By BB Portnoy
President-elect Donald Trump “believes strongly in Jewish values and he’s a man who believes strongly in Israel,” a prominent American Jewish leader said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show on Wednesday.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder — who has known Trump since they both studied at the University of Pennyslvania’s Wharton School of Business five decades ago – noted, “I was shocked during the time of the election, when people were talking about him [Trump] being antisemitic. There’s not an antisemitic bone in his body.”
Trump’s political opponents, Lauder stated, “wanted to make [him] something he wasn’t.”
Furthermore, Lauder said, Trump is “a man who, I must tell you, the people in Israel will appreciate…in the Middle East, he’s respected.”
Referring to Trump’s nomination of David Friedman to serve as the next US ambassador to Israel, Lauder — who was America’s envoy to Austria for a year and a half during the second Ronald Reagan administration — predicted the 57-year-old attorney from Long Island will be “very, very good for Israel.”
“But the fact is,” Lauder added, “the president makes the policy; the ambassador just carries it out.”
Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lauder pointed out that past US presidents who have tried to broker a peace agreement did not have the experience of “how to make a deal” that Trump does.
“If anyone has a chance, it’s him,” Lauder said.
As reported by The Algemeiner, Trump said last month that he would “love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians.”
“That would be such a great achievement,” Trump was quoted as saying during a meeting with New York Times representatives at the newspaper’s Manhattan headquarters.
Furthermore, according to the New York Times, Trump suggested his Jewish son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, could forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
Also, in a post-election interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “the war that never ends.”
“That’s the ultimate deal,” Trump said. “As a deal-maker, I’d like to do…the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”
In an interview with The Algemeiner a week before the election, Friedman said a Trump administration would not “put its finger on the scale and try to force Israel into a particular outcome, but rather will support Israel in reaching its own conclusion about how to best achieve peace with its neighbors.”
(c) 2016 The Algemeiner Journal