Appreciating a Malchus Shel Chessed

On Monday, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, the leader of the premier malchus shel chessed in our time, is scheduled to land in Israel.

Torah Jewry in Israel will welcome him, as they have welcomed past presidents, with a sense of deep gratitude and appreciation. Mr. Trump is leader of a country that for more than two centuries has proved to be a true friend to its Jewish inhabitants, allowing them to observe their Judaism openly, with heads held high, to carry on the heritage of their ancestors, according to their desire and their faith.

It is a heartening fact that in the United States there are entire communities founded on Torah and yiras Shamayim. There is a splendid Torah Judaism. There are institutions of Torah and Torah education and a younger generation which is continuing in the path of its fathers, without compromise, and without intervention whatsoever from governmental authorities.

It has granted Jews equal opportunity in every area and in every way; enabling them to freely engage in commerce and industry. The American government has consistently allowed American Jews to voice their concerns — and proceeded to take them seriously — on a broad range of issues, from those pertaining to their lives in the U.S. to those touching on their desires for their fellow Jews in Israel.

It has also proven to be a most generous friend of Israel as well, granting it billions of dollars a year in military assistance. In fact, after war-torn Afghanistan, a country which still hosts thousands of American troops, Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid.

Israeli citizens have shown their appreciation during the visits to Israel of all the presidents over the past seven decades; and they will do so during this visit as well. More than that, in this visit by President Trump, there is an additional point. This is his first trip abroad as president. In the not-so-distant past, he has made declarations that were music to the ears of many Israelis, and with all the developments of more recent days, expectations remain.

It is broadly accepted that the American president arrives, from his vantage point, with good intentions. He seeks to advance diplomatic processes in the hope that they will lead to future agreements. In principle, all agree that these processes should be moved forward, and that everything possible should be done to prevent further bloodshed. In practice, certainly there will be disagreements; and not because anyone in Israel deceives himself into thinking that peace can be achieved without paying a price, but because past experience with the Palestinians has taught bitter lessons.

In general, it is worth noting that despite all the political disagreements in the country, the entire public shares the view that a cessation of terror in all its forms is a legitimate demand, which should go without saying.

President Trump spoke about this emphatically and eloquently while in Saudi Arabia. The guarantee of a halt to the terrorist violence should be the key to any future peace talks. It should also be a litmus test about the very commitment the Palestinians have for making peace, one which can be implemented immediately.

President Trump defined it well in his speech in Saudi Arabia, when he declared that the war on terror “was not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” but “a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.”

As the president told the assembled Arab leaders, “We can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong, and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.”

As Torah Jews, we rely solely on our Father in heaven, in Whose hand is the heart of the king. May He Who gives salvation to kings and dominion to princes, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, place in the heart of the President of the United States and all his advisors the wisdom and the desire to act in a manner that will be most beneficial to the residents of Israel and America.