JERUSALEM, Israel — U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to launch a Tomahawk missile attack against a Syrian airbase last week received praise from Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled Israel’s approval of the action in every platform, including written statements to the press, on Facebook and on Twitter.
“In both word and action, President Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” Netanyahu wrote in a statement. “Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision and hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”
The message was repeated on the official Twitter account of the State of Israel.
On Friday, US Vice President Mike Pence called Netanyahu to express his gratitude for Israel’s support.
The US alerted Israel that the attack is going to take, place, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said this was “further proof of the strength of the relationship and depth of the connection between Israel and its largest ally.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin published a statement in which he said: “In the face of the terrible use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians, the clear and determined steps of the US administration and military under the leadership of President Trump, constitute a fitting and appropriate response to such unthinkable brutality.”
“In acting as it has,” Rivlin continued, “the United States serves as an example to the entire free world, which must support any step required to bring the atrocities in Syria to an end.”
In a statement quoted by US paper The Algemeiner, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that “Assad’s murderous regime continues to cross all lines. The US strike sent a strong message that this will no longer stand. The actions by our American allies serve as a beacon of morality for the entire international community.”
Hinting at Israel’s pleasure at the direction the Trump administration indicated by the decision to bomb the airbase, Likud’s Transportation Minister and close Netanyahu ally Yisrael Katz said on Friday that the “policy of leading from behind has failed” – a direct reference to the approach to the Syrian civil war of former President Barack Obama.
Leader of Israel’s largest opposition party Isaac Herzog said the American airstrike sent an “important message to the Damascus butcher.”
The decision to launch Tomahawks against the Homs airbase happened “at the right time, at the right timing and at the right place.”
Yair Lapid, leader of Israel’s second-largest Yesh Atid party, wrote in a tweet: “Better late than never. The US strikes are the right move, I welcome the decision to attack those who murder children in Syria.”
“If the civilized world stands by while children are gassed to death it’s not civilized,” he wrote in a second tweet. “There are times when use of force is the moral act.”
Even the leader of Israel’s leftmost Jewish party, Meret leader Zehava Gal-On, wrote in a tweet that the world “must not stand idly by when crimes against humanity occur. The strike against Assad is an important step, but its significance will be measured by the extent of America’s commitment to protect civilians going forward.”
Only one party in Israeli politics was against the US strike: the Joint List.
The party is an amalgamation of three smaller Arab parties, with platform ranging from an emphases on communist values to an emphasis on Islamic values.
Hadash, the communist party with the Joint List, last week succeeded in preventing the List from issuing a statement condemning the Syrian attack in Idlib which prompted the American airstrike.
According to a report in Hebrew paper Haaretz on Sunday, the party ended up ignoring the news altogether, with some of the MKs in the party publishing statements condemning the Syrian attack separately. Others avoided presenting a resolute point of view on the attack.
Over the weekend, in a Hadash committee in northern Israel, the party’s chairman Muhammad Barakeh condemned the US retaliatory attack.
“We cannot remain neutral faced with children and baby victims, I am for the right to life and their right to live,” Barakeh said, but then added: “The solution in Syria must be diplomatic, to remove the terrorism of IS and those who support [the group] and to maintain the unity of Syria as a state and as a people.”
MK Ahmed Tibi, the chairman of Ta’al, another of the parties comprising the Joint List, condemned both the Assad regime and the US for their respective attacks.