The signing of the Abraham Accords is an incredible achievement for the Trump administration. For the last three and a half years President Trump disregarded all conventional wisdom regarding the Middle East despite warnings from past presidents, State Department officials and diplomats around the world. Many thought that his new policies would end in death and destruction. How did he know what no one else did? How did he see peace when everyone else saw war? The answer lies with a concept called faith-based diplomacy.
President Trump looks at Israel from a biblical point of view. He understands how the base of his voters looks at Israel, and when Bible-believing Christians voted for him, they made it clear that they wanted him to improve relations with Israel. Trump changed the course of America’s policy toward Israel, drastically altering the trajectory set by past presidents. He used the fact that his base was behind him to implement major policy shifts. These shifts were not necessarily politically correct, but they were biblically correct.
Since former president Carter, the US’s Middle East policy had viewed Israel’s “occupation” as responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East. The PLO’s aggression and refusal to either disavow terrorism or accept Israel’s right to exist were brushed aside. The Obama administration adopted the 1978 Hansell Memorandum, which condemned Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, as US official policy. This State Department document was based on an erroneous interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949 and had no basis in international law. But Obama’s acceptance of it enabled the UN Security Council to pass a resolution criminalizing Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice line.
The Trump administration recognized the false narrative, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the administration was replacing the Hansell memo with an accurate assessment of international law. “It is important that we speak the truth when the facts lead us to it. And that’s what we’ve done,” Pompeo announced in January 2020. President Trump’s policies expose the corrupted narrative of his predecessors’ policies toward Iran and Israel.
Trump ended the Obama doctrine on Israel. He stopped blaming Israel for the problems of the Middle East, and he started looking at how to strengthen the alliance between Israel and America. He refocused the story by seeing the situation as it is: that Israel is a small but flourishing democracy amid the hostile Middle East. This shift in perspective has allowed America and Israel to once again work together in harmony.
Because many of Trump’s core supporters are Bible-believing Christians who look at the world from a biblical point of view, he adopted their perspective and as a result made some bold decisions. The most notable example is moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Every advisor, from the secretary of state at the time to his secretary of defense, told Trump that he was making a huge mistake. The State Department said that such an initiative would start a third Intifada and that thousands would be killed. It could lead to World War III.
Even the Democrats who voted for the Jerusalem Embassy Act told him that it was not the right time, that such a move would cause incredible destabilization in the region. For this reason, other countries did not want to move their embassies. They feared the reaction by the Muslim world. Moving the embassy did not seem to be a smart political decision. But because Trump’s base is Christian and expected him to do the biblically correct thing, rather than the politically correct thing, he did it. And that led to a huge policy shift.
All the explosive reactions that people worried about never happened. And this has been the general counterintuitive trend. Decisions made solely from a political perspective, in the name of peace but at the expense of Israel’s security, end badly. But when decisions are made looking from a biblical point of view, things go right. People later realize that the threats were never followed through and their fears were unfounded.
Adapted from TITUS, TRUMP, AND THE TRIUMPH OF ISRAEL Copyright © 2020 by Josh Reinstein. Published by Gefen Publishing. Available wherever books are sold.
Josh Reinstein has been the Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus since its inception on January 5, 2004, and is also the President of the Israel Allies Foundation. Mr. Reinstein is the producer and founder of the hit TV show, Israel Now News. Israel Now News is a half an hour weekly news magazine that is broadcast to millions of viewers around the world. Josh Reinstein grew up in Dallas, Texas, and Toronto, Canada. He is an honors graduate of the University of Western Ontario, where he earned a degree in Political Science. He served as a tank gunner in the elite 188 unit of the Israel Defense Forces Armored Corps. He currently lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Rebekah, and four children.
Mr. Reinstein was named as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post.