This is the Dayenu for President Trump, based on the simple realization that there has never been a president as pro-Israel as Trump, and it is almost unthinkable that there will ever be another. Let us count the ways, individual acts for which alone we would sing Dayenu, “it would have been enough:”
- If Trump had only ceased calling the Palestinians “refugees,” it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only rejected the notion that the fate of the Palestinians is the crux of every conflict in the Middle East, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only halted financial aid to the Palestinian Authority to protest their diabolical “pay to slay” program, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only questioned the wisdom and viability of the two-state illusion, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only devastated ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only canceled the Iran nuclear deal and committed to thwarting an Iranian nuclear bomb, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only acknowledged Israel’s right to settle throughout its ancestral homeland, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only vetoed every anti-Israel resolution tabled at the United Nations, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only withdrawn the United States from the UN Human Rights Commission and from UNESCO for their vicious anti-Israel bias, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only unequivocally supported Israel’s right of self-defense, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only moved the American embassy to Yerushalayim, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only recognized Yerushalayim as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only formally recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only routinely denounced the scourge of Jew hatred, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only said – as he did after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre – that “those who are trying to destroy the Jewish people, we will destroy them,” it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only ostracized anti-Israel voices in America, it would have been enough;
- If Trump had only warmly befriended Israel’s Prime Minister and its people, it would have been enough.
That is some list, even without reciting the al achat kama v’chama that would marvel at the achievement of each of the above. It is unprecedented in the history of the relationship of the United States and Israel and the president is only two years into his administration. Of course, there have been other presidents who were “pro-Israel,” and others who were less than friendly – but there has never been a President whose support was unambiguous and influenced so many other nations around the world as this President. We should be thankful, and express our gratitude without hesitation.
Gratitude is an especially cherished virtue among Jews and particularly on Pesach when we celebrate our nation’s founding. And even if we limit the real Dayenu to the King of Kings, we do acknowledge that, as King Shlomo put it, “Like streams of water the heart of a king is in G-d’s hands…” (Mishlei 21:1).
Sure, he may tweet a bit too much and much too vividly at times, and one can quibble with a questionable policy here and there, and others can criticize a character weakness or two, but we betray ourselves and our deepest values if we do not express gratitude. Only a Trump, not beholden to the tired thinking of all the old Middle East experts and their evenhandedness, their failures, and their anti-Israel animus scarcely concealed, could have pulled this off –a re-alignment of American foreign policy.
And even if Jews are not one-issue voters, it behooves us to at least acknowledge the contrast with prior presidents – some of whom made promises they did not keep, berated Israel and Jews when new rooms were added on to apartments in Ofra and Kiryat Arba, never acknowledged (or acknowledged grudgingly) Israel’s natural, historic, religious and moral right to its homeland, embraced wholeheartedly the chimeras of “land for peace” and the “two state illusion,” urged restraint and proportionality whenever Jews were attacked and wished to retaliate and pre-empt future attacks, and were obsessed with again partitioning the land of Israel and excising its heartland from Jewish sovereignty.
Whether President Trump is guilty of the crime of obstruction of justice or the virtue and natural right of obstruction of injustice (it seems more like the latter) will be settled according to the new American custom: by the media. As for us, even Jewish Democrats should at least acknowledge these blessings and how the current administration has strengthened Israel – and regardless of the fanciful “deal of the century” coming down the road. We should not only see maror but open our eyes to the wonders of a friendship and alliance that has achieved heretofore unimaginable heights.
Sometimes we are tested with an abundance of good and not the incidence of evil. That too is a gift of Providence for which we should be ever grateful.