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Program Information
Takes on the World
Grant Smith, Director, Inst. for Research" Middle East Policy
 Jeff Blankfort  Contact Contributor
Nov. 23, 2016, 1:39 p.m.
Interviewer Jeff Blankfort
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Smith examines likely developments in Israel-US relations under Trump such as more secrecy, no daylight between the two countries, eliminate waiver problems for Israeli visitors; make no attempt to restart a 'peace process' while endorsing expansion of Jewish settlements. That he will ignore the section of Obama's MOU with Israel which will provide Israel with $38 billion in arms over the next decade that would prevent Israel from asking Congress for more money, suggesting that Pres. Trump will raise the annual figure to from $6 billion to $10 billion.

Domestically, he will make it more difficult for BDS campaigners as many states are already doing whether or not Sessions is confirmed as AG. He will make tax-exempt money transfers to Israel from Jewish charities more opaque even as they are expanding

He thinks that Trump is likely to overturn the Iran nuclear deal as well as recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital which will lock him in with the growing number of Christian evangelicals ignoring criticism from US allies.

He cites poll that indicates positions of Republicans toward aid to Israel significantly different than that of Democrats with Repubs supporting more aid and Democrats less.

In discussion of Israel's influence in states and cities, he mentions the role of Jewish Community Relations Councils within Jewish federations that actively lobby local and state politicians to take actions or pass bills on Israel's behalf and how major Jewish organizations augment the work of their counterparts in the federal government, such as the ADL which has become intertwined with the FBI and the American Jewish Congress, the Lobby's foreign policy arm with the State Dept.

He closes by recalling that not only was Nov. 22, the anniversary of JFK's assassination but that a year and a day before, Nov. 21, 1962, Attorney General Bobby Kennedy had directed the American Zionist Council, the mother ship of AIPAC, to register as a foreign agent. (For the next year the AZC's lawyers used one delay after another to prevent that happening. The events of the Nov. 22, 1963, would make sure that order did not have to be carried out.)

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