Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Global echoes: Trump victory could be green light for more West Bank settlements

Tuesday's election of Donald Trump to the White House is already shifting ground around the globe. In Israel, Trump’s victory is being read as a green-light end to the long-promised two-state solution.  From the Associated Press:

An Israeli Cabinet minister has called for a renewed wave of settlement construction now that President-elect Donald Trump is signaling an end to longstanding White House opposition to the settlements.



Science Minister Ofir Akunis told Army Radio Thursday that, "We need to think how we move forward now when the administration in Washington, the Trump administration and his advisers, are saying that there is no place for a Palestinian state."


Earlier, Jason Greenblatt, one of Trump's advisers on Israel, told Army Radio that Trump doesn't believe settlement activity should be condemned and doesn't view the settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.


Multiple U.S. administrations have condemned any construction on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war — land that Palestinians want for a future state.

Elsewhere, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday he felt sure that America’s next president would honor his country’s pledge to defend the European continent from outside aggressors – namely Russis. Others aren’t so sure. From Reuters:

Trump's suggestion of making the United States' defence of its Western allies conditional was the first time a leading presidential candidate had raised the idea, putting him directly at odds with NATO's 27 other member states.


Diplomats questioned how long NATO's chief would be able to maintain a "business as usual" tone with a new U.S. leader who has expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, condemned by the West for his actions in Ukraine.


"The idea that Trump's presidency is not going to create problems for NATO is delusional," said Dana Allin, a U.S. foreign policy expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).


Elsewhere, we've written of Georgians who

">could be wrapped into the coming Trump administration. Add another one to the list: We're told that Billy Kirkland, a full-blooded Navajo who headed up the John Kasich and Donald Trump campaign here, is being considered for secretary of the interior.


When Barack Obama assumed the presidency in 2009, House Republicans in Washington instituted a lock-down strategy, opposing every initiative that came from the White House. California appears to be doing the same thing today.

California Senate President pro tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, released a statement on Wednesday that includes the following:

Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California…


California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love…


We will be reaching out to federal, state and local officials to evaluate how a Trump Presidency will potentially impact federal funding of ongoing state programs, job-creating investments reliant on foreign trade, and federal enforcement of laws affecting the rights of people living in our state. We will maximize the time during the presidential transition to defend our accomplishments using every tool at our disposal.


Across the country, thousands of protesters flooded city streets Wednesday -- including in downtown Atlanta -- to denounce Trump's presidential win. In Georgia, an event scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday was cancelled due to the "unforeseen size of the gathering," according to its co-organizer. That didn't stop a separate group of protesters for marching from Piedmont Park to Phillips Arena and shouting anti-Trump sentiments.

WSB-TV posted this from the protest:


In case this got lost in the shuffle, mass transit advocates scored their own huge victory on Tuesday when Atlanta residents overwhelmingly supported both a half-penny increase for MARTA and a four-tenths of a penny hike for  transportation improvements.

Fred Hicks, who ran the MARTA expansion campaign in Atlanta, said he saw Tuesday's vote even more difficult than Clayton's 2014 vote to approve a 1-cent sales tax to bring MARTA buses into the county. He aimed to win every city council district and every demographic, and his internal data suggests he did just that - including getting about three-quarters of the vote in DeKalb. You can find the details here.


Nate Silver touches on a city/state divide that has always defined Georgia politics, but is even sharper this year with Hillary Clinton's sweep of core Atlanta counties. From fivethirtyeight.com:

The divide between cultural “elites” in urban coastal cities and the rest of the country is greater than ever. Clinton improved on President Obama’s performance in portions of the country, such as California, Atlanta and the island of Manhattan. But whereas Obama won Iowa by 10 percentage points in 2008, Clinton lost it by 10 points.



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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.