The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election will have consequences not just for Americans, but also for Israel and the world.
For many of us, 2020 was an exhausting year. The world was hit with the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and pummeled the global economy.
Amidst all of that chaos, we saw the United States buckle under the weight of continued racial strife as protests, some violent, broke out in many cities across the country over the summer. And then, at the end of the year, we weathered a particularly contentious U.S. presidential election.
I, along with many of you, I’m sure, was wearied by a loss of trust in the honesty and accuracy of the election process. No matter which candidate you supported, it’s deeply unsettling to see bitter divisiveness, anger, and bias penetrate what were supposed to be our trustworthy institutions (like the media and polling places). I have never witnessed such a polarization of political views in my lifetime. Misinformation ran rampant and brought tremendous confusion. The recent attack on the US capitol was unprecedented and horrific.
The Biden administration is now a reality and we need to be praying for President Biden. And while I hope and pray he will govern with every citizen in mind, we should also pray he governs with the interests of our foreign allies in mind – particularly Israel.
Here at Jewish Voice, our mission includes standing with Israel and helping Christians understand why Israel is so important in God’s eternal plan. God has blessed our work in amazing and supernatural ways since our ministry began back in 1967, and I have no doubt He will continue to bless it. But it’s important for us to know, too, that the 2020 presidential election will have consequences (perhaps both good and bad) for our work, particularly as it relates to Israel.
I want to share with you now what I believe some of those consequences will be, and how we can continue to support the state of Israel no matter who sits in the White House.
Thank You, President Trump
Shortly after President-elect Biden’s victory was announced, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a somewhat lackluster public congratulations on Twitter. But Netanyahu then went on to offer effusive thanks to President Donald Trump for all he had done to support Israel.
I think those thanks were warranted. Before we look ahead to life in Israel post-election, it’s worth reflecting on President Trump’s tenure.
As Netanyahu said before, President Trump was arguably the best friend that Israel has found in the U.S. presidency since President Harry Truman (who was among the first world leaders to recognize Israel’s statehood in 1948).
Many have celebrated President Trump’s courage, for example, in bringing the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That move recognized the Holy City as Israel’s rightful capitol. It was a bold step, and one that no President before Mr. Trump had the courage to do. And that’s despite the fact that the U.S. Congress had passed a law - back in 1995 - calling for the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem! For 25 years previous presidents signed executive orders delaying this move…until Donald Trump! He had the courage to say enough is enough. Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel and we will now honor the decision of the Congress.
President Trump also recognized the Golan Heights and the West Bank – territories long in dispute among Israel, Syria and the Palestinians – as official Israeli land. Prime Minister Netanyahu called the recognition a “historic justice.” It gave due credit, he said, to the many Israeli soldiers that fought bravely for the land in the Golan Heights against a Syrian invasion in the Six-Day War in 1967. And it will protect all people, Jewish and Arab, who live in those territories today.