US President-elect Donald Trump donated $10,000 to Beit El in the West Bank in 2003, according to documents uncovered by The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.A Trump Foundation tax form from 2003 shows Trump gave the sum to American Friends of Beit El. Other Jewish organizations the Trump Foundation donated to that year are UJA-Federation, American Jewish Committee and American Jewish Historical Society.
A decade later, Trump’s choice for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, would become president of the organization, which is the settlement’s fund-raising operation, bringing in about $2 million annually. Friedman is also a columnist for Arutz Sheva who opposes a two-state solution.Former MK Ya’acov “Ketzale” Katz, one of Beit El’s founders, told Ariel Kahane of Galei Israel Radio that Trump gave the donation years ago in Friedman’s honor.Katz recounted that when “Friedman was our guest of honor years ago, the president of the US, I’ll tell you a secret, sent us a donation [to the Beit El Yeshiva] of $10,000. But I didn’t know then that he would be president, otherwise I would have saved the check.”Haaretz reported that Charles and Seryl Kushner, the parents of Trump’s sonin- law and adviser Jared Kushner and themselves billionaire real estate developers, donated $20,000 to Beit El in 2013. Katz said Friedman is a lover of Israel and a Zionist, and that the two of them are “like brothers.”“We’ve spent a lot of hours together, a lot of Shabbats together, him by me and me by him. It’s a friendship of many years that began with his father,” Katz said.As for Trump, Katz was more cautious.“We need a lot of prayers. We used to think [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu would be excellent, and he was the first to adopt Oslo,” the former MK said.Katz is a founding resident of Beit El, managing director of the Arutz Sheva/B’sheva media group and a major fund-raiser for settlement projects. He served as an MK from 2009 until 2013 and was the head of the National Union party.