Saturday, December 3rd | 9 Kislev 5783

May 14, 2018 9:53 am

Jerusalem Expresses Gratitude to Donald Trump

avatar by Shmuley Boteach


A worker hangs a road sign for the US embassy in the area of the US consulate in Jerusalem on May 7, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

By the time this column is published, the United States will have moved its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It has been an incredible few days in Jerusalem leading up to the move. Americans from all over the United States of every religion and affiliation have gathered for the event. Most of us can scarcely believe it is actually happening. We remember the repeated broken promises to move the embassy by successive American presidents over a quarter of a century and we’re still in shock that this time the promise has been kept.

You have to see the excitement on the streets to understand the depth of joy for the occasion. Flags are flying from every street light. Massive signs around the capital show the American and Israeli flags intertwined. In the United States, many Jews have reservations about Trump. But among Israelis and the American Jews who crossed the Atlantic to be here for the historic opening, they are very proud of Trump for this decision.

In a single week, President Trump has not only established America’s embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, but also rid America of the shame of the Iran nuclear deal, which completely overlooked all of Iran’s sins. In doing so, he has created the potential for reining in the rogue regime in Tehran.

The deal allowed the Iranians to pocket billions of dollars in benefits to finance terrorism, ballistic missile development, and intervention in their neighbors’ affairs — all in exchange for biding its time before building nuclear weapons. Obama promised Iran’s behavior would change, but instead it got worse.

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It’s fashionable today to divide America into conservatives and liberals. But I am someone who believes in a muscular foreign policy and has spent much of his professional life around liberally-minded people in academia and the media. Liberalism and progressivism have, of course, many positive virtues. Their fatal flaw, however, is a refusal to hate evil. Too many on the left prefer make excuses and give monsters a pass when they make genocidal threats, because confronting them might require action rather than appeasement.

To his great credit, Trump responded with force to the brutal Syrian regime’s use of poison gas. And now he has confronted the Iranian regime. Trump rightly pointed out that Iran is a threat to the United States. One day it could have missiles capable of hitting the US homeland, but it already has the capability of targeting our bases, and those of our allies, in Europe and the Middle East. Let’s also not forget, as most people have, that the largest number of Americans murdered by terrorists outside of 9/11 were killed by Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah.

Commentators have been quick to attack Trump’s decision based on the opposition of our European allies to withdrawing from the deal. They have largely ignored the Middle Eastern allies who are directly and immediately threatened by Iran. The Saudis have been calling for tougher action against Iran for years. In fact, they are the only ones to publicly suggest the need to use military force. Iran not only threatens the Gulf states, it also targets other moderate, pro-Western states. Just last week, Morocco cut ties with Iran because Hezbollah sent missiles to the Polisario Front, which is engaged in a terror campaign against the kingdom.

The decision to tear up the Iran deal was bold and courageous. More important, in my opinion, it demonstrated a moral clarity that Trump’s predecessor lacked. This is an evil regime that must be confronted, not placated. One can only hope that the Europeans follow suit. And one can also hope that whatever misgivings American Jewry has about President Trump, they will be unanimous in their praise and gratitude for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America” is the international best-selling author of 31 books. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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