Trump recognition that Golan Heights belong to Israel shows his strong support of Jewish state

Speaking Monday at the White House, minutes before President Trump signed a proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the president that “Israel has never had a better friend than you.”

Netanyahu is right. Israel, the Jewish people, and the millions of non-Jewish supporters of Israel are lucky to have Donald Trump sitting in Oval Office.

For his part, President Trump reiterated his strong support for Israel when he and Netanyahu addressed the media in the wake of a rocket attack launched from the Gaza Strip on a residential neighborhood north of Tel Aviv earlier in the day. The attack wounded seven people, including two young children.

TRUMP SIGNS PROCLAMATION RECOGNIZING ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY OVER GOLAN HEIGHTS

“Our relationship is powerful,” President Trump said. “We will confront the poison of anti-Semitism.”

Netanyahu was scheduled to meet with President Trump again Tuesday for dinner at the White House and to address to American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington the same day. But he was forced to cut short his trip to return to Israel to lead the nation’s response to the rocket attack launched by the terrorist group Hamas that rules Gaza.

Although I have been a life-long Democrat and held elective office as a Democrat in the New York State Assembly and in New York City government for many years, it is clear to me that PresIt pains me to say that as the list of Democratic candidates for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination swells, strong and steadfast support for Israel is no longer a core position for the party I have long supported.ident Trump and the Republican Party today are the best choice for the American people as a whole and for my fellow Jewish Americans as well.

It pains me to say that as the list of Democratic candidates for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination swells, strong and steadfast support for Israel is no longer a core position for the party I have long supported.

This is why I am proud to support President Trump for re-election in 2020 and urge everyone – Jews and non-Jews – to support our president as well.  

Thankfully, now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded that Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election and Attorney General William Barr has concluded that Trump did not obstruct justice, the American people can take a fresh look at the president and all that he has accomplished in two short years.

It’s impossible to summarize everything President Trump has achieved in a short space, so I’ll just look at what he has done for Israel and for its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters.

As shown again Monday, President Trump has fostered an incredible working relationship with Netanyahu and through him with the Jewish state of Israel. This is a dramatic contrast with the hostility President Obama expressed to Israel and its elected leader. It also contrasts with the growing anti-Israel positions of some far-left Democrats, including some in Congress.

When Netanyahu visited Washington in March 2015 and addressed Congress to urge rejection of the Iran nuclear deal supported by the Obama administration, President Obama refused to even meet with the Israeli prime minister. Many congressional Democrats boycotted Netanyahu’s speech.

Today under President Trump – unlike during the Obama years – the United States is no longer rebuking Israel for its settlements in the West Bank. America is no longer making an international spectacle of Israel for simply defending itself from terrorist attacks targeting civilians, like the one launched Monday.

At the United Nations – where Israel-bashing is common and Israel is singled out for unfair treatment more than any other nation – the American delegation under the Trump administration has stood firmly with Israel and for its just treatment by the world body.

And the Trump administration has been a strong opponent of the blatantly anti-Semitic BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, which seeks to isolate Israel from the world and destroy its economy.

President Trump has moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. King David made Jerusalem the capital of his Jewish kingdom more than 3,000 years ago – yet President Trump is first American president courageous enough to recognize it as Israel’s capital.  He understands that every other nation in the world determines its own capital and Israel has the same right.

The Trump administration has also followed through on other pro-Israel policies. These include cutting aid to Palestinian governing bodies with leaders who refuse to negotiate with Israel, withdrawing from the deeply flawed Iran nuclear deal, and now recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel.

The Golan Heights were captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, after Syria attacked Israel. Syria had long used the heights as a launching site to bombard Jewish civilians in northern Israel.

It pains me to say that as the list of Democratic candidates for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination swells, strong and steadfast support for Israel is no longer a core position for the party I have long supported.

Indeed, just two years ago I wrote about how the Democratic Party has crassly and mistakenly turned its back on Israel – a political shift I could not have fathomed growing up as a Democrat.

To me and many other Jews, the Democratic Party was the party of President Truman who recognized the Jewish state within minutes of its declaration of independence in 1948. It was the party that nominated George McGovern and ratified the first major party platform to support moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 1972. The Republicans didn’t support the embassy move until 1996.

Yet today Democratic support for Israel has deteriorated far beyond what I thought two years ago would ever have been possible.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has consistently tweeted out anti-Semitic tropes, proliferated anti-Israel propaganda, and refused to acknowledge or apologize for most of her comments for years. The watered-down condemnation of many forms of hatred recently passed by the House did not even mention her by name.

Republicans don’t hesitate to stand in support of Israel and the Jewish people. Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the AIPAC conference Monday and condemned “rank anti-Semitic language” in Congress and criticized Omar without naming her.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in the Congress of the United States of America,” Pence said, adding that anyone who questions the alliance between the U.S. and Israel “should not have a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.” Omar is a member of the committee.

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Many of the Democratic presidential contenders boycotted the AIPAC conference after they were urged to do so by far-left groups.

I am not sure what happened to my Democratic Party. But I believe many Jewish Americans – along with friends of the Jewish people and Israel – will agree with me when November 2020 rolls around that the Democratic Party we once embraced no longer embraces our concerns and interests. That means the Democratic Party no longer deserves our support.

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