The Party’s Over: An Open Letter to President Trump
1. Mr. President-elect, they won’t leave you alone. The way they see it, the gods of government chose them, even as the world is going up in flames.
We know their methods: delegitimizing the political opponent and portraying him as an empty vessel, in contrast to the outgoing president, who is depicted as the beacon of light in our generation. Self-righteousness and idealism decked out in the trappings of morality, while denying reality, are the keystones of their worldview.
This is the background noise that will accompany you throughout your presidency. In Israel, we’re used to it. Therefore, you should give up any desire to win their admiration from the get-go. You’re not one of them. You don’t speak their language. From the beginning, you refused to adopt their constricted thinking. You blasphemed against the language police who coerce compliance with a political correctness that stems from imaginary moral boundaries. Time after time, you entered their temple and smashed their ideological idols. You turned into a nightmare from which they were trying to awaken.
But the rest of the world wants to wake up, too, from the coma of the last eight years.
Compare a map of the Middle East today with one from the day your predecessor entered office. The Arab peoples are freeing themselves from the national structures the colonial powers foisted upon them and reverting to tribes and clans. The region has seen the rise of a militaristic political force that has adopted the tactics of Genghis Khan. Enemies — men, women and children — are raped and tortured and slaughtered as a matter of course. There is forced conversion to Islam, and millions of Christians who lived in what are now Iraq, Syria, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and other countries have fled. The only Christian community that is flourishing in the Middle East today is located in the Jewish state. The only Arab community that is safe lives in Israel, too. Even the Palestinian Authority is withstanding the Islamist forces that are undermining every other regime in the region thanks to us. History has a special kind of irony.
2. Israel is at the forefront of the free world’s battle for its existence.
The West thought it had liberated itself from God, that it had thrown its religion into the trash bin of nostalgia and romanticism, in favor of enlightened secularism and healthy reason. World War II made us realize the hypnotic power of primal myths and the damage they can do to democracy, and we swore not to return to reliance on those symbols.
But the devotion to political-religious symbols didn’t disappear from the earth. In front of our eyes, the spirit of early Islam — the spirit of the Crusaders — is rising, and the bedrock of its world outlook is jihad.
The US State Department will try and bring you around to old thought patterns, which hold that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about territory, that the problem lies with the “occupied territories” Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, that “the settlements are an obstacle to peace.” Mostly, they’ll tell you that “the only solution” is the “two-state solution.” After they pay lip service to the Arabs’ role in the situation, you’ll hear that Israel bears most of the guilt. That’s the standard narrative among liberal Western elite.
So, your election win holds a message to the world. You’ve shown that you’re the main heretic against these pillars of belief and that you don’t bow down to the liberal orthodoxy. Like the first Hebrew, Abraham, you are being asked to rail against political and social conventions that you’re told are not to be questioned in international discourse. You’ll almost have to reinvent the wheel.
Before the problems in the Middle East — which have ramifications for international issues — can be addressed, it’s important to rearrange the fundamental historical facts.
3. Zionism is the Jews’ return to history as a sovereign people in their homeland of Zion. From 135 CE, when the Bar Kokhba Revolt against the Romans failed, until 1948, the founding of the modern state of Israel, no other sovereign state entity arose here. In the seventh century CE, Islam invaded our land as an occupying force. To underscore its authority, it did what even the Christians never dared: it built a mosque on the ruins of the Jewish Temple.
During the hundreds of years of Islamic occupation, many Jews were forced out of the land. Those who remained put on a pretense of converting to Islam, but for generations continued to live secretly as Jews. For hundreds of years, this land lay dormant. There’s plenty of proof. You only need to look at one of the huge British survey maps drawn in the 1870s. You can easily measure the areas that were built and cultivated, and count the Arabs who were here — not many. And that’s after the Egyptian governor moved tens of thousands of Egyptian peasants and soldiers into our land in the second half of the 19th century. When waves of Jewish immigration returned to the land of Israel, more Arabs arrived, seeking work. After World War I, with the mandate to establish a “national home for the Jewish people,” many more Arabs migrated here.
Since 1919, we’ve tried to reach a compromise with the local Arabs. They have never agreed. You’re welcome to check with Arab leaders to see when they think the conflict began. They’ll all tell you: 1948. To them, the very establishment of the state of Israel is the primal sin. Because this is the truth: The Arabs have never recognized the right of the Jews — a historical, legal and religious right — to any part of this land.
4. What the US administration and the world (and some Israeli governments) call “the two-state solution” is dead. The Palestinians currently live in four different political states: Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip and Jordan. Every place Israel has withdrawn from has turned into a base of terrorism and death — not only for us, but also for the Arabs who live there. The establishment of a Palestinian state on top of the mountains to the west of Jordan will endanger Israel — but even more than the security risk, it would comprise the victory of a lie over the truth and inflame the battle spirit of global jihad.
There’s a reason why the Palestinian and jihadi battles focus on Jerusalem. The eternal city has never been the capital of any people but ours. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem will right an historic wrong.
But that’s not enough. At the same time, we need to remove the restrictions on construction in greater Jerusalem. It would be a shame to get upset over the Arab threats; they are part of the regular background noise. The Arabs (and some of the rest of the world) oppose the Jews’ historic return to Zion, and they will test you, Mr. President-elect, as they tested your predecessor, and when they understood his views, they brushed him off and turned toward other forces. Because of that, determined, unhesitating steps will let the entire region know that the party is over.
Good luck, and may God be with you.