A Pro-Jewish State of the Union

At Tuesday night’s address to the American people, writes Abe Greenwald, the president made multiple pronouncements of particular relevance to the Jewish people—all of them for the good:

President Trump used his State of the Union address in part to celebrate the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, call out Iran on its genocidal hatred of Jews, confront anti-Semitism generally, and tie his conception of American greatness to the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. . . .

For Trump, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was, as he put it, a matter of “principled realism.” Based on that realism, his administration “proudly opened the American embassy in Jerusalem.” Nothing here about both sides having to bend or about Israel now having to “do its part for peace.” The president of the United States simply noted that he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital because it is. And that’s the most powerful thing he could have said on the matter.

The president [also] called Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terror” and emphasized that “it is a radical regime.” He went on: “We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants ‘death to America’ and threatens genocide against the Jewish people.” No garbage about make-believe moderate mullahs, no specious conflation of the Iranian people and the regime, no wishful fantasies about Iran’s tyrannical theocracy showing heartening signs, and, finally, no equivocating about the nature of its obsessive anti-Semitism. In all, a welcome return to moral sanity.

Trump talked about a great many other things [as well], but it’s remarkable the extent to which his speech acknowledged, celebrated, and urged on America’s doing right by the Jews. It would be welcome enough if he emphasized such things in an address to an exclusively Jewish audience, but this was a State of the Union speech, and so his words were meant to shape our very understanding of America.

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More about: American politics, Anti-Semitism, Donald Trump, Israel & Zionism, Politics & Current Affairs

Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?

On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Election 2019, Israeli politics