A new day has dawned in the Mideast. On the heels of President Trump’s first visit to Israel as commander in chief of the U.S., it is evident that the game has changed. America is right back where it belongs — right at Israel’s side.
America and Israel are both great democracies, committed to an unbreakable bond rooted in shared values of freedom.
Yet for President Trump, his friendship with Israel transcends politics — it's personal.
The president’s historic decision to become the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, was a highly symbolic political and personal gesture. President Trump took it upon himself to share that personal and meaningful moment with his family.
First lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adsviser, also prayed at the Western Wall. Reportedly, Ivanka Trump was so touched, she wiped away a tear while praying at this sacred site.
The mere optics of President Trump’s visit to Israel have introduced a new chapter for renewed hope that some measure of stability and clear-headedness can emerge in this very troubled region.
President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he understands Israel and America are fighting the same constellation of enemies — radical Islamic terrorists and Iran. Despite variances in the ideologies of ISIS, Hamas, or other radical Islamist groups, what matters most to America and other Western democracies is that these extremists are inhumanely programmed to celebrate death and terrorism.
Mr. Trump comprehends the high stakes, and that America is at war. Not because we saught war, but because enemies are committed to threatening us.
During his visit to Saudi Arabia — prior to arriving in Israel — the president met with King Salman, along with other leaders of the Arab and Muslim world. They, too, expressed shared concerns about ISIS, Iran’s geopolitical hegemonic ambitions, and the threatening growth of radical extremism throughout parts of the Muslim world.
What President Trump has already managed to achieve, preliminarily, is to set the stage for a strategic alliance between America, Israel, and Arab leaders who all wish to thwart the Iranian nuclear threat, while simultaneously working to bring stability, and eventually peace to the Mideast.
Trump is already emerging as an agent of change in the context of traditionally stagnant peace negotiations (in the Mideast) by moving the goalposts, by reframing the parameters of dialogue.
By cultivating powerful alliances with the Sunni Arab nations, which will ultimately serve to better safeguard Americans from the threat of terrorism, the president takes a long overdue stance against Iranian smugness and support for terrorism.
Whereas President Obama’s catastrophic nuclear accord only served to embolden the Iranian regime — the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism — our chief executive unwaveringly reiterated during his visit to the Mideast that Iran must never obtain a nuclear weapon.
His enemies and opponents can agree on this when it comes to Donald J. Trump — he is not afraid to speak his mind.
Prior to meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for dinner on May 22, Mr. Trump publicly declared, "I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen — one that will bring greater safety to this region . . . This includes a renewed effort at peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I thank the prime minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process . . . It’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually, I hope."
The president understands how and why America must stand with Israel today more than ever. And he understands that peace can only come when the Palestinian leadership stops fomenting violence.
Which is precisely why duringTrump’s visit to Bethlehem, he communicated a loud and clear message to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to the Palestinian people concerning the necessary change that must transpire within Palestinian culture, in order to achieve genuine, lasting peace, "Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded. We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice."
Reading between the lines, President Trump bluntly called out the Palestinians for continuing to indoctrinate their youth with anti-Israel hatred, by demonizing the Jewish people, by supporting and glorifying terrorism, by using government funds to pay rewards to the families of terrorists — thereby perpetuating deadly violence against innocents.
In a land where miracles have already happened, hopefully President Trump’s departure from the failed tactics of the past administration, and his bold willingness to change course, will produce astonishing results.
Armstrong Williams is the author of "Reawakening Virtues." He is a political commentator who writes a conservative newspaper column, hosts a nationally syndicated TV program called "The Right Side," and hosts a daily radio show on Sirius/XM Power 128 (6-7 p.m. and 5-6 a.m.) Monday through Friday. He also is owner of Howard Stirk Holdings Broadcast TV stations. Read more reports from Armstrong Williams — Click Here Now.
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