The Day After the Election – Special Editorial

We are less than a week before the Israeli election and all indications point to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party being in the best position to form a government. For the sake of the country and of the greater Middle East, Israel needs a wide-reaching coalition government that will embrace the Trump administration’s peace efforts and tackle the security challenges facing the Jewish state.

In welcoming Netanyahu to the White House last week, U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated, “My administration will always stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters, and will always stand strong with our cherished friend and partner, the State of Israel.”

This sentiment was echoed at the AIPAC Policy Conference held last week in Washington, D.C.  Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman all made compelling cases as to why the Trump administration is the most pro-Israel administration in the history of the United States.

True to his pre-election promises, Trump has withdrawn from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal and moved the United States Embassy to Jerusalem. This administration has also shown unwavering support for Israel at the United Nations and has held the Palestinian leadership accountable for its incitement and funding of terror. The recent recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights further underscored the Trump administration’s unparalleled support for the safety and security of Israel.

As Netanyahu noted during his Oval Office meeting with Trump during the Golan Heights signing proclamation, “I’ve met many friends of Israel in this office but we have never had a greater friend than President Trump.” The president’s actions in support of Israel has translated to overwhelmingly positive feelings among the Israeli public toward the American president and his administration.

Following the Israeli election, the U.S. will reveal its vision for an all-encompassing peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as a broader regional peace with the Arab states.

The Palestinian Authority leadership, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, has already indicted it would dismiss the Trump peace plan out of hand, without having even seen it.

While the details of the plan remain a well-guarded secret, the Israeli public should feel confident in the proposal that will ultimately be presented, given that this administration has demonstrated beyond a doubt its unequivocal solidarity with the State of Israel and understanding of the Jewish state’s security concerns.

Despite the virulent political rhetoric and personal attacks that have punctuated this electoral cycle, the policy differences between Likud and Blue and White on issues of national security are largely superficial. Blue and White co-leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid deserve praise for showing that candidates from diverse and opposing political backgrounds can come together for the betterment of the nation.

The wider Israeli leadership should embrace this truly unique moment to join forces for the future of their country. Immediately after the election, they must put aside the bruised egos and petty differences, to create a stable and lasting coalition government from across the political spectrum that will embrace the Trump administration’s vision for safer, more secure and more prosperous Middle East.

As Pence said at the AIPAC Policy Conference: “Israel and the United States will always stand together because America and Israel are more than friends. We’re more than partners or allies. We are a family, descended from a common tradition of faith. We’re a family that upholds common values. And together, we share a common destiny.”

From day one, the Trump administration has shown its support for Israel has been not only by word, but also deed and action. Therefore, when this administration says it “has Israel’s back,” Israelis overwhelmingly believe it.

The Israeli public, the most pro-American population in the world, can accordingly rest assured that any future peace agreement led by the Trump administration will have the Jewish state’s security interests foremost at heart.

As such, the upcoming peace plan will present a unique occasion for Israel that will require of its leadership courage, commitment and most of all, unity, to seize this unprecedented opportunity by coming together to embrace the vision our American family is creating for a stronger and safer Israel and Middle East.

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