Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent for the Jerusalem Post newspaper rightly said back in November: “I think if there is any issue on which Trump has actually made his views clear it is Israel. That he intends to be extremely pro Israel.”
“Really good times are ahead for [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and for Israel in general,” he enthused.
Indeed, President-elect Donald Trump is certainly shaping up to be a very powerful and friendly ally of Israel.
In fact, many have said that he is probably the most pro-Israel US President ever in the history of US-Israel relations.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts.
First of all, Trump has said he would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the long disputed city – something former president George W. Bush promised but never actually delivered.
According to the Guardian, Trump advisers say he will follow through on the promise shortly after assuming office on January 20th, 2017.
Israeli government ministers and political figures are pushing the US president-elect, Donald Trump, to quickly fulfill his campaign promise to overturn decades of US foreign policy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv. Their calls came as one of Trump’s advisers on Israel and the Middle East, David Friedman, told the Jerusalem Post that Trump would follow through on his promise. ‘It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it,” Friedman said. ‘We are going to see a very different relationship between America and Israel in a positive way.”
He also said he would “tear up” the multi-lateral Iran deal – a controversial move that would be greatly welcomed by the Israeli government but one that would be extremely difficult to execute in reality.
Earlier this year, while campaigning for the presidency, Trump committed strongly to the defense of the Jewish State and embraced initiatives that could make the well-being of the nation an issue of central focus to his administration.
Those initiatives, according to many close to him, will likely include positions that break from many long-held US stances on Israel, including not viewing the two-state solution as the key to ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
“A two-state solution is not a priority,” his top adviser said.
Then more recently – just two days ago – Trump slammed the Obama administration for its decision not to veto a UN resolution basically declaring Israel’s settlements in disputed territory as illegal, promising that it would be “different” under his presidency.
“As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” Trump tweeted Friday.
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
Trump’s tweet came around an hour after The UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in occupied territories.
It’s not that the US has never had a special relationship with Israel, it’s more the fact that during recent times, such a relationship has been strained by the outgoing Obama administration which has sought – on numerous occasions – to undermine Israel’s sovereignty and dignity through advocating or remaining silent on controversial policies.
For instance, the Obama administrating has demanded territorial concessions to the Hamas-led Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, bluntly snubbed Netanyahu in the White House, brokered the highly debated and deeply unpopular Iran Nuclear Deal and refused to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem – a huge victory for the Palestinian State which lays claim to the Holy City.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has clearly expressed his approval of Trump and vowed to work closely with his incoming administration in glowing words of praise for the New York real estate tycoon shortly after his spectacular election victory over Hillary Clinton.
“President-elect Trump, my friend, congratulations on being elected president of the United States of America,” Netanyahu said. “You are a great friend of Israel. Over the years, you have expressed your support consistently, and I deeply appreciate it. I look forward to working with you to advance security, prosperity and peace.”
Other Israeli leaders followed suit with ynetnews.com reporting:
President Reuven Rivlin also welcomed Trump’s victory. “I would like to congratulates the president-elect, Donald Trump, his family, and the American people as a whole, who have once again proven to the entire world the meaning of being the greatest democracy in the world.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also praised praised Trump as a “devoted supporter of Jerusalem,” adding that he expected the new administration to move the US embassy to the capital.
“I am full of hope for your support for our activities for building in and developing Jerusalem for all her residents, and I invite you to visit the capital of Israel,” Barkat wrote.
Amongst other things, Trump is also very much against ISIS and has vowed to crush them.
Of course we could also start on his inner circle of very pro-Israel advisors, friends and family – including his daughter Ivanka who married New York businessman Jarred Kushner who has a Jewish background.
It’s good to finally see a President who has promised a hardcore pro-Israel stance.
It’s good to finally see someone with a backbone willing to stand up for Israel and its interests.
Now let’s see Trump make good on his promises.
If he is faithful to his word, this will certainly be a very refreshing change and a relief for both Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish people around the world.