First-ever office of major US political party opens in Yesha.
“The Republican Party’s Israel branch is slated to open a campaign office in the town of Karnei Shomron in Samaria, the first time a major US political party has ever operated in Judea and Samaria.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, attorney Marc Zell, a representative of the GOP’s Israeli branch, explained the importance of the event and what it means for the 2016 presidential election and the Republican Party.
Zell began by noting that Trump, working together with party activists and after consultations with Zell, had pushed for changes in the GOP’s platform, including explicit opposition to the division of Jerusalem and removal of references to Israel as an “occupier” in Judea and Samaria.
Noting plans for additional offices in Gush Etzion and Beitar Illit in the Judea region, Zell said the changes marked a tremendous accomplishment for the pro-Israel community. Zell added that when questioned regarding Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, Trump responded saying that where Israel chooses to build is an internal Israeli matter, and that the US should not intervene.
“So what we’ve done in Karnei Shomron is perfectly natural,” said Zell, “just as in Gush Etzion and Beitar Illit.”
“Trump calls them as he sees them,” said Zell. “Every time the US interferes – and we saw it with in the Obama administration, which has been the most hostile towards us – was unsuccessful. Israel is here and this is our issue. If we can reach an understanding with the Palestinian, fine, but if we cannot, we will decide, and not the Americans. They don’t dictate to us what to do.”
“I say that, in contrast to all of the traditional wisdom, Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria is not a barrier to peace, rather it is just the opposite.”
Regarding the Republican nominee’s views on Israel and the future of Judea and Samaria, Zell emphasized Trump’s pragmatism in confronting the issue. In contrast to the popular persona projected by the nominee, Zell described Trump as attentive and reticent.
“It interests him a great deal, but his approach is very pragmatic. He doesn’t dictate. He listens. He is especially open to the Israeli view, because we are allies of the US. He said that as well.”
Zell was quick to clarify that he was giving his own personal opinion, and could not speak for the candidate, but noted Trump’s ties to the pro-Israel community.” Read more ..