After his State of the Union Address, one can make a convincing case that Trump is one of the most pro-Israel and pro-Jewish presidents in American history.
By Daniel Krygier, World Israel News
Relations between the Trump Administration and progressive American Jewish organizations remain tense. As far as many liberal American Jews are concerned, President Trump cannot do anything right and former President Obama could not do anything wrong.
However, in his recent State of the Union Address, President Trump became a strong candidate for one of the most pro-Israel and pro-Jewish presidents in American history.
To be fair, early in his presidency, Trump stumbled. He initially failed to strongly renounce the right-wing Judeophobe David Duke in public. Trump was also widely criticized for his controversial statements concerning the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. However, the politically inexperienced Trump has caught up on the presidential learning curve and did publicly reject Duke’s bigotry.
By contrast, former President Obama never renounced his problematic ties with anti-Semitic Islamists and radical leftists, and only with difficulty pulled away from Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And as his chummy picture with Louis Farrakhan only emerged after eight years in office, he has still never been forced to address it.
Like any public official, Trump should ultimately be judged based on policies and not on speeches alone. However, in the case of Israel and the Jewish people, President Trump has so far kept his promises.
Liberal Jews who oppose President Trump often claim that his close relations with Israel’s conservative Netanyahu government should not be confused with being pro-Jewish. However, this argument is simply unconvincing.
President Trump moved the American embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem. This has nothing to do with right-wing or left-wing politics and has over the years been supported by the majority of world Jewry. By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the president simply implemented the unfulfilled promises of his predecessors Clinton, Bush and Obama.
More than any other U.S. president, Trump has taken a strong position against the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism – Iran’s Islamist regime. President Obama who was embraced by most liberal American Jews, emboldened the openly anti-Semitic regime by showering it with money and political support.
Trump didn’t just defend Israel in his speech, but Jews as a whole. He condemned the white supremacist anti-Semitic Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. He invited two Holocaust survivors to his speech. And he recently appointed the Los Angeles prosecutor Elan Carr as the U.S. State Department’s envoy for combating anti-Semitism.
President Trump may not score high popularity points among Jewish liberals. In fact, Trump’s pro-Jewish policies often seem to alienate “progressive” American Jews who struggle with a weak Jewish identity. But they are perhaps the worst to judge Trump’s pro-Jewish bona fides. To paraphrase a popular joke about Trump, unlike them he has Jewish grandchildren.
Indeed, when it comes to Israel and what truly matters to most non-leftist Jews worldwide, Trump has already secured a place as one of the most pro-Jewish presidents to inhabit the White House.