Martin Oliner, philanthropist, Chairman of Religious Zionists of America, editor of "The Jewish Word", and mayor of the village of Lawrence, spoke to Arutz Sheva on the sidelines of the gathering of the Conference of Presidents in Jerusalem.
Israel, he said, “politically and economically, in every which way, has become the center of the world. The place to go to.”
“I was here 40 years ago when the Sadat treaty was written. No one could have imagined that Egypt would come to the place that it is today, and that we would have such an ally, and it’s also quite obvious that Erdogan and Turkey seek rapprochement with Israel and the world at large,” said Oliner.
He also referred to the attitude of the Obama administration towards Israel and admitted that “America today has left a void. As I look around the area and as we visited different places and heard different people, what becomes crystal clear is that America is just mistaken in its policy.”
America is “not supporting its friends as much as it should, and looking erstwhile to people who have different cultures and not understanding their cultures,” said Oliner.
America is “mistaken” for not giving enough support to Egypt under current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and is “just mistaken in not giving enough support, particularly economic support, to the SIsi government,” he added.
The Obama government has “forgotten that you need to support your allies, you need to support people who are both politically and socially required in order to make sure that a government stands. The Sisi government needs the support of the United States and it’s not forthcoming. There’s more support forthcoming to our enemies like Iran than there is to Egypt.”
Oliner said he believes that the rise of the Donald Trump election campaign was made possible due to the issue of “lack of exceptionalism, the notion that we are not a special country and that we are just ‘another’ country.”
“That could not have happened without a shift to the left of the left by the Obama administration,” he opined.
“The Netanyahu government couldn’t have handled [the relations with Washington] any better. I think they handled it in a very diplomatic and smart way. I don’t think there’s much more that they could be doing,” said Oliner, who pointed out that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned the world against terrorism “and everything he said has come true.”
The void left by the United States has resulted in coalitions between countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Greece, noted Oliner, and even some Arab League nations are now “subtle allies” which no longer view Israel as an enemy.
“I’m not sure a lot of this isn’t going to come out for the better,” he continued. “What we will see, I think, with time, is a weakening of Hamas. There is going to be eventually, in my view, a bend in the way social media works, in the recruitment of terrorists, and I think we’re going to see the world coming together. I don’t think we’ll see the end of the world. We’re going to see a new beginning which will be brighter and shinier, and I think most of the sunshine will be here in Israel.”