It would be a mistake to think there is, or will be, smooth sailing between Jerusalem and Trump's new administration in Washington D.C. When Netanyahu meets with the new US president, he will have four pressing concerns.
Why is Trump sending mixed messages about moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Probably because Israel is asking him to take a different approach to regional peace. If so, it is likely Netanyahu is asking Trump to wait. There are bigger issues at stake.
During his first week at work, President Trump has not been idle regarding Israel and the Middle East. He is halting Obama's transfer of $221 million to the PA, working with Putin to oust Iran from Syria, and, in spite of reports to the contrary, still intends to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Apparently, Trump and Putin have done more than greet one another on the phone. According to DEBKAfile, they have struck a deal regarding Syria. Under that deal, Iran and its proxies must depart, leaving the US in charge of security along Syria's border with Israel. On the other hand, it solidifies Russia's presence in the Middle East. Moscow is not about to leave.
Officially, Israel has been in a state of war with Syria since 1948. Regardless, it has provided birthing care to Syrian mothers, provided state-of-the-art surgery for crippled young people, and has rescued at least one Syrian fighter. Now it is giving refugee status to 100 orphans along with a path for permanent residency in the Jewish State.
Israel is preparing to build 2,500 homes in its communites in Judea and Samaria. It also plans a new Palestinian industrial park near Hebron, the ancient capital of King David and burial site of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekkah, Jacob and Leah. The PLO, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, is apoplectic, calling the collective move a "war crime."
Israel is in first place to win Google's $20 million prize for being the first to land a privately funded robotic vehicle on the moon. Israel's craft, designed to hop on the lunar surface, is set for launch before the end of this year. Read about it and see the video here.
Using artificial intelligence, an Israeli company has developed a system to identify antisemitic Internet posts in real time.
"If China is required to play that [global] leadership role, then China will assume its responsibilities." Representing Moscow, another contender for global leadership, Russia Today reports the story.
According to Israel's Minister of Defense, a regional settlement is the only way to for Israel to achieve peace with the Palestinians. His suggestion was that the Trump administration take point to establish a broader plan for Middle East peace.