The Jewish people have much to thank President Trump for - opinion

From pleading Israel's case in the United Nations to recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Trump has been a good friend to the Jewish State.

A participant wears a Trump "Make America Great Again" yarmulke as they attend a White House Hanukkah reception where U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on anti-semitism in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. (photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
A participant wears a Trump "Make America Great Again" yarmulke as they attend a White House Hanukkah reception where U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on anti-semitism in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S.
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
As the US elections draw near, any number of Doomsday predictions fill the airwaves. In one scenario, Donald Trump is reelected. But even before the final tally is in, massive riots and looting – some spontaneous, others pre-planned – are launched on American streets. This results in the president invoking a national state of emergency and bringing in troops and tanks, sparking a full-blown race war.
A different scenario has Joe Biden winning the race, which also causes mass demonstrations, this time sparked by radical elements who want to overturn the foundations of American democracy and culture and impose their own “progressive” agenda on the country.
I don’t know what will occur on November 3; the Talmud wisely teaches us that prophecy has been left in the hands of the immature and the foolish. But what I do know is that whatever occurs, I believe the Jewish people must thank President Trump for the many outstanding, historic things he has done in our benefit in the course of his presidency. One of the primary qualities of the Jewish nation is hakarat hatov, the recognition of the good that is bestowed upon us. Even if the bestower is not to our liking, the acts done in our favor must be acknowledged. This is why even Pharaoh – who presided over the enslavement of the Israelites – was accorded honor by Moses and spared the death of the first-born due to the initial benevolence toward us when we first came down to Egypt and dwelt in Goshen as privileged citizens.
Thank you, President Trump, for standing up for Israel and pleading our case in the United Nations. Virtually since its inception, the UN – some prefer to call it the UNAI, the United Nations Against Israel – has obsessively focused on demonizing and denouncing the Jewish state. This has resulted in unending, unchecked slander against Israel, tainting us in the eyes of the world, challenging our legitimacy and fostering a denial of our basic rights in the community of nations. Even the previous Obama administration, in a reprehensible reversal of American policy, refused to veto Resolution 2334, which declared the Old City “Palestinian territory.” But over the last three-plus years, representatives Nikki Haley and Kelly Craft, as directed by the president, have boldly risen in our defense to counter the ugly rhetoric against us. And this has led, finally, to some semblance of decency in the General Assembly.
Thank you, President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving your embassy there. A major element of the Palestinian strategy for eradicating Israel has been its fervent denial of Israel’s connection to this land. Despite all the irrefutable evidence of our ancient presence here, despite the unbroken link of Jerusalem to the Jewish People since the days of King David, there has been an insidious use of the “Big Lie” strategy to deny history and to paint us as interlopers and carpet baggers – a charge that is much more applicable to the Palestinians themselves. By simply stating what is real and self-evident – that Jerusalem is central to Judaism and inextricably bound to our faith – the record has now been indelibly set right for anyone with eyes to see. It reinforces the truth that we are here not because we need a place of refuge or to forestall another Holocaust, but because this is our rightful homeland and heritage.
Thank you, President Trump for signing into law the Taylor Force Act as well as drastically reducing the flow of American money to the corrupt Palestinian Authority, money which was being used to reward Palestinians for perpetrating terrorist acts. This helped to spur our own Israeli government to finally pass a similar law, sending a strong message that “crime does not pay” – at least as far as we can help it.
Thank you, President Trump for standing firm against Iran and spurning the disastrous nuclear deal. Iran is arguably the most evil nation to come on the world scene since the end of World War II. In addition to brutally suppressing its own people, Iran funds global terrorism, works to replace democracies with radical, repressive Islamic theocracies, promotes Holocaust denial and openly calls for genocide against the Jewish state. America, the bastion of freedom and human rights, should be doing everything in its power to disable and degrade this rogue regime. The previous administration showered Iran with tens of billions of dollars – money that was owed to victims of terror and yet was reprehensibly sent on to Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad and used to kill Jews – and promoted a plan that ultimately will give these murderous maniacs a nuclear weapon. Standing alone with Israel against the world, this president has refused to afford any legitimacy or support to the Ayatollahs.
Thank you President Trump for brokering the peace accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, while moderating other Arab governments and urging them to recognize our country. For years, the Palestinians have held the Arab world hostage by making impossible demands, refusing any form of compromise and threatening terror attacks upon anyone who chooses a different path. They are like the neighborhood bully who delights in knocking the ice cream cone out of the others kids’ hands. Well, now the ice cream has been smacked out of their hands, and they are, predictably, whining and screaming because they didn’t get their way. For seven decades, they ignored the dictum, “When you snooze, you lose.” Now, a new path has been laid down, one that rewards diplomacy, flexibility and fairness, and which punishes obstinacy and selfishness. Instead of coddling the corrupt, this president is promoting the peace-seekers, and we are the beneficiaries of this brave new policy.
In addition to President Trump, I would be remiss if I did not also express sincere thanks to the president’s team, which includes Ambassador David Friedman, his senior adviser Aryeh Lightstone and special advisers to the president Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz. They have worked tirelessly – and brilliantly – to put the flesh on the bone and bring these initiatives to fruition. They are truly among the unsung heroes of Am Yisrael.
It is the Jewish way to give credit where credit is due. Indeed the very word for Jew, Yehudi, has at its root todah – thanks. The reality-changing gestures done for our benefit should be seen as much more than political or populist gimmicks; they are priceless gifts that will serve us for generations to come and for which we say, todah.

The writer is director of the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra’anana.
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