Pollak: Israel’s Future Depends on Donald Trump’s Re-election

Jerusalem celebrates (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP / Getty)
Ahmad Gharabli / AFP / Getty

President Donald Trump saved Israel.

It is no exaggeration to say that if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election, and U.S. policy toward Israel continued in the direction President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were leading it, Israel would be facing a growing terrorist threat on every border, imminent danger of war with Iran, and the prospect of diplomatic isolation and crippling boycotts by the international community.

President Trump turned all of that around — dramatically.

Trump visited the Western Wall in 2017, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so, affirming the Jewish connection with Jerusalem after Obama allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution declaring Israel’s presence in the Old City to be illegal. (Biden was rumored to have personally lobbied Ukraine to back the resolution.)

Later that year, Trump began the process of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing what has always been Israel’s capital city.

When the new embassy was formally opened in May 2018, the foreign policy establishment predicted other embassies would be targeted by terrorists, and the U.S. would lose diplomatic clout in the region.

None of that happened — and not when Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, either.

Instead, by standing firmly with Israel, Trump demonstrated that the U.S. would support its regional allies.

Today, Israel enjoys peace and normalized relations with a growing number of Arab states, notably the UAE and Bahrain.

Trump also reduced the threat of terror against Israel, cutting funds that supoprted Palestinian terrorists.

Hamas, which went to war three times against Israel after Obama was elected (2008, 2012, and 2014), has been relatively quiet. ISIS, which once threatened Israel in the north, has been wiped out by the U.S. in Syria. And Hezbollah, which Obama helped by allowing it to launder money through crime, is increasingly unpopular in Lebanon, following August’s massive Beirut blast.

Most important of all, Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, which would have allowed Iran to become a nuclear-armed regime after roughly a decade — even if Iran complied with the terms.

As Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed, using files stolen from Iranian storage, the regime had continued its nuclear program despite the deal. Iran also continued to develop nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and used billions in assets and cash from the deal to fund its military operations.

In place of the deal, Trump re-imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, which have brought the regime to the brink of collapse.

He avoided overreacting to Iranian efforts to goad the U.S. into war, then took out General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the terrorist Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the architect of Iran’s regional ambitions. The Iranian response — firing missiles at U.S. troops in Iraq — was perfunctory, showing the regime’s weakness.

Trump also helped American Jews fight antisemitism, notably through an executive order that allows Jews to enjoy the full protections of civil rights laws — especially on campus.

Today, Israel stands on the threshold of a new era of peace and prosperity.

If Trump is re-elected, Iran will remain under severe pressure. More Arab states will make peace with Israel. And Palestinians will have to choose the road of peace, rather than holding out for an anti-Israel Democratic administration.

If Biden wins, he will bring back the failed policy of “distance” with Israel. His foreign policy advisers include the same people who brokered the Iran deal; his transition team includes Democrats who have openly threatened to cut aid to Israel.

Biden will restore the failed approach of the previous administration, and squander the potential that President Trump’s policies have created.

With another four years of Trump, Israel can finally enjoy peace. Israel’s future is on the 2020 ballot.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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