Trump makes himself at home in Israel

This visit was a gamechanger. Trump showed Israel it has a real friend, but the millions of Americans who watch channels other than Fox News may not be aware of that.

Jack Engelhard

OpEds Trump at Western Wall
Trump at Western Wall
צילום: מתוך האתר האישי

President Trump’s visit to Israel was a reminder to Israel, a nation of miracles, that miracles still happen. 

For the longest time – those eight long years of Obama – it must have seemed that the nightmare would never end.

Enter Trump and everything is different. America is back, and so is Israel. The slump is over, finished. 

For Israel, how refreshing to welcome an American President as a friend.

The moment Trump stepped off the plane, the entire nation was reinvigorated. He didn’t have to do anything or say anything.

As we say – showing up is 80 percent of life.

For Trump the New Yorker, Israel is no strange place. (What’s it doing in Asia we sometimes ask ourselves.) More like the days when he’d duck into the corner deli where the waiters tell You what to eat and the same pastrami sandwich costs different every time. 

The place is always teeming and lively and if people argue once in a while, so what, it’s home.

Heimish is the word, the Yiddish word for something familiar, something cozy, and for Trump, heimish is Israel. 

Heimish is the word, the Yiddish word for something familiar, something cozy, and for Trump, heimish is Israel. 
Call it a homecoming of sorts for a father whose son and daughter are Jewish. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, smiling wide and true, welcomed Trump at the airport like a long lost brother who needed to be told, “Nu -- What took you so long?” 

For Sara Netanyahu, it was a chance to welcome the guests with the professionalism of a tour guide but seasoned with the warmth of a traditional Yiddisheh Mama. As hostess to the nation, she fell smoothly to the task of exhibiting to the President and his First Lady the many attractions that proudly declare, look what we’ve done to this place.

What they’ve done to Israel is something to behold and Trump took it all in over a period of two days – a period that changed the world.

Modern Israel will never be quite the same ever since this visit. The entire world saw an American President bestow kindness, friendship, respect and protection to the Jewish State and let no one (like Iran) try anything foolish. It’s like that when the biggest guy on the block puts his arm around you for the entire neighborhood to see.

This was no the time for politics. It was the time for symbols and it was a time for television to broadcast those symbols, however limited, in America. The visit to the Western Wall, even without Bibi, was a powerful statement that this place is eternally Jewish – and he was wearing a yarmulke to make the exclamation mark.

Trump’s farewell speech at the Israel Museum, where he mentioned “the significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people” without quite mentioning it as the capital of the Jewish Nation, was warmly given and warmly received. He roused the audience to its feet when he said, “Iran routinely calls for Israel’s destruction – not with Donald J. Trump.”

CNN did not play that, neither did MSNBC or ABC, CBS or NBC. Fox News and the BBC did.

Thus, millions of Americans were denied President Trump at his best, and Israel in its glory.

Nothing will stop them from hammering Trump over the fake scandals they attribute to him.

Trump’s theme throughout the visit, beginning in Saudi Arabia, was about the imperative to “drive out the terrorists.” There in Riyadh, with nearly all the world’s Muslim monarchs in attendance, the President used cadence to bring home that message. He was diplomatic. He did not point fingers. 

But it is possible that some at least caught the drift – that he was blaming them, one and all. The nuance may have escaped Mahmoud Abbas as well.

Trump met Abbas in Bethlehem where Trump may have been too nuanced when, using the passive voice, he said, “Peace can never be achieved where terrorists are funded and even rewarded.” An accusation directed personally against the man who does all that would have been powerful. A wasted shot. 

For some, like this writer, it’s disturbing to find thugocracies like the PA and the PLO so automatically given equal billing with the sovereign State of Israel.

Other than that, Trump’s visit was a triumph for the centuries – certainly this century. 

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva. His books, including “The Bathsheba Deadline,” are available from Amazon and other retailers. Engelhard wrote the international bestseller “Indecent Proposal” and the award-winning Montreal memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah.” His latest is “News Anchor Sweetheart.” He is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: