Jenny Beth’s Journal: The president is making the U.S.-Israel relationship great again
For eight years under former President Obama, the U.S. stressed our relationship and special bond with our only democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel. However, President Trump made the courageous decision to carry through with his promise to end the Iran Deal and he moved the United States embassy to Jerusalem all in the same month. President Trump did more than show the world that he follows through with his promises; he also helped the United States reaffirm to the world that ours is a nation that honors its promises, while strengthening our ties with Israel.
The United States and Israel share a special bond. As our only democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel occupies a key role in U.S. foreign policy. And, while the partnership between the United States and Israel has been mutually beneficial in terms of counter-terrorism, shared intelligence, and even promoting human rights, two things have stressed that special relationship.
The first stressor in the relationship has been the United States’ decades-long decision to keep its embassy in Tel Aviv. The embassy remained in Tel Aviv even after Israel declared Jerusalem its capital in 1967, and, notably, after the U.S. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For too long, the United States delayed doing the right thing.
The second great stressor to the U.S.-Israel relationship was President Barack Obama’s Iran Deal – a deal Obama had hoped would become part of his legacy. The deal, purportedly designed to derail Iran’s nuclear ambitions, had serious structural flaws that undermined its very reason for existence. The deal was lopsided from the start, with financial giveaways to Iran and $150 billion of sanctions relief. In exchange, Iran agreed to undergo weak inspections, and to provide the mere promise that it would abandon its plans to obtain nuclear weapons.
The American people understood how dangerous and ineffective the Iran Deal was. In fact, Americans opposed the deal 2-to-1, and overwhelmingly believed the deal would do little to deter Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Israel, for its part, was equally clear-eyed about the recklessness of the Iran Deal. Israel understood exactly what the Iran Deal represented – it was, in no uncertain terms, a slap in the face to Israel.
President Trump campaigned on rectifying both issues – moving the embassy to the capital and ending the Iran Deal. And, within his first 16 months in office, he has already delivered on both. On May 8th, President Trump announced that the United States would remove itself from the Iran Deal. And on May 14th, the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem.
With these two moves, President Trump made it very clear that he prioritizes America’s interest and will not allow Europe or Iran to dictate our foreign policy. It’s evident that our president – who campaigned on making America great again – is a man of his word.