President Donald Trump, in a widely televised joint press conference with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, signed a proclamation recognizing the Jewish state’s rights to Golan Heights.
It’s a slam dunk of pro-Israel messaging. This is about as significant on the international scale as when Trump bucked the United Nations’ tide and formally declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
In other words: What a tremendous move — a historic move. And moreover, a move that’s sure to anger the pro-Palestinian segments of the world, some of which have been making a mainstream slip into American politics. Can you say Rep. Ilhan Omar?
Trump, in brief remarks, spoke of the Iranian and Syrian terror forces who’ve been launching rocket attacks against Israel with alarming frequency — the latest of which, from Gaza by Hamas, occurred this past weekend, resulting in the injury of seven Jewish civilians, including children. And then he said this: “The unbreakable alliance between the United States and Israel has never been stronger. … We will confront the poison of anti-Semitism through our words and perhaps more importantly, our actions.”
Trump referred to America’s recognition of Israel’s right to take both defensive and, if needed, even offensive action to protect its borders — and said the United States stood ready at the helm, prepared to protect and move similarly.
“Israel,” he said, “is an inspiration, a trusted ally and a cherished friend. The United States will always stay by its side.”
Netanyahu, responding, addressed Trump as “dear friend, Donald.”
In a series of brief statements, Netanyahu also listed the many times Trump has “said it” then “did it” — first by pulling out of the Iran nuclear treaty, then by restoring sanctions on known sponsors of terror, and then by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Israel has never had a better friend than you,” Netanyahu said, explaining how the Jewish nation won the Golan Heights in “just” wars of self-defense against Syria, Jordan and Egypt in 1967 and against Egypt and Syria in 1973, but was never able to turn those military successes into diplomatic wins. Until now; until Trump; until Trump signed the proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty to Golan Heights, that is, he said.
“We had to wait nearly half a century to translate our military victory into diplomatic victory,” Netanyahu said. “Your recognition is a twofold act of historic justice.”
Good for Trump; good for America. Definitely good for Israel.
After eight long years of an Obama administration that did as little as possible to support America’s historic friend — and that in truth seemed more apt to draw moral equivalencies between Israel and the nations of the world that didn’t agree in Israel’s right to exist — it’s not just refreshing or historic to have a president in the strong and bold pro-Jewish state camp.
It’s actually comforting.
As the House, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, moves far left and allows the likes of a freshman congresswoman to utter anti-Semitic rhetoric absent real accountability — and even water resolutions denouncing anti-Semitism that should be no-brainers — it’s comforting to have an executive branch that puts on the breaks.
It’s tremendous to have a White House that changes the messaging, softens the tone, reminds of the loyalties.
In these perilous political times, it’s extraordinary to have a White House that underscores a continued U.S. friendship with Israel, and that displays — boldly and bluntly, bravely and with great public show — total disdain and contempt for the ugly, anti-Jewish forces of the world. Just when you think the anti-Israel forces are gaining steam and the anti-Semitics making headway, and in Congress of all places — bam. Here comes America’s formal recognition of Israel’s sovereignty of Golan Heights.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ckchumley.
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