Trump Accomplished In The Middle East What No Other President Could

Trump Accomplished In The Middle East What No Other President Could

No administration has been more resolute in its support of our greatest ally Israel than the Trump administration, which makes it no surprise that President Donald Trump and the rest of Team U.S.A. just delivered two historic agreements that substantively forward the cause of peace and security in the Middle East and represent real progress in this elusive centuries-long mission.

Early last month, Trump announced an agreement to fully normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, making it the first Arab country in 26 years to have full diplomatic relations with Israel. As a key part of recognizing Israel’s right to exist, allowing travel, commerce, and the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, the Abraham Accords establish a bilateral relationship that will lead the way for other regional powers to do the same. Less than 30 days later, as a direct result of U.S. leadership and fortitude, as well as Iranian aggression in the region, the Kingdom of Bahrain followed suit, agreeing to normalize relations with Israel.

These deals are a product of the United States standing with our greatest ally, Israel. The United States has moved our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and driven regional powers to the table. With the support of the United States, Israel has established valuable new political, economic, and social relations in the region. The tides have turned, and the swell of peace, stability, and prosperity will hopefully continue to spread across the region.

These deals are not only in Israel’s interest, however. These agreements continue to isolate Tehran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and unite our allies in a collective front against Iranian aggression in the region and across the globe. This is in the United States’ best interests as well.

Iran contributes to some of the most destabilizing threats to the United States and Middle East. It supplies militia groups, such as Kata’ib Hezbollah and Hamas, which are responsible for countless deaths, destruction, and terror.

The United States and its allies seized a boat in June carrying Iranian weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen. These included 200 rocket-propelled grenades, more than 1,700 rifles, 21 surface-to-air and land-attack missiles, anti-tank missiles, and more advanced weaponry.

Even the United Nations secretary-general’s own report recently confirmed that weapons seized by American forces in both November 2019 and February 2020 originated in Iran, but despite these findings, Iran continued to operate nefariously with impunity thanks to decades of failed U.S. and global leadership.

Iran does not respect weakness. It respects only strength, but the Obama administration instead threw our greatest ally Israel and our national security under the bus, bowing to Iran and delivering a jackpot of up to $150 billion in sanctions relief, without even asking for a signature. The Obama administration failed to address any of Iran’s other bad activities, including overthrowing foreign governments, illegally test-firing intercontinental ballistic missiles, blowing up mock U.S. warships, seizing one of our naval vessels, and subsequently holding hostage and publicly embarrassing 10 American sailors, pledging to wipe Israel off the map, and chanting “death to America” in their streets on their holidays, all while unjustly imprisoning American citizens.

Time and time again, Iran has turned to violence and terrorism in the region and across the world. Thankfully, in less than one term, Trump has reversed decades of fatally flawed foreign policy, eliminating the Islamic State caliphate, killing Qassim Soleimani and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and taking other decisive action without starting any new military conflict anywhere on the globe. Negotiating from a place of strength rather than weakness, the Trump administration has used tact and leverage to unite the region against Iran and its nefarious activities.

The United States and the world are safer when America effectively leads on the world stage, and Trump has the agreements to prove it. Leading from the front, his administration has established historic momentum that will continue to do what so many before him have failed to do for far too long: forward the evasive cause of peace in the Middle East.

Congressman Zeldin represents New York’s 1st Congressional District in the House of Representatives where he serves as ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, and one of only two Jewish Republicans members of Congress. 
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