I HAVE just debated with my good friend Bret Stephens, of The New York Times, on the question of Donald Trump and the Jews.
Stephens, one of the finest men I know in journalism and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, has been very critical of Trump.
He feels that Trump has behaved — and continues to behave — in a manner that is corrosive to the presidency and that his policies on immigration are antithetical to American values of welcoming immigrants.
I told Stephens that, on Israel, Trump has exceeded all our expectations. Prior to Trump and ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, the UN’s principal purpose, it seemed, was to use Israel as a punching bag for global prejudices and biases against the Jewish state.
No president before Trump stopped it. But this one has.
And it has led to global repercussions, with nations now thinking twice before they unfairly slam Israel for fabricated human rights abuses, lest they fall afoul of the most powerful nation on earth.
On Jerusalem, every American president since Bill Clinton promised to move the embassy, including a phenomenal friend of Israel named George W Bush.
None kept his word, save for Trump.
On Iran, Barack Obama negotiated with a regime even while it called for the annihilation of the Jewish people throughout the negotiations.
It may seem incredible that the leader of the free world could legitimise a government that openly incites genocide against the Jewish people just 70 years after the Holocaust.
But Obama went beyond negotiations and rewarded that government with $150 billion, with which they sowed further murder and mayhem across the Middle East.
With one stroke of a pen, Trump ended the dishonour of the Iran deal and made it clear that nations threatening the incineration of Israel will not be rewarded but punished.
The same is true of Trump’s defence of Israel in the wake of the Gaza riots — which I witnessed with my own eyes from about half a mile from the border fence — where Trump and Haley again had Israel’s back at the UN while the rest of the world condemned Israel for stopping terrorists from entering its domain and murdering its farmers and residents.
None of this even begins to address other undertakings by Trump towards the Jewish community.
To be sure, there have been failures as well. Trump should have spoken out strongly and clearly against the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville last summer.
But none of it negates how Trump has ushered in a new era where America stands squarely with Israel before the eyes of the world.
Trump supported a beloved daughter’s conversion to Judaism, has three Orthodox and observant Jewish grandchildren who attend Jewish day school, and has populated his administration with some of the most pro-Israel public officials in modern history.
He may be an imperfect man and his Twitter feed can at times be incendiary.
But on the question of whether he has advanced the credibility and security of Israel, has shown that he is an ally who has Israel’s back, and is prepared to stand with the Jewish people in world forums and incessant crisis, the answer must be a resounding yes.