Gratitude is literally written into our Jewish identity.
In the book of Genesis, when our foremother Leah gives birth to her last son, she says: “ ‘This time I will give thanks to the Lord’; therefore she called his name, Yehuda.” It is because of Yehuda that we Jews are named yehudim in Hebrew. And it is in the spirit of Yehuda that we give thanks for kinship, for friendship, for courage, for the triumph of truth.
U.S. President Donald Trump represents all of these things.
And today, as he departs the White House, he deserves our gratitude—as proud Israelis, as proud Americans and as proud Jews, no matter our politics.
Where his predecessors faltered, this president delivered, by finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and beloved capital and moving the U.S. embassy there.
Where his predecessors shut their eyes to reality, this president demonstrated strategic vision, by recognizing the Golan Heights as Israel’s sovereign territory and declaring that there is nothing wrong—and everything right—about Jews living anywhere in the ancient Jewish homeland.
President Trump showed global leadership in the face of evil, by withdrawing from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran and increasing sanctions against it.
And he always—always—backed Israel and the Jewish people.
President Trump knew that America stands tallest when it stands with its true friends and allies. He knew that Israel’s interests are U.S. interests and that when one of these nations becomes great again, so too does the other. He knew that the Red, White, and Blue looked terrific flying alongside the Blue and White: Stars and Stripes alongside the Star of David.
We owe President Trump our sincere and heartfelt thanks without apology or hesitation.
That’s what it means to have a common cause and a shared destiny.
Our enemies’ weapons do not discriminate among Israelis. And our friends—our real friends—do not discriminate between the “right” or “wrong” time to support Israel, or the “right” or “wrong” Israeli government to engage with.
We must embrace such friends. We must embrace President Trump. The gratitude we owe him is above partisan politics. It is a duty that we must feel in our souls, which speaks to the very heart of our existence.
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, dear friend and ally. You will be missed. In Zion, you will always have a home away from home.
God bless you, and God bless the great United States.
Dr. Adelson is the publisher of Israel Hayom. As she is in mourning for her late husband, Sheldon Adelson, we have, with her permission, printed the above article—an updated version of a speech she delivered alongside President Trump at a Dec. 11, 2019 gala of the Israel American Council.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.