Only days before he officially takes office, US President-elect Donald Trump continues to be at the center of several highly publicized confrontations, including matters that directly affect Israel.
On several fronts, he is already made decision about how to proceed.
In an interview with The Times of London on Sunday, he addressed one of those decisions, saying he would appoint his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to broker a Middle East peace deal.
He also urged Britain to veto any new UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel.
As for Iran, he has openly outgoing US President Barack Obama for his handling of the Iran nuclear deal.
On the same day, Trump's Vice President-elect, Gov. Mike Pence, came to his defense in a series of interviews with the American press.
Regarding Russia, Pence denied any connection between the Republican campaign for President and Moscow, and called on Americans to unite behind Trump.
In an interview with CBS, he was asked if anyone from the Trump campaign was ever in touch with the Russian government.
"Of course not," he replied. "I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy."
Pence said Trump would "welcome" Congress' decision to look into Russian interference in the election, but stressed that it would not change the ultimate results.
"We look forward to the results of their inquiry," he said. "But make no mistake about it: I think they'll find what the publicly released intelligence report showed before, that there's no evidence of any impact on voting machines."
Pence also addressed recent reports that Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser, has spoken several times with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in recent weeks.
According to Pence, Flynn has been in touch with diplomatic leaders in some 30 countries, and "that's exactly what the incoming national security adviser should do," he said.
Another area that affects the Middle East is the growing tension between Trump and US intelligence agencies.
On Sunday, outgoing CIA chief John Brennan said he took "great umbrage" at Trump's "outrageous" comparison of the US intelligence establishment to Nazi Germany -- presumably, for leaking the content of an opposition research dossier on him.
In an interview to Fox News, Brennan said, "Now he's going to have the opportunity to do something for national security, as opposed to talking and tweeting; he's going to have tremendous responsibility to make sure that U.S. national security interests are protected and are advanced."
Meanwhile, preparations for Friday's inauguration are underway, and a mere five days before stepping into the Oval Office, Trump tweeted that the event is "turning out to be even bigger than expected."
If estimates are correct, one way it will be bigger is that it will be protested by one of the largest demonstrations in US history. The so-called "Million Women March," will be held in Washington Saturday, one day after Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.
Because it is significantly edited, Brian Schrauger is listed as the co-author of this article. The original report, published by Israel Hayom, is here: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=39609