Trump Signals Strong Support for Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has good reason to be feeling pretty confident right now about President-elect Donald Trump.
Trump has tweeted numerous messages of support and backing for the Jewish State and encouraged Israel and its leaders to hang in there for a few weeks until he's in power. Now, there are reports that he even wants the Israeli prime minister to attend his inauguration.
Foreign leaders aren't usually invited to the inauguration and experts are saying Trump is making it infinitely clear early on that under his watch the USA is going to stand with Israel – there's no light between them in this relationship.
Following Secretary of State Kerry's speech after the United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, Trump told reporters that Israel "is very, very important" to him. "We have to protect Israel, and I disagree with what he's done with Israel," he said in reference to President Obama.
Now that's a turn-around.
It's a far cry from nearly seven years ago when Netanyahu was ushered into President Obama's White House through the back door and later made to wait while the president had dinner with his wife and daughters because Netanyahu wouldn't acquiesce to Obama's demands.
Yes, indeed, an invitation to the inauguration would definitely send signals. Not only is there a great improvement in personal chemistry between the White House and the prime minister's residence, but it signals a turn-around in relations between the U.S. and Israel, as well.
And that's visible throughout the Middle East, too.
Prof. Mordechai Kedar told CBN News that the Arab world is afraid of Trump.
The Arab world sees in the invitation that Trump "says what he means, and means what he says."
Before the election, Trump was pro-Israel and now he's following through and whether or not that's entirely the case, that's the way he's being perceived, Kedar said.
It also says that the incoming administration is likely to follow through with extending more friendship to the Jewish State instead of less.
In general, a show of strength (not weakness) is good in the Middle East. Whether or not the US has lost too much respect during the last eight years to regain it quickly remains to be seen. But at least Israel can feel a bit more confident that this incoming administration will likely be back on its side and that says a lot.