Eight years of a Barack Obama presidency has done severe damage to the U.S. alliance with Israel. As a new era quickly approaches, the Obama administration couldn’t help but take some parting shots at one of our most valued allies.
It started when Obama chose to abstain from a UN vote condemning Israel’s settlements in the West Bank instead of using the U.S.’s veto on the measure. From there, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a pathetic defense of the the administration’s policy to abandon one of our most loyal allies.
Of course, the fact that Israel is a friend surrounded by hostile enemies who want nothing more than to wipe the Jewish state off the map doesn’t matter to the outgoing administration. Neither does the fact that our intelligence sharing relationship with Israel is vital to the national security interests of both countries.
Thankfully, President-elect Trump has been steadfast in his defense of Israel, vowing consistently on the campaign to protect our ally. After the administration chose to abstain from voting on the UN measure, Trump immediately condemned the vote and promised things would be different when he took office.
Of course, Trump wasn’t done there. News is starting to circulate that the transition teams is in talks to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the January 20th inauguration. Such a move what symbolize a new commitment to the relationship with Israel. From the New York Post:President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers want to invite Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu to the inauguration or arrange a meeting of the two leaders before then, a source close to the transition said. Transition leaders led by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner have been aggressively courting Netanyahu and want him to attend the Jan. 20 festivities, the source said.
“There’s a plan for Trump to meet with Netanyahu,” the source said. “They’re talking all the time. And Netanyahu is talking about possibly going to the inauguration.”
Netanyahu congratulated Trump on his victory a day after the presidential election, and Trump had invited the Israeli leader to meet in the US at his “first opportunity.”
A renewed commitment to our alliance with Israel is one of the most important moves President-elect Trump could make when taking office, and all indications are that Trump is already putting his best foot forward to move relations in a positive direction.
There has been no official word yet on whether Netanyahu will be able to attend the ceremony. However, the mere extension of an invitation is a good sign of things to come.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Lee]