Since 1948, the state of Israel has seen friendly presidents of the United States as well as unfriendly, but today, Israel’s greatest friend sits in the White House.
Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has achieved more for Israel and the Jewish people than any other president before him, even rivaling Harry Truman, who voted in favor of and later recognized the Jewish state. The list of accomplishments President Trump and his administration have produced in the Middle East are extraordinary and they still have their foot on the gas, with the economic plan of the “deal of the century” being presented later this month in Bahrain.
On the first day of President Trump’s presidency, he proved to be a “Friend of Zion” by appointing an honorable, principled ambassador to Israel: David M. Friedman. As I said at the Friends of Zion Annual Night of Heroes, David Friedman is an ambassador who won’t back down and has never backed down. The appointments of Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and Special Representative Jason Greenblatt to work out the Middle East peace plan were major indicators as well that this president was different than previous ones.
In 1995, the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed, though no previous president has implemented it, instead signing a waiver every six months to delay the move. While the American people have heard dozens of presidential candidates promise to complete the move, only one kept his word. Under President Trump, the United States of America recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and boldly moved its embassy there.
The actions taken by this president, not just to show his love for Israel but to defend her, have been astounding. When asked what he would do if the United Nations tried to force an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, he courageously stated: “When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the U.N. to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.”
Another example of this administration’s defense of the state of Israel came from the closing of the PLO Mission in Washington and the successful legislation of the Taylor Force Act, both of which pressure the Palestinian Authority to stop their “pay for slay” policy where they pay terrorists and their families for the murder of innocent Israelis.
Before President Trump, when the regime in Iran chanted “death to Israel, death to America, curse the Jews,” the White House was silent. This president has stood up to the mullahs, taking the United States out of the enabling Iran nuclear deal and imposing tight sanctions to squeeze them. Iran’s dangerous influence on the region created an opportunity, which the Trump administration has fostered: an anti-Iran Sunni alliance. The relations between Israel and the Arab Gulf have never been better, and President Trump is to thank for it!
Most recently, the United States recognized the Golan Heights as part of the state of Israel. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, following the defensive capture of the Golan Heights from Syria when Arab countries waged a war of aggression aimed to destroy the Jewish state in the 1967 Six Day War. The Golan Heights not only holds a strategic advantage in the region, but is deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian history. This was a profound move made by Israel’s great friend, President Donald Trump.
As much as President Trump has done for the state of Israel and the Israeli people, he has also been a friend of American Jews, a fact that seems to go in one ear and out the other. After the malicious, anti-Semitic attack at the Chabad of Poway near San Diego, the president went out of his way to comfort and build a relationship with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. I met Rabbi Goldstein at the White House Commemoration, where the rabbi called President Trump a “mensch par excellence,” a title that shows the honor and integrity this president carries with every decision he makes.
Thank you, President Trump, for being a true friend of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.