There is no question that President Trump has been a stalwart supporter of the state of Israel. No matter one’s views of his style, his tweets or any other shortcomings many will point to, his substantive policy positions on Israel have been remarkable. These include but are not limited, to having moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Closing the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office down in Washington DC. Recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights; and so much more.
When one looks at the decision President Trump made to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for example, it is impossible not to recognize the magnitude of that decision. The decision was far from merely a symbolic one. The message that Trump sent wittingly or not by doing it , was that Jerusalem is to be the eternal and undivided capital of the State of Israel.
The idea that the United States, the world’s superpower has officially endorsed this position is a major breakthrough for the state of Israel. It sent shockwaves around the world and in the United Nations. In fact, it has even led to some other countries following suit moving their own embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And others now feel the pressure applied on them to do the same, in the interest of currying favor with the President of the United States and his administration.
The courage that making such a decision required was not minimal. We’ve had President after President promise the Jewish people and the broader pro-Israel community, election-cycle after election-cycle, that they would be the ones to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, not a single one carried out their promise. Not a single one executed on their commitment. As inexcusable as making these false and hollow promises might seem, it’s also understandable.
Israel is unpopular in not only the Middle East, but also in Europe. America has been under pressure for years for its support of Israel to begin with. By expressing support and moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and establishing the US position as proclaiming Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital, each of Trump’s predecessors knew full well what the consequences would be.
Perhaps they feared that they themselves would become social pariahs on the world stage as a consequence of committing themselves to such a decision. Regardless, every member of the pro-Israel community should be unequivocally indebted to President Trump for the courage he exhibited by following through on his commitment to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Unfortunately however, in the months since, and in no small part due to the polarization of our nation’s political climate, we’ve seen a situation where Israel has increasingly become a partisan issue. This is a very negative development that should be a source of concern for anyone who cares deeply about Israel’s security and the unshakable bond between Israel and the United States.
The reality is, those in the Jewish community, whether Trump supporters or Trump haters should be weary of this development which only seems to be gaining momentum in recent weeks and months. The emergence of members of the Democrat Party who have staked out virulent anti-Israel positions with little condemnation from their Democratic colleagues is very worrisome. Let’s do our best to focus on keeping Israel a bi-partisan issue. That’s where our energies would be most constructively spent, at the moment. The greater this fissure becomes, the worse off Israel will be.