Presidential Campaign

It’s morning in Jerusalem: Israel wins big with Trump’s victory

Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu
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Of all the dumb things said about Donald Trump during the campaign, by far the nastiest and most defamatory was that he was an anti-Semite. This meanest of libels would have had us believe that Trump hates his own daughter, who is Jewish, and his three Jewish grandchildren.

Now that he is president-elect, supporters of Israel are looking optimistically toward a renewed American relationship with the Jewish state. 

{mosads}For those of us in the United States who care about Israel and have fought its battles in the public arena, it’s been a miserable few years. The Obama Administration’s naked hostility to Israeli policies left us bruised and always on the defensive.

Yes, President Obama did a lot of good for Israel that should not go unmentioned, including military and financial support. But he also cultivated an air of never-ending hostility with Israel’s leaders and singled Israel out for repeated criticism and pressure while allowing 400,000 innocent Arabs to die in neighboring Syria without lifting a finger. 

A cursory reminder of Obama’s repeated clashes with the Jewish state recalls Obama talking about Israel returning to the suicidal 1967 lines. There was Obama showing Netanyahu out through the back entrance of the White House, the same place he ushered out the Dalai Lama (let’s not offend the all-powerful Chinese).

There was the president’s constant bullying of Netanyahu, including instructing Hillary Clinton to berate the prime minister on phone calls every time a new Jewish apartment was built in east Jerusalem or a settler planted an olive tree in Shiloh. Worst of all, there was the wretched Iran deal that legitimized a genocidal government and gave $150 billion to the world’s foremost sponsor of terror.

Obama’s Iran deal with forever remain a stain on his legacy and the morality of the United States.

On that particular occasion, the president did everything he could to prevent Netanyahu from even making his case to the American people via a Congressional address as to why the deal threatened the survival of his people. When I asked a senior Israeli official whether Netanyahu was staying in Blair House for his address to Congress, he looked at me quizzically like I had lost my mind and said, “Are you kidding.”

Netanyahu stayed in a hotel.

How ironic to reflect on the fact that what Senator Tom Cotton told the Ayatollah Khameini at the time — that the Iran deal can be undone by the next president with the stroke of a pen — may now come true. 

President-elect Trump has vowed to undo the Iran deal. It should be his first order of business. Aside from the obvious threat that Iran poses to the United States, “the Great Satan,” Trump also has a Jewish daughter and three Jewish grandchildren.

Iran is dedicated to the extermination of the Jewish state and its inhabitants. It should be punished rather than rewarded — as President Obama has done by sending Iran planeloads of cash — for contravening the 1948 United Nations Anti-Genocide Charter which expressly forbids genocidal incitement.

Which brings us to the biblical area of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank and the terrorists of Hamas. Recently, I listened to Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress speak about a two-state solution. It was at a dinner honoring Vice President Joe Biden. The official Republican platform passed in Cleveland this year no longer supports a Palestinian state. The reason? It would quickly be overtaken by Hamas, just like Gaza.

Hamas is another genocidal movement which calls for the extermination of all Jews, wherever they are found, including Trump’s family. They are a murderous, blood-thirsty death cult that has destroyed Palestinian life and the Palestinian economy in Gaza. It’s bad enough that they are on Israel’s Western border. But to sandwich Israel between two Hamas states would be suicidal for the Jewish state.

Which leads to Jerusalem.

Tel Aviv is a beautiful city. I have a daughter that lives there. Its beaches are golden. But it’s not Israel’s capital. That would be Jerusalem, one of the world’s most famous, celebrated, and holy cities. Tel Aviv is about a hundred years old. Jerusalem goes back 3000 years to King David.

So what, in God’s name, is the American embassy doing in Tel Aviv?

I have often visited the U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Schapiro — a fine man and a lover of Israel — in his office in Tel Aviv. The Embassy is an ugly building in an otherwise incredible location. It has the greatest view of Tel Aviv beach imaginable. I often joke with the ambassador that he can’t possibly get any work done with such a gorgeous view. But the hills of Jerusalem are even more beautiful.

A president-elect Trump can move the embassy to Jerusalem with a single executive order. The bill has already been passed by Congress. A presidential waiver gives the President the right to make the decision. The U.S. can sell the old, ugly edifice in Tel Aviv for a King’s ransom and build the most beautiful new embassy in Jerusalem, the real estate for which already exists and has been designated.

Finally, on the subject of Israel and the United States it’s worth mentioning an unsung hero of the Trump campaign. Many have focused on Kellyanne Conway for the Trump victory. She deserves enormous credit. Far fewer have honed in on Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, who served as a de-facto campaign manager.

Kushner was arguably his father-in-law’s most trusted advisor throughout the campaign. That he did so by always keeping his head under the radar makes his achievement of helping to steer the candidate to victory all the more laudable.

Kushner occupies a unique place in the Jewish community. He married Ivanka Trump after she had an orthodox conversion to Judaism. Together, the couple lead an orthodox Jewish life, keeping a kosher home and observing the Sabbath.

The scion of a remarkably philanthropic Jewish family, Kushner is devoted with his heart and soul to Israel and the Jewish people.

The Jewish state is fortunate to have someone of his commitment enjoying the full trust of the president-elect of the United States.

After so many bruising years of battles between the pro-Israel community in the United States and the White House, we look forward to a president and an administration that values Israel for what it is: the Middle East’s only democracy, and America’s most trusted ally.

Rabbi Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is founder of The World Values Network and is the international best-selling author of 31 books, including “The Israel Warrior.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


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Tags 2016 presidential election Democrat Party Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Iran Israel Jerusalem Joe Biden Republican Party Tel Aviv Tom Cotton United States Washington D.C.
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