Ran Bar Yoshafat

A statement of ‘Thank You!’ is needed

We in Israel can only hope that whoever heads the strongest power in the world will always see Israel on a positive note, but for the meantime we should thank the most Pro-Israel President in history

On November 3 I believe that Americans will cast their votes based on what is good for America. That includes American Jews, who may or may not have Israel’s interest at heart. For the American people, I can only wish for the best man to win and for the political divide in America to be resolved. Currently this great nation is in a very harsh place where anger and even hatred separate its two major political parties.

The President sitting in the White House greatly affects the lives of Israelis. Historically there has been widespread American support for Israel. This can be seen in the money that is invested in Israel as well as in the positive statements coming from different representatives of the US Congress. For these reasons some might think that it does not matter whether one president or another is elected.

Unfortunately this is not the case. The United States has an impact on the security, economy, diplomatic relations, and international status of the State of Israel. If Trump fails to win the upcoming election, it is the platform of the Far Left Democratic Party and “the Squad” that Israel needs to fear, and not Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, both of whom have aligned themselves as Israel supporters. While many American Jews, however, feel that “Tikun Olan” (fixing the world) is the greatest value, I believe that gratefulness is more important. A proper thank you from an Israeli citizen is the minimum I can offer.

Under President Trump’s current administration, the United States has assisted Israel in a number of significant ways. Here are just a few examples:

Recognition of the Golan Heights: The Golan Heights Law 1981 states that Israeli law applies to the Golan Heights, but the rest of the world continued to see the Golan Heights as a territory not belonging to the State of Israel. The United States’ recognition, if not changed in the next administration, has economic and security implications. Production and export of Israeli good is at stake in case the next administration takes on a different path.

Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocation of the embassy: As early as 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem no later than 1999. All presidents of the United States have signed a waiver delaying the issue. This is how we advanced to 2017, when for the first time an American president did not sign the waiver and the embassy was moved. Following this relocation, a number of other countries have stated that they, too, will move their embassies to Jerusalem. Guatemala moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018. These actions are not only symbolic statements, but they remove from the public agenda thoughts of painful concessions that most of the public, including the political left, are unwilling to accept.

Not allowing an Iranian nuclear program: The nuclear agreement posed a grave danger to the existence of the State of Israel. The agreement of the previous administration did not do nearly enough to prevent Iran from advancing towards a nuclear bomb. The current administration ended its participation in the Iran Nuclear Deal and then imposed significant sanctions on Iran.

Appointment of a pro-Israel Ambassador at the UN: Nikki Haley was, without a doubt, one of the most important supporters Israel has ever known at the UN. Haley was the first to vote against a condemnation proposal regarding Israeli control of the Golan Heights. Over the years the United States has chosen to abstain from such votes. In June 2018, the United States announced its resignation from the UN Human Rights Council due to the Council’s incessant bias against Israel. The United States also cut UNRWA and PA budgets. These funds were used to damage Israel’s reputation, encourage terrorism, and even pay salaries to terrorists.

Abrahamic Agreements: Establishment of normalization in relations between Israel and a number of Arab states, created under the current administration. In a historic peace agreement the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and now Sudan are the first Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel in over twenty-five years. It is possible that, going forward, more countries including Saudi Arabia will follow. These peace agreements have enormous implications for both the Israeli economy and its security.

Changing attitudes regarding the legal status of settlements in Judea and Samaria: The Pompeo Declaration which clarifies that Jews have a legal right to live in Judea and Samaria can be a prelude to a change in world public opinion regarding Judea and Samaria, making the application of sovereignty a relatively easy process. Measures such as imposing economic and security sanctions or failing to assist in UN voting may be necessary to affect change and move towards sovereignty.

The United States’ attitude towards Turkey, Russia, Syria, North Korea and various countries also affects Israel’s security. All of these actions are just a few examples of the amazing things President Trump has done for Israel. We in Israel can only hope that whoever heads the strongest power in the world will always see Israel on a positive note. The phenomena of Israelis caring so much for Trump, some even viewing him as their own President, may not be something we will ever see again.

About the Author
Attorney Ran Bar-Yoshafat is an author, international speak, PhD candidate in American Jewish History.
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