Trump Is a Rock Star in Israel
While some in America complain about President Trump, in Israel he is a rock star.
I just left Israel after meeting with top officials, media personalities, tech entrepreneurs, and many citizens from all walks of life.
The overwhelming view was that America was lucky to have a strong and resolute president like Donald Trump.
Israelis are well informed and especially clued in on US media — many can catch CNN and Fox News on TV — and they expressed bafflement to me that the American media has been so hostile to President Trump.
For the Jewish state, Trump is a breath of fresh air. After eight years of Obama, who tilted US policy toward Iran and gave Israel a cold shoulder, many are breathing a sigh of relief.
A recent Jerusalem Post poll found that 61 percent of Israel’s Jews believe Trump is “pro-Israel” and a Pew survey of all nations found Israel to be the second strongest supporter of Trump, with 56 percent saying they had full confidence in him. (The first was the Philippines with 69 percent expressing support.)
Senior Israeli officials I spoke with say President Trump has been the most supportive of any US president in recent memory, including George W. Bush, who also was quite popular.
Israelis are on the front line of freedom. They are surrounded by hostile states. In their mind, appeasement is dangerous and there is little margin for error when their security is at stake.
One high-ranking Israeli official told me that the equation for Israel has changed because of three key Trump officials: Jared Kushner, the president’s special adviser, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
Kushner, to whom the president has given the task of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, understands that Israel is the cornerstone of regional stability.
Previous administrations typically began their peace process by blaming Israel. Kushner took a different approach by affirming Israel as a US ally.
Both Mattis and McMaster, the official said, grasp the strategic role Israel has played for US security in the region and they have been stalwart in their support.
Today, under Trump, ISIS is being crushed.
Qatar, a Gulf state that has “played both sides” but consistently helps fund the bad guys, including the Muslim Brotherhood, is being contained.
Trump is also taking Iran’s role in sponsoring terrorism as a great threat to the region. Trump has been praised for being willing to tackle the Iranian problem as he is tackling North Korea.
Trump’s outreach to Putin could be crucial in dealing with Iran and North Korea, one official said.
I first came to Israel at the age of 19 as a college student.
Israel was then just over three decades old, a scrawny teenager on the world stage. Now Israel is a muscular adult, not only the military power of the region, but a global hub for technology and culture.
Life in Israel was challenging for its citizens back in those student days of mine. Today Israelis enjoy a first world standard of living.
Through the years the people haven’t changed. Israel has always been a nation of realists.
And these realists see President Trump for what he is, a champion of freedom and security.
Christopher Ruddy, a noted journalist and entrepreneur, is CEO and president of Newsmax Media Inc., one of the nation’s leading news media companies.
This article was originally published by Newsmax.