US President Donald Trump meets with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in March. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump has accomplished more than any American president in history during his first two years in office. One only has to review his actions toward Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to see the progress that has been made during his presidency.
There has never been a prime minister in Israel’s history that has had the relationship with a US president that these two men enjoy. I am well-aware of the tensions that existed between two former leaders – Ronald Reagan and Menachem Begin. When the two men were to meet at the White House, I was with Begin’s senior adviser, Reuven Hecht, at the Waldorf Hotel.
Alexander Haig was so upset, he threatened to resign. A rumor was circulated that Reagan was not going to meet with Begin. I said to Hecht, “Does Ronald Reagan think Menachem is a stubborn Jew whose brain was baked during the Holocaust?” Hecht replied, “He does.”
I asked, “Will they meet privately before the cabinet meeting?” The senior adviser responded that the two men would meet for 15 minutes. I asked him to tell the prime minister to say to the president, “President Reagan, you and I both believe that God has a great plan for our lives and our countries. You and I have both faced death. Mr. President, would you pray today that God’s will be done in our meeting?”
Begin did just that. He later told Hecht that when he asked the president to pray, Reagan began to weep as he prayed. He was so touched by Begin’s humility that he stood with Israel during the meeting. How do I know this? Hecht called me from the White House and told me what had happened. He said to me, “If you repeat it, I will deny it.” These two current leaders are exactly the same – both are world leaders with moral clarity.
President Trump has stood with Israel in a number of ways since taking office. He vowed to move the embassy to Jerusalem. His promise was fulfilled on Monday, May 14, 2018 when he officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital.
After taking office, the president appointed former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley as UN ambassador. She is a strong conservative and a supporter of Israel. In her opening statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2017, Haley said “nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel.” Trump has been America’s greatest voice against UN anti-Israel nations.
Taylor Force, a US Army veteran and graduate of West Point’s US Military Academy who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was in Israel on a school-sponsored trip to study Israeli start-up companies as part of his MBA curriculum. While strolling along the boardwalk in Jaffa, Bashar Massalha, a knife-wielding Palestinian, suddenly began to attack those on the promenade, fatally stabbing Force and wounding 10 others, five critically. Sadly, Force, having safely navigated the dangerous sands of two war-torn countries, would now travel home from the Middle East in a coffin, the victim of a terrorist.
Trump has supported the implementation of the Taylor Force Act. This legislation is designed to end financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority unless or until it halts compensation to terrorists and/or their families. The PA is well known for its Martyrs Fund, money paid to those killed, incapacitated, or jailed as a result of attacks on Israelis. The fund has been labeled “pay for slay,” as fanatics are rewarded for violence. Trump signed the bill into law on March 23, 2018.
Trump reinstated sanctions against Iran, the leading supplier of arms and funds to terrorists globally. He has been working with other nations in the Middle East to establish an alliance with Sunni nations whose leaders were highly skeptical of any plan that would leave Iran with the ability to produce the materials necessary for the production of atomic weapons. In a decade, the Obama deal with the Iranians will have expired, leaving Iran with the existing substructure necessary to produce an atomic bomb. Added to that is the report that the “binding agreement” pushed by the Obama administration was never even signed by the Iranians.
Trump authorized passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA contained $550 million in support for Israel. At the same time, it provisionally halted the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, while supplying the same jets to Israel. Whereas Saudi Arabia was once an enemy and Turkey an ally, times have changed. The Saudis have moved up on the “allies” ladder while Turkey has slipped several rungs.
Trump is one of the most-liked presidents in Israel. He has an excellent working relationship with Netanyahu, and has appointed conservative David Friedman as ambassador. Netanyahu has commended the president for having “changed history” by acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He also applauded Trump for his “robust defense of Israel’s right of self-defense” and for championing Israel at the UN – something few others have been brave enough to do.
These two men are very similar, have the same heroes – Reagan and Winston Churchill – and both see the world in terms of good and evil. Both have faced massive attacks from the liberal Left media. I believe that, as I said at the Jerusalem Post summit, Netanyahu’s legacy could very well be peace between some of the Gulf oil states. Why do I think that might happen? I have been meeting with some of these leaders, and they have told me this. This is something politicians cannot say, but I can. This is happening because of Netanyahu’s anti-terror policy.
Both men have the same desire to build bridges with the Sunni world. They are also on the same page with Iran. Trump has Netanyahu’s confidence, and the chemistry is certainly there.The writer is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author with 89 published books. He is the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem of which the late president Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth head of state, was the chairman. He also serves on the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative.
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