There is still plenty of uncertainty surrounding what exactly a Trump administration will look like, but one thing is not up for debate: Donald Trump could be the most pro-Israel commander in chief in modern history.
The Jewish state has long held a “special relationship” with the United States, however that relationship has been put under immense strain by the Obama administration's controversial policies toward Israel. The outgoing administration has regularly clashed with the leaders of the Jewish State, demanding territorial concessions to the Hamas-led Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, bluntly snubbing Netanyahu in the White House, brokering the deeply unpopular Iran Nuclear Deal.
The administration is also refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a huge victory for the Palestinian State which lays claim to the Holy City. The policies of the Obama Administration have led scholars to ask if Israel-US relations have reached a new low?
Assuming the Trump Administration intends to follow through on his campaign rhetoric toward the Jewish State, the President-elect has positioned himself to reverse the Obama chilling effect and become perhaps the most staunchly pro-Israel President in the history of the White House.
Here are a few concrete reasons why:
The highest ranking members of the right-leaning Israeli Government are thrilled by Trump's victory
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is clearly a fan of the Donald. He offered glowing words of praise for Trump and vowed to work closely with his administration after his stunning election victory over Hillary Clinton.
“President-elect Trump, my friend, congratulations on being elected president of the United States of America,” Netanyahu said. “You are a great friend of Israel. Over the years, you have expressed your support consistently, and I deeply appreciate it. I look forward to working with you to advance security, prosperity and peace.”
Other leaders in Israel reached out to welcome President Trump. According to Ynet:
President Reuven Rivlin also welcomed Trump’s victory. “I would like to congratulates the president-elect, Donald Trump, his family, and the American people as a whole, who have once again proven to the entire world the meaning of being the greatest democracy in the world.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also praised praised Trump as a “devoted supporter of Jerusalem,” adding that he expected the new administration to move the US embassy to the capital. “I am full of hope for your support for our activities for building in and developing Jerusalem for all her residents, and I invite you to visit the capital of Israel,” Barkat wrote. On a number of occasions, Trump has proposed moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, even though the US has not recognized Israel's sovereignty over the eastern half of the city.
Trump has vowed to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
Donald Trump has indicated he would like to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a historic and symbolic gesture in support of the Jewish nation.
The move would surely spark intense global controversy and anger among Palestinians.
Israel has claimed Jerusalem as its “eternal capital,” but Palestinians believe they are entitled to the eastern part of the holy city for their own capital. Israel’s claim to the land dates back to Biblical times and has been a point of contention between the Middle Eastern nations for decades.
According to the Guardian, Trump advisers say he will follow through on the promise soon after assuming the office.
Israeli government ministers and political figures are pushing the US president-elect, Donald Trump, to quickly fulfill his campaign promise to overturn decades of US foreign policy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv. Their calls came as one of Trump’s advisers on Israel and the Middle East, David Friedman, told the Jerusalem Post that Trump would follow through on his promise. ‘It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it,” Friedman said. ‘We are going to see a very different relationship between America and Israel in a positive way.”
Trump could help expand Israel's West Bank Settlements
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday he wants Israel to strike a deal with President-elect Donald Trump that would permit the country to expand its settlements in the West Bank while also freezing building in some areas.
It would be a drastic change in U.S. policy under President Barack Obama, who criticized Israel over its West Bank settlement plan.
Just like east Jerusalem, Palestinians also want control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The land dispute has grown more complicated now than almost 600,000 Jews have settled in the historically Jewish areas of east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Trump's inner circle is full of staunch pro-Israel advocates
Donald Trump's inner circle is flush with influencers who are unapologetically pro-Israel. Many Jewish.
Trump has regularly praised his son-in-law Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, for his management of his campaign during the election. Kushner, a strong pro-Israel advocate will certainly find himself with an outsized role in the Trump Administration and has already applied for a Top-Secret clearance with the government. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism when she married Kushner.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani could become the most pro-Israel Secretary of State in U.S. history. He is reportedly being considered for the appointment in Trump's administration.
Giuliani visited Israel in March meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior government officials. He claimed the Israeli government wanted Trump to win the election.
Ambassador John Bolton, who is a staunch defender of the Israeli State and Trump supporter, is also rumored to get a heavy appointment from Trump in a national Security capacity. Additionally, Trump has said he plans to appoint Jason Greenblatt, an Orthodox Jew and Yeshiva University graduate, as one of his Israel advisers. Greenblatt has worked with Trump for 19 years as the president-elect's real estate lawyer.
Trump has vowed to be tough on Iran and “tear up” the Iran Nuclear Deal
President-elect Donald Trump has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal, which he has called one of the “worst deals ever made by any country in history.”
Trump said the deal, which lifts some sanctions in exchange for a rollback in Iran's nuclear program, doesn't do enough to protect Israel from potential destruction. Trump has vowed to either renegotiate or kill the Iran nuke deal.
Earlier this year, the Republican even claimed Iran “is going to destroy Israel — unless I get elected.” With a President Trump, “Israel will be just fine,” he said.
The Islamic State is a threat to safety around the globe — but that might be especially true for Israel. As long as ISIS and the violent ideology espoused by radical Islam exists, Israel remains a target.
Just this week, an ISIS attack on the Israeli national soccer team was thwarted by police in Kosovo.
While Trump certainly has his work cut out for him in the fight against ISIS, he is promising to be ruthless against the enemy.
The president-elect has vowed to pursue an “aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expand intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting.”
If Trump is able to cause serious damage to ISIS, it would directly weaken Israel's nearby enemies and bring stability to the volatile region.
In another major break from the Obama administration, Trump’s official platform identifies the “ideology of radical Islamic terrorism” as the enemy we are trying to defeat.