Israeli voters go to the polls tomorrow, and PM Bibi Netanyahu’s increasingly conservative Likud Party is, once again, on the ballot.
If Bibi wins, it will be his fifth term.
Bibi loves Donald Trump, and the feeling is mutual, partly because one of the few people Trump trusts is Son-in-Law-in-Chief Jared Kushner, a man with no diplomatic experience except for his close personal friendship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), but Trump gave Kushner a portfolio to do most anything, including achieving a reduction in tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. Netanyahu did not like President Obama, and he made that very clear. That’s because President Obama tried to accomplish the increasingly impossible: achieving permanent peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
After Trump gave Netanyahu the gift (to help him win-re-election) of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights (which the international community does not agree with), Bibi, trying to stay in power, now says if he gets to stay, he’s going to annex the West Bank (https://www.npr.org/2019/04/08/709989737/after-a-decade-of-netanyahu-hopes-fade-for-a-palestinian-state). If that happens, you can be sure that it will increase tensions between Trump and all the Arab nations except Saudi Arabia.
So if Israeli voters keep Netanyahu in office, they’ll be voting for a guy who’s been charged with corruption (https://www.npr.org/2019/04/08/710953464/israels-netanyahu-makes-dramatic-campaign-pledge-ahead-of-election).
Seems Bibi and Trump have much in common.
At 5 am today, Trump, revelling in his ability to purge his Department of Homeland Security from top down, including removing “Tex” Alles, the Director of the Secret Service, boarded a noisy helicopter which took him and associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones to Andrews Air Force Base. With them were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kushner. From Andrews, they flew directly to Jerusalem on a Boeiing 737 Max (remember, Trump loves nothing better than taking risks) so Trump can hold a big rally with Netanyahu. Bibi’s in a close race with General “Benny” Gantz, who formed his Israel Resilience Party in December because Gantz knows full well that many Israelis are sick and tired of Bibi’s constant posturing, they don't want a corrupt prime minister, and they’re also very dubious about Trump himself, because they know in their heart of hearts that Trump is extremely dangerous to any reasonable prospect of achieving a reduction of tensions around the world.
“Johanna,” Trump said, in the helicoper, “I have adoring crowds at rallies wherever I go. If I can’t have a rally every two days, I get depressed.”
ASR Jones suggested, impertinently as always, that he see a psychiatrist. That’s when Trump tried to push her out of the helicopter, but burly Pompeo prevented it, though it would have made Kushner happy.
As they arrived at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, with Netanyahu, they encountered a parade led by Gantz.
Immediately, Bibi told his police to tell Gantz to kowtow to Trump, but Gantz declined.