US AND Israel flags displayed in Jerusalem after Washington recognized Jerusalem as the capital..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel shouldn’t have to question America’s commitment to its safety and prosperity.
Americans have long cherished Israel as a key friend and partner in the Middle East. This is due in no small part to Israel’s commitment to religious tolerance, liberal democracy, and protecting human rights and dignity for all. This friendship is shown by the substantial number of Americans who support Israel. Over 70% of Americans have a supportive view of Israel according to a poll commissioned by Gallup.
Indeed, this support from the American people is translating into action by President Donald Trump. The Trump administration has made crystal clear that supporting Israel and strengthening US-Israeli ties remains a vital component of its policy agenda. Nowhere is this commitment better illustrated than with the Trump administration’s decisive action to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering,” noted Trump during the historic announcement. Trump recognizes what he and many others see as an obvious truth: Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel.
Jerusalem has been the seat of nearly the entire Israeli government since the foundation of Israel in 1948. The city itself holds thousands of years of unique Jewish history and religious importance. The United Nations may deny Jerusalem’s significance to the Jewish people, but the American people recognize these fallacies for what they are: blatant lies.
The news of this historic declaration is especially refreshing after the Obama administration tarnished US-Israeli relations throughout its disastrous eight-year tenure. Furthermore, former president Barack Obama embraced a “leading from behind” approach to foreign policy that has had severe consequences for both Israeli and US interests in the region.
The Iran nuclear deal was the pinnacle of Obama’s failed approach. Obama penned the deal despite strong opposition from both major US political parties. Like their elected representatives, American voters rightfully recognize this deal is a winner for Iran and not the US or its allies. According to a poll commissioned by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll, 70% of likely American voters say the Iran deal should be renegotiated.
Beyond merely setting loose terms for the agreement, the Obama administration lifted sanctions allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to flow to the Iranian regime’s coffers. Much of this money has gone to fund radical Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah whose supporters openly parade in the streets chanting “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”
What’s more, Obama delivered a final snub to Israel right before leaving office. With a dramatic change in US policy, the Obama administration refused to veto UN Resolution 2334, which unfairly condemned Israel for settlement construction.
Thankfully Trump is reversing the last eight years and renewing US commitment to Israel’s safety, adding the historic Jerusalem declaration to an extensive list of actions he has already taken to bolster the US-Israeli alliance and halt Iran’s spread of instability and radical Islamic terrorism.
For starters, the Trump administration took decisive action by decertifying the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. This action was met with praise from Prime Minister Netanyahu and other US allies in the region. “The president was very courageous in saying, I’m not going to kick this can down the road, I’m not going to say, ‘well it’s going to be on somebody else’s watch. I’m going to stop this from happening.’ It’s a very brave decision. It’s the right decision for the world,” Netanyahu noted during a recent speech.
The current administration has also acted in combating the spread of Iran’s radical Islamic terrorism throughout broader Middle East. This includes a fresh round of sanctions from the US Treasury Department against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, one of the largest sponsors of state terrorism in the world.
While simultaneously cracking down on Iran, the administration has ramped up pressure on Hezbollah. This includes issuing bounties for Hezbollah leaders while urging Congress to move forward with slapping new sanctions on the terrorist group.
Never has a strong US-Israel relationship been so important as now. Israel faces immense threats from an expanded Iranian presence in Syria, a record number of Hezbollah missiles on its northern border, and renewed rocket attacks on civilians from the Gaza Strip.
Worse, Hamas has called for another intifada and violent clashes have ensued throughout Israel.
The American people remain steadfast in their commitment to Israel despite eight years of rocky relations between Israel and the Obama administration. America will continue to provide Israel with military and humanitarian aid, help combat radical Islamic terrorism in the region, and remain committed to stopping Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The Jerusalem declaration is just the start. Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress will keep putting America and its allies first.
America isn’t going to sit back anymore and watch as enemies harass and threaten one of our greatest allies. Know with assurance, that we’ve got your back again, Israel.The author is a Fellow at America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting key policy initiatives that work for all US citizens put America first.