Quarterly Updates for (16 Nov 2016 — 15 Feb 2017)

In his alacrity to build a positive relationship with the new U.S. pres., Netanyahu sparked a minor diplomatic crisis with Mexico. In reference to Trump’s loudly proclaimed intention to build a wall along the border with Mexico, on 1/28, the Israeli PM tweeted, “Pres. Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s s. border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.” The Foreign Ministry in Mexico City then summoned (1/30) the Israeli amb. for questioning, and Secy. of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso called (1/30) on Netanyahu to retract his tweet. Netanyahu clarified (1/31) his comments the next day, saying, “I did point out the remarkable success of Israel’s security fence. But I did not comment about U.S.-Mexico relations.” Later, after Israeli pres. Rivlin spoke with Pres. Peña Nieto by telephone, a Mexican official said (1/31) that Mexico considered the crisis over.

Also of note: Israel’s Magal Security Systems sent a delegation to Washington in late 1/2017 to lobby for the contract to build Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.- Mexico border. The company’s share price had increased by nearly 50% since Trump’s election, in part because of Magal’s role in building Israel’s barrier around the Gaza Strip.