President Trump’s visit to Israel on Monday was more than an American leader visiting his country’s closest ally in the Middle East, it was a day of historic firsts and a total reputation of the eight years of Obama.
In my short time as a journalist, I have seen two different Israeli Prime ministers welcome three different American Presidents to Israel. While all the welcomes had the proper protocol, pomp and circumstance, and bestowed the proper honor on the American leader, I have never seen the Israeli welcoming contingent show such absolute joy at receiving a visit from a POTUS that I observed at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday.
It wasn’t the forced smile of Barack Obama landing at Ben Gurion in 2013, his face not able to hide the fact that his only purpose in being there was his lack of visiting Israel was a campaign issue in 2012 and he wanted to protect the Jewish vote for the upcoming midterms. Bibi’s expression in 2013 was just as sour, the forced smile reminding one of when an unwanted relative comes to visit. In 2017 Netanyahu greeted President in Israel with a wide-grin.
Israeli President Rivlin welcomed President Trump with “Mr. President, we are happy to see that America is back in the area–America is back again.” That wasn’t quite true America never left, but for the past eight years American had a leader who simply did not like the Jewish State. And when he finally made it to Israel after his second inauguration, Barack Obama had already established his contempt for Israel and had secretly begun his pivot away from the traditional U.S. Sunni States, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt toward the Shia terrorist state of Iran.
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Not only was President Trump in Israel during his first term as POTUS, but it was during his first trip outside the country. An honor that was not lost on the Prime Minister in his welcoming speech:
Your visit here, Mr. President, is truly historic. Never before has the first foreign trip of a president of the United States included a visit to Israel. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for this powerful expression of your friendship to Israel.
One could tell by Netanyahu switching between Mr. President and Donald in his speech that the Israeli Prime Minister and the American President had a deep bond that started way before their present positions. Bibi went on to praise Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia which signaled a 180 degree shift from Obama’s weak on terror/pro-Iran policies…