Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone is senior advisor to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman
What are your impressions of CPAC?
What a great organization. The energy here is palpable. Any time you can get young people involved with democracy and policy is better than them sitting at home and playing on an Xbox. It’s great to see young Americans getting excited about their government.
It seems like a very Israel- and Jewish-friendly environment.
I just said [in a panel discussion] that if you love America, you probably love Israel. I think the two are linked in a meaningful way. It’s not a Republican value and it’s not a Democratic value and it’s not even a religious value.
If you are a thinking person, it’s very difficult not to think that this country that we’re in right now, the United States of America, isn’t a light unto the rest of the world. And if you don’t see Israel running immediately behind, you’re just not looking carefully enough.
Reports say a US delegation recently traveled to Israel to work with the government on annexation plans. Can you tell me anything about that?
The Trump vision for peace involves a lot of different components, one of which is the mapping process. There’s constant communication between the US and Israel about loads of issues, and mapping has certainly been one of them.
The key here right now is Israel’s election. They have to hopefully form a government, and I anticipate that we’ll hear back from the committee in a couple weeks and see where they’re at. It’s a chance to look at things anew and [ask] how do you secure Israel, and how do you make the region a stronger and safer place. And it’s exciting to be able to talk about that in a forward-thinking process.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 801)
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