When a President of the United States says “I love Israel,” he gets our undivided attention. What a difference from Obama, who could never utter the words “love” and “Israel” in the same sentence, or pronounce “Islamic terrorism.” There was no doubt a love-fest between Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump and Bibi was positively beaming with pride to have Donald here and showering him and Israel with such heartfelt platitudes.
But, when it comes to real hard facts and issues, there was precious little substance so far. Sure they agreed that Iran is a local menace, sure they agreed that terrorism is terrible, but not much else came out so far. Some commentators poured cold water on the idea that Saudi Arabia and Israel could ever be mentioned in the same breath. Yet Trump just flew here from there, and as Nixon and Begin showed, it takes the most right-wing leaders to actually make peace (leftists conveniently forget this reality).
Another first for Trump, he was the first US President to visit the Western Wall, the holiest shrine in Judaism. His wife First Lady Melania and his Jewish daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared also visited. It was a powerful personal moment when Trump prayed there alone. Did he pray for peace, or was he thinking how hard it will be to get a deal? There is no doubt that Trump’s first foreign visit as President is the most significant such visit of any previous President. We could stop there and it would be a powerful event.
But, more than that, we hope some helpful progress will come out of it. It will only do so if the Palestinians, with US and Arabian pressure, are prepared to drop their ridiculous positions of not recognizing the existence of Israel as the Jewish State and also stopping their continuous incitement of hatred against Jews and Israelis and directly supporting terrorism with funding for everyone who kills Jews. My attitude is that we as the stronger and winning side do not have to make the fundamental compromises, the Palestinians have to do so. They must face their reality and give up trying to destroy Israel rather than seeking their own best interests. The question is do they really want a deal?