Wednesday, January 18, 2017

'Will Trump be good for Israel? It depends on Netanyahu'

Chairman of Likud National Headquarters Shevach Stern is not concerned about possible damage from the investigation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and is convinced that should Netanyahu be forced to resign, a replacement will be found.

"There is a lot of background noise and a lot of deliberate leaks," Stern told Arutz Sheva, "What is true in the leaks, none of us know; things will become clear only after the investigation.

"In the Netanyahu-Mozes investigation a molehill was born of a mountain in terms of criminal suspicion against the Prime Minister. There is no doubt that the transcript was discovered in its full ugliness and ignominy. Also about the other matter, things are unclear and we need to wait."

Stern hopes that Trump's inauguration will bring changes both in the statements of the Israeli government and the one who stands at its head. "The masquerade party is about to end this weekend, and Trump's statements and appointments indicate a change for the better - the question is what will be Israel's position? Because if the Prime Minister continues talking about the vision of two-states for two nations, which has become a theoretical vision only, then surely our situation will be worse."

He estimates that the Prime Minister will honor the agreement with the residents of Amona. "The Amona solution exists in the legal realm, now there needs to be an auction of absentee land to be transferred for the buildings of Amona. The Prime Minister's office wants to end the affair under the agreement signed with the residents and I do not detect an intention to change that position."

Shevach Stern does not estimate that Israel will be headed to elections soon. "Someone might want to create such an atmosphere, but even if Netanyahu decides to resign because of the investigations or for other reasons, I do not think we will go to elections, I do not think anyone has an interest in this; Kahlon has no great list of achievements, and the haredim do not want to see Lapid with twenty-some seats."

He said that when the day comes, a replacement will even be found for Netanyahu: "Without naming names - nobody's irreplaceable. Some may already be preparing but I hope this stint will end in its time. According to what we see now we are not going to elections but we must remember that there were leaders in the Likud who went, like Begin, Shamir, and Sharon, and replacements were found."