Tuesday, October 06, 2020

  • Tuesday, October 06, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

What Donald Trump has done for Israel and Jews, so far:

1. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. 

This gave a signal to the world that the US was looking at the Middle East in a realistic way. Saying that Jerusalem isn't Israel's capital is a fiction that the Arabs, EU and UN were holding onto and no peace is possible without everyone understanding the truth.

The move also proved something else: that the experts who swore that the Arab world would rise up in anger at the US move were proven wrong, which means that every piece of conventional wisdom about the Israel/Palestinian conflict was probably wrong as well. The Zionist Right, which insisted that the Palestinian threats of violence when they didn't get their way were empty, was proven to be correct. Once the basic premises of the Oslo crowd were found to be false, everything else was now in play.

2. The Abraham Accords

Israel has been talking to Gulf Arab nations for years, and it has partnered with them under the table. The Israel/UAE agreement is an entirely different dimension. 

We don't yet know the full repercussions of this, including which other countries will want to normalize relations with Israel, but this already has affected the entire Arab world. Nations that have been antagonistic to Israel like Lebanon and Iraq and starting to think twice. Arab antisemitism is suddenly not a given. The Arab League is no longer a rubber stamp for Palestinians. The idea of finding win-win solutions with Israel is slowly replacing the old paradigm of refusing to do what would be in the Arab world's best interests because Israel would benefit as well. 

Real peace comes when Israel is accepted as a native country in the region, and this is the first step towards that. 

3. The Pompeo doctrine

Before the "Deal of the Century" was the so-called Pompeo Doctrine, which overturned Jimmy Carter-era opinion of the State Department, saying that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria do not inherently violate international law. 

This is a correct opinion, but it also showed that the basic assumptions that were causing a permanent deadlock can be thrown out the window. 

4. The Executive Order on antisemitism

People went nuts opposing this executive order. In the end, the only thing it did was add antisemitism to the list of types of discrimination (race, color, or national origin)  covered under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. This should be a no-brainer. People who oppose this are people who tacitly support antisemitism.

The part that they went nuts over - using the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism as a basis for determining if someone was discriminated against - was based on a series of false arguments.  This EO showed, as starkly as can be shown, the difference between the two parties on the Jewish issue.  

5. Pulling out of the JCPOA and sanctions on Iran

The JCPOA was a path to a nuclear weapon to Iran, albeit delayed a few years. Trump changed that completely. Iran can no longer give unlimited sums to Hezbollah, to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to worldwide terror. Lebanon's willingness to negotiate with Israel on its maritime borders are at least partially a result of Hezbollah losing influence there. 

Iran is stubborn and will not willingly surrender, but the pressure is working in small ways. The potential for huge benefits is there, and it would be a major mistake to waver on this.

6. Quitting the UNHRC

The UN Human Rights Council had been a joke for years, and while Western nations all knew it, they continued to play along. Not the Trump administration. It was an antisemitic cesspool and giving it legitimacy helped entrench its bigotry. 

7. The Peace to Prosperity Plan

The "Deal of the Century" was not enthusiastically accepted by the Arab world, but I'm not sure that was the point. It showed the world, and especially the Arab world, how the Palestinians would prefer rejecting any plan - even one that both showed a path to statehood, a contiguous state and that would give them a real economy. 

Their rejection is what set the stage for the Arab world to turn their displeasure with the Palestinians from private to public. Once again, honesty is necessary for peace.

8. Recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel

Here's another case where the Trump administration destroyed a fiction. Syria is a terror-supporting dictatorship that murders its own citizens - who on Earth would want the residents of the Golan to live under that regime? Yet until Trump, no one was willing to say this out loud.

9. US pulling out of UNESCO

This was not a huge deal, but it sent a message: International agencies can no longer treat Israel and Jewish heritage as worthless without repercussions. Up until the Trump administration, international agencies felt that they would treat Israel like garbage with impunity, and even Israel was accepting being treated badly, in a sort of Stockholm syndrome. This has changed, and it shows that the US is a moral power in the world - exactly the opposite to how it is portrayed.

10. Cutting payments to the PA, closing the PLO office in DC

The Trump mindset is that everything has a quid pro quo. Trump spent time trying to talk to the Palestinians. When they showed that they did not want to play in a new playing field, Trump said there was no reason to continue to fund them. The status quo has no reason to remain and everything is up for renegotiation. If the US gets nothing out of the Palestinians, then why give them free money forever?

11. Cutting aid to UNRWA/rejecting "Right of Return"

This is yet another case of realpolitik over the fantasies of the Palestinians. There is no "right of return" for anyone after 72 years. It was used as a means to try to destroy Israel. It was always a non-starter. It was way past time to say this out loud. 

12. Assassinating Qasem Soleimani

While the benefits of this operation were primarily to the US, Soleimani was also instrumental in anti-Israel activities from Iran. He has helped direct Hezbollah in the 2006 Lebanon war and he certainly had a hand in Iran's attempts to establish bases in Syria that directly threatened Israel. He was irreplaceable. 

13. Sanctioning the ICC

This showed the world that using the tools of international law to attack the very nations that already have robust justice systems has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with perverting justice. 

14. Hiring Elan Carr  as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

Elan Carr, although he only started in February 2019, has already made it clear that crazed hate of Israel is antisemitic. He is also now organizing a conference on online antisemitism for later this month. 


The contrast to all previous administrations, especially the Obama administration, is blinding. 

I cannot imagine any Democratic president doing any of these, let alone all of them. I worry what a J-Street oriented administration would do - or undo - because it still clings to old, discredited views of the conflict. 

In the aggregate, this is a very impressive list. 

(h/t Dave, Malka, Yishai)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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