Donald Trump’s victory

Fredy Winkler

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election came as a complete surprise for many, especially after the media predicted a near-certain win for Hillary Clinton. The world is now closely watching Washington D.C., because no one can really predict how American politics will look under the Trump administration.

The Israeli government in particular has high hopes for the Trump government, especially after the judgment against Israeli settlements by the UN Security Council. The United States, still under Obama, for practically the first time ever, refused to exercise a veto that would have benefitted Israel. Donald Trump has promised that everything will be different under him, but no one really knows what that means. He stated, as have others before him, that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—which is equivalent to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The ones who promised that in the past didn’t end up carrying through on it, for fear of problems with the Arab states and the Palestinians.

He talked about solving the Palestinian problem in terms of a “deal” that he plans to close, but so far, no one knows exactly what that deal might encompass.

Naftali Bennett, a leading minister in the Israeli government, stated that he is open to annexation of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian areas. Israel isn’t going to attempt that though, without the approval of the United States. Thus, the proponents of annexation are watching the new American president, in hopes that under him, “everything will be different” on this issue.

While Israel sets great hopes on the new administration in Washington, many in the Arab world are waiting anxiously to see what changes the new American government will bring for them. The reported special relationship that Donald Trump has with Vladimir Putin and Russia will surely mean that changes are coming in the US’s relationship to the Arab and Islamic world, especially in regard to Syria, Iraq and ISIS. A decisive change in in the handling of the refugee problem is also expected from Donald Trump.

Britain’s exit from the European Union is bringing a similar change to international politics. The new American president strongly favored that exit, while his own campaign slogan was, “Make America Great Again.”

It’s not clear what that slogan might mean for the rest of the world, but it likely means that the main focus of the American government will be on fixing problems in its own country, and not those of the rest of the world.

As far as helping the rest of the world goes, especially when it comes to helping Israel, Trump has stated that more assistance can be expected, but that assistance will come with a price. That means that the USA doesn’t want to pass out gifts anymore; some sort of service will be expected in return. That statement raised some concerns in Israel that, in spite of the almost euphoric hopes, maybe things won’t be quite so rosy for Israel after all under Trump’s government.

The “Brexit” experience and the election of Donald Trump have shown once again that things don’t always turn out in the way that the media and the “opinion-makers” try to convince people, but there is instead a higher power that is controlling the fate of the world and mankind, so that His will is done. An old German aphorism says that “Man thinks, but God steers.”

In the knowledge that God controls the future of this world, even when it so often appears worldly and profane.

News From Israel - 02/2017

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