Over the past week, President Donald Trump made two foreign policy moves that will undoubtedly secure his spot in history as one of the most pro-Israel U.S. presidents. Trump’s decisions to withdraw the United States from the Iran Deal, and to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem – each significant in its own right – are best understood when examined together.
The United States and Israel share a special bond. As our only democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel occupies a key role in U.S. foreign policy. And, while the partnership between the United States and Israel has been mutually beneficial in terms of counter-terrorism, shared intelligence, and even promoting human rights, two things have stressed that special relationship.
The first stressor in the relationship has been the United States’ decades-long decision to keep its embassy in Tel Aviv. The embassy remained in Tel Aviv even after Israel declared Jerusalem its capital in 1967, and, notably, after the U.S. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For too long, the United States delayed doing the right thing.
The second great stressor to the U.S.-Israel relationship was President Barack Obama’s Iran Deal – a deal Obama had hoped would become part of his legacy. The deal, purportedly designed to derail Iran’s nuclear ambitions, had serious structural flaws that undermined its very reason for existence. The deal was lopsided from the start, with financial giveaways to Iran and $150 billion of sanctions relief. In exchange, Iran agreed to undergo weak inspections, and to provide the mere promise that it would abandon its plans to obtain nuclear weapons.
The American people understood how dangerous and ineffective the Iran Deal was. In fact, Americans opposed the deal 2-to-1, and overwhelmingly believed the deal would do little to deter Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Israel, for its part, was equally clear-eyed about the recklessness of the Iran Deal. Israel understood exactly what the Iran Deal represented – it was, in no uncertain terms, a slap in the face to Israel.
President Trump campaigned on rectifying both issues – moving the embassy to the capital and ending the Iran Deal. And, within his first 16 months in office, he has already delivered on both. On May 8th, President Trump announced that the United States would remove itself from the Iran Deal. And on May 14th, the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem.
It’s safe to say that Trump’s follow-through on his promises has shocked the liberal mainstream media.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” National Security Advisor John Bolton commented on the world’s apparent shock that Trump has kept his campaign promise to withdraw from the Iran Deal. “Despite the complete consistency of President Trump in his opposition to the deal – opposed to it as candidate Trump, opposed to it as President-elect Trump, opposed to it as President Trump – many people, including apparently former Secretary of State John Kerry, thought that we never would get out of it.”
During his address at the embassy ceremony earlier this week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shed light on why, exactly, there has been so much surprise that Trump executed his campaign promises. “In every U.S. election, every presidential candidate has promised to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. Finally, we have a leader who promised it and also kept his promise.”
What is remarkable, of course, is not that Trump made the campaign pledges to end the unpopular Iran Deal, or to move the U.S. embassy to Israel’s capital. What is, however, remarkable – stunning, even – is that he made the courageous decision to follow up with action.
In delivering on those two campaign pledges, Trump did more than show the world that he follows through on his promises; he also helped the United States reaffirm to the world that ours is a nation that honors its promises to allies, and that a commitment from the United States means something.
With these two moves, President Trump has provided insight into the Trump Doctrine, the pillars of which appear to be a renewed awareness of America’s interests, not allowing Europe or Iran to dictate our foreign policy, and paying attention to our allies. That’s a solid framework for crafting any foreign policy.
It is both fitting and meaningful that the president who campaigned on making America great again has prioritized making the U.S.-Israel relationship great again, as well.
Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.