From Sixty Minutes:
Israel’s prime minister welcomes Trump presidencyI’ve always felt that discussions of Trumpism that focus on Putinism as a predecessor and leave out the obvious influence of Netanyahuism on Trump are missing the big picture. In the Toni Morrison sense, Trump will be America’s First Jewish President. Israel has been a quite successful country in the Netanyahu Era going back to the 1990s, and it would hardly be surprising if Trump sees Netanyahu’s nationalism as a model.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells 60 Minutes Israel has never been in a better place; part of his optimism relates to the election of Trump
2016 Dec 11 CORRESPONDENT Lesley Stahl
Benjamin Netanyahu: I know Donald Trump. I know him very well. And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people and about Jewish people. There’s no question about that.
… Lesley Stahl: What about the silver lining? That because of this [Iran] deal, you now have all this– these better relationships with your neighbors.I wrote in Taki’s Magazine back on March 5, 2014 in “An Israel-Russia Alliance?” about the long term trends inclining Israel and Russia toward each other. Here’s the highly speculative conclusion of my essay:
Benjamin Netanyahu: Oh, well, that’s true. I would say- I will say this. The only good thing I can say about the deal with Iran is that it brought the Arab states and Israel closer together. …
It’s the old proverb: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. On a trip to the desert town of Be’er Sheva, he told us there’s been a tectonic shift: it’s been reported that Israel and the Arab world are sharing intelligence.
Benjamin Netanyahu: All I can tell you is that Israel’s position in the Arab world has changed because they no longer see Israel as their enemy, but as their ally, in their indispensable battle against the forces of militant Islam, either those led by Iran, the Shiites, or– and those led by Daesh – by ISIS, the militant Sunnis.
Lesley Stahl: We hear that you have dramatically improved your relationship with Egypt. Is that correct?
Benjamin Netanyahu: Yes.
Lesley Stahl: Jordan?
Benjamin Netanyahu: Yes.
Lesley Stahl: Saudi Arabia?
Benjamin Netanyahu: No comment.
Lesley Stahl: I have to ask you, because it’s the most fascinating of all: Israel and Saudi Arabia. Are you actually developing an anti-Iran alliance in the Middle East?
Benjamin Netanyahu: Doesn’t have to be developed. It’s there anyway.
Israel is developing a whole skein of new alliances, in some cases with countries that have been challenging the U.S. around the world like Russia which has placed its troops in Syria, Israel’s next door neighbor.
Lesley Stahl: How would you describe your relationship with Russia right now?
Benjamin Netanyahu: It’s amicable. But the minute Mr. Putin decided to put his military forces in Syria, I went to see him. And I said, “Look, here’s what I’m doing. I’m not intervening in Syria. But at the same time, if Syria tries to intervene with us, if Iran tries to use Syria to attack us, we’ll stop it.
Lesley Stahl: You’re telling Mr. Putin that you will attack if you’re attacked?
Benjamin Netanyahu: I said, “We should avoid this.” And he said “I agree.” So we coordinated between our militaries because no one wants an inadvertent Israeli-Russian clash.
Lesley Stahl: You have a friendship with Mr. Putin, and a friendship with China. You seem to be inching toward an anti-American bloc.
Benjamin Netanyahu: God, no. Let me tell you something—
Lesley Stahl: Well, talk about that ‘cause I think there’s an impression of that.
Benjamin Netanyahu: That’s a false impression. First of all, there is, there is an irreplaceable ally. It’s called the United States of America.
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but here you are making friends with our adversaries—
Benjamin Netanyahu: So no. You have relations with Russia and you have relations with China. We can have relations, economic relations, trade relations with other countries as you do. Why not?
In the very long run, Russia’s adoption of the nationalist Zionist cause would likely lead the declining fraction of liberal Israelis to turn toward their enlightened cultural cousins, the natural rivals of the Russians, the richest and the most latently powerful country in Europe, the Germans. When the world went to war exactly 100 years ago, liberal Jews largely sympathized with Germany, the home of their ancestral language Yiddish and their enlightened culture.In 2016, we’re starting to see liberal American Jews in the media rally around Merkel as the Last Hope for the Old Order.
Therefore, perhaps, Russia and the Israel nationalist majority will espouse 19th-century Romantic nationalism, while Germany will use late 20th-century European Union postnationalism and their Jewish friends as the mild mask for German domination of Europe.