Lately there have been a slew of articles in the English language Israeli press by Democrat operatives claiming that it is not in the interest of American-Israelis to vote for President Trump One such example is a recent Jerusalem Post opinion piece entitled “Trump’s record on Israel is not as people tend to think”. This and similar articles attempt to denigrate President Trump’s obvious support for Israel and achievements in the Middle East, obligating me to offer this rebuttal. For the record, I am not a political operative of any party, but someone who cares deeply about Israel.
Like most Israelis, American-Israelis, are understandably thrilled with President Trump’s recognition of the right of Israelis to live anywhere in the Land of Israel, recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem and his moving the American Embassy there. As important and symbolic as these long overdue moves were there are even deeper reasons why the great majority of American Israels will vote for President Trump. These have to do with his cutting the Gordian knot on a number of long standing Middle Eastern problems by rethinking decades of conventional wisdom, and failed U.S. policy in the Middle East. Specifically:
The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been implacably hostile to Israel and the U.S. since 1979 with the Islamic Revolution and take-over of the American Embassy in Tehran. Iranian aggression against its neighbors, the creation and arming of Hezbollah, and the goal of destroying Israel, likewise predate the Trump administration by decades.
The Obama administration pursued advisor Ben Rhodes’s dangerously naive policy of trying to appease Iran by shipping them 1.8 billion dollars in cash and agreeing to legitimize their nuclear program. They imagined they could make the religious fanatics who rule Iran into allies and a counterweight to ISIS and the radical Sunnis, as if Shiite fanatics are somehow preferable to Sunni fanatics.[i] While Secretary of State Kerry showed great deference to the Ayatollahs, Democrats boycotted the speech to Congress of Benjamin Netanyahu, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Israel, in which he explained the perils of their Iranian policy.[ii] Until this day Democrats, like the author of the above mentioned article, support the Iran nuclear deal. They imagine they understand the Middle East better than Israelis who, facing the dire consequences of a nuclear Iran, oppose the deal across the political spectrum.[iii] Should it come to war most every Israeli believes that Trump will have their back while the Democrats cannot be counted on.
President Trump is not impressed with Washington insiders like Ben Rhodes and their 70 years of failed Middle East Policy based on appeasement of radical regimes including Iran and the Palestinians.[iv] Trump immediately rejected their land-for-peace mantra and stopped paying regimes that supported terror like the Palestinian Authority and Pakistan. He withdrew from the dangerous Iran nuclear agreement and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran. President Trump then ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, chief architect and executioner of Iran’s anti-American, anti-Israel policies, a tremendous blow to Iran’s plans both from a practical and psychological point of view.
While the evil designs of the Iranian regime remain in place, their ability to carry them out has been curtailed by President Trump’s policies. Trump’s economic sanctions have had such a dire effect on the Iranian economy that they no longer pay Hezbollah’s salaries. Ultimately, however, only regime change will end the Iranian threat.[v]
President Trump has also worked to isolate Iran in the region. To this end he encouraged Arab states opposed to Iran, and already quietly working with Israel, to do so openly, resulting in real peace agreements. Contrary to the above article’s assertions, these agreements represent real peace and have the warm, enthusiastic support not only of the governments, but of the people. This is quite different from the failed Oslo accords in which Israel was pressured to give up strategic territory to an unrepentant Palestinian enemy while receiving only terror in return.
ISIS rose to state power in the wake of Obama’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq against the advice of all his military advisors. ISIS quickly filled the vacuum, created an Islamic terrorist state across Syria and Iraq, and began a savage campaign of terror throughout the world. Obama did nothing in response other than give speeches in Cairo and Istanbul apologizing for America.
President Trump, by contrast, gave the army free reign to destroy the ISIS caliphate. This they did in only 6 months, with virtually no loss of American lives or treasure, a brilliant, significant victory in the war on terror the author fails to mention.
I concede that Trump’s policy towards Turkey, especially the abandonment of the Kurds, was mistaken. It took President Trump too long to realize that although a member of NATO, Turkey is not in fact our ally, and that President Erdogan is a hostile, power-mad, megalomaniac and perhaps even insane.[vi] It must be noted however, that the Trump administration recently reversed its policy on Turkey. President Trump stopped the sale of Patriot missiles and F-35s and imposed sanctions on Turkey, and supports a coalition of Egypt, Israel, Greece, UAE, and France opposing Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Russia and Syria
Contrary to the author’s claims, and Democrat party propaganda, President Trump has been far harsher on Russia than was the Obama administration. Obama threatened Russia’s Syrian allies if they used chemical weapons on civilians, then did nothing when they did. Trump twice bombed the Syrian Air Force following their use of chemical weapons, killed 1,000 Russian contractors in Syria, and imposed economic sanctions on Russia. He has also supplied weapons to Ukraine which the Obama administration refused to provide.
Trump’s policy towards U.S. enemies and allies.
Again, contrary to the author’s assertion, President Trump’s entire foreign policy is based on supporting the United States’ real allies and standing up to her enemies. By allies I count countries like Israel, Greece, Poland, The U.K., Japan, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan and Canada, who share our democratic values and appreciate and reciprocate our help. I do not mean Iran, Pakistan, and the Palestinians whom the previous administration coddled. Nor can we consider the EU real allies as we receive nothing in return from them but ingratitude. They are never there when we need them, and don’t pay their NATO obligations. Germany for example, buys gas from Russia rather than the U.S. then condemns Trump for withdrawing American troops whom they feel are needed to protect them, against Russia! They are worthless as allies and will not defend themselves, much less U.S. interests.
By enemies I mean China in particular, to which Trump alone has stood up to, and not Israel which Democrat administrations from Carter to Obama bullied and treated like a pariah. As for Biden: he is a life-long politician who only talks but has never achieved anything and will never do anything other than advance his career and enrich himself at the public’s expense.
October 20, 2020