After Defeat, Saying Thank You to President Trump
By now everyone is piling up on Donald Trump. They’re calling him a loser. They’re reveling in his defeat. They’re saying America has been saved from the ogre.
But I for one will not join in this pile-up. While I accept the results of the election, in bowing to the majesty of the American democratic tradition, I also submit to Jewish values that tell me to show gratitude toward a true friend of our people.
Donald Trump was always a controversial figure. He could at times be deeply divisive and he reveled in being a counter-puncher. But I will remember him as a staunch friend of the world’s most persecuted nation.
To be a Jew is to almost expect bigotry, double-standards, and prejudice. To be a Jew is to accept the unbelievable fact that in the lifetime of my parents six million Jews were murdered by firing squads and poison gas. To be a Jew is to live with the almost daily vilification of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.
On to the stage of tragic history rose President Trump, who proved himself to be the greatest friend of Israel to ever occupy the Oval Office.
Trump fundamentally changed the tenor toward Israel at the disgustingly unfair United Nations, where demonization of Israel was a 70-year tradition. He hired the most pro-Israel people ever to serve in an American Administration — fom Nikki Haley, to David Friedman, to Jason Greenblatt, to Jared Kushner, to Avi Berkowitz, to Mike Pompeo, and, of course, Mike Pence.
They shut down the corrupt Palestinian Authority quasi-embassy in Washington because of Mahmoud Abbas’ constant incitement against Israel. They held Hamas accountable for their genocidal ambitions and actions against Jews and defunded UNWRA. They recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. And they recognized the Golan Heights as being forever sovereign Israeli territory.
Israel has had many friends in the White House, from John F. Kennedy, to Lyndon Johnson, to Richard Nixon, to Ronald Reagan, and, of course, George W. Bush. But Trump easily outdid them all.
If he was as hated by Arabs and Muslims as his American opponents would have you believe, how is it that only Trump was able to help forge peace between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan? Obama could not pull it off. To the contrary. The Arab nations despised his policies of appeasement to genocidal Iran and, due to Obama’s policies, began to see Israel as a kindred spirit rather than as an enemy.
Trump deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for possibly beginning the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but was given scant praise by his critics for this incredible achievement.
Most notably, he took America out of the execrable Iran deal which legitimized a regime that hangs gays from cranes and stones women to death. He stopped the immoral payments to a regime that is the foremost purveyor of terrorism around the world.
It is fashionable to attack Trump now that he has lost the election, even as he lost by thinnest of margins and garnered more than 70 million votes.
Rather, I will thank him and ask his successor, Joe Biden, who has a long history of friendship with the Jewish people and Israel, to embrace his predecessor’s 180-degree shift toward Israel and continue to champion the Middle East’s only democracy.
Gratitude is a dying virtue in our world, which puts partisan loyalty before basic decency and values. To be sure, Trump, like the rest of us, is a flawed man and he, like all presidents who preceded him, made many mistakes. For such is the price we all pay for human leadership.
But on the subject of Israel and the Middle East, as well as other notable accomplishments, especially the growing of the American economy, he was exceptional and deserves to be recognized as such. President Trump, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
May God bless you and keep you, and may the country that you served for the last four years be fair and thankful in its assessment of your legacy. And may President-elect Biden follow in your trailblazing footsteps of friendship to Israel and the Jewish people.
Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of more than 30 books and the founder of the World Values Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RabbiShmuley.