U.S. President Donald Trump once said, "If I ran in the Israeli elections, I would win 98 percent of the vote." These words very explicitly reveal the relationship between Trump and the Netanyahu administration. Trump is acting as if he was elected to serve Israel, not the American people. He did whatever was necessary to get Netanyahu voted in in Israel’s elections, which are going to take place today. Finally, by recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the “Golan Heights,” he strengthened Netanyahu’s hand.
It was obvious that after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and its annexation over Golan, the next was the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu, who was encouraged by the Trump administration, declared that Israel was going to annex West Bank after elections. During the Trump administration, the number of Jewish settlements in the West Bank has also dramatically increased. Israel has done all this while Trump had been preparing a so-called peace plan. Netanyahu seems confident that Trump’s peace plan is nothing to be worried about- at least on the part of Israel. Trump, at every opportunity, proves Netanyahu right. That is why Netanyahu feels he has the upper hand.
On Saturday, Trump praised Israel during the “Annual Leadership Meeting” held by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) in Las Vegas. The meeting took place in the hotel of billionaire and casino-owner Sheldon Adelson, who is one of the prominent donors of the Republican Party and the RJC. Adelson donated 130 million dollars to the Republican Party in total both during Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and during the midterm elections of 2018. Adelson was the name behind Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Besides the Adelson family, Trump also praised senators working for the interests of Israel, such as Lindsey Graham and Kevin Cramer. By stating that the Democrats have become an “anti-Jewish” party, he demanded the full support of the American Jews. He also mocked Democrat representative Ilhan Omar who was declared as “anti-Semitic” because she criticized the Israel Lobby. Trump did this while someone who threatened to murder Omar was under arrest.
The RJC is planning to spend 10 million dollars to make sure that American Jews are going to vote for Trump in 2020. Trump’s team is also trying to pressure Jewish billionaires who are donors of the Democrats, to make out their donations to the Republicans instead. Trump was able to get only a quarter of the votes of American Jews, who make up 2 percent of the U.S.’s population, in the elections. The Republicans think that, in some states even a small portion of Jewish votes are going to have a direct impact on the election results. That is why they see the RJC’s contribution as very significant. However, the Jews supporting the Democrats are not just standing idly by.
The American Jews denouncing the Trump administration for becoming almost representatives of the Netanyahu government in the U.S. are also reacting against the RJC. Jewish youngsters immediately unfurled banners right after Trump opened his mouth and protested the occupation of Palestine and White Supremacy. Young Jewish members of the “If Not Now” movement, called on Jews not to support the RJC, Trump or Netanyahu.
The “If Not Now” movement, which was organized by young American Jews coordinates demonstrations and defends the rights of the Palestinians. If Not Now argues that Netanyahu and Trump’s policies are putting the security of Jews across the world in danger. The Republicans, on the other hand, are trying to keep young Jews away from the Democrats. To this end, they even established the “Jexodus” group.
“Jexodus” is inspired by Candace Owens’ “Blexit” campaign, which aimed to convince Black Americans to leave the Democrat party. The inspiration of “Blexit” on the other hand was the “Brexit” movement initiated by Nigel Farage for Britain to leave the European Union. The Jexodus and “Blexit” were initiated for the confrontation between Republicans and Democrats that is going to take place in 2020. Both movements are planning to gain something from the Democrats in the elections.