'sure thing.'"  The Israeli public is "steadily warming towards Trump," with a recent poll in The Times of Israel showing that 83 percent of Israelis view Trump as "pro-Israel."

Still, only 3 percent of Israelis believe that Trump will make good on his pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Rosenberg points out that in contrast, the Palestinian leadership is "cautiously pessimistic," fearing that the incoming administration will be "too pro-Israel."

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