Trump and Israel: A Look Back at the Last Four Years

From moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and helping broker three normalization accords with Arab countries, here's how Trump's policies affected Israel

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Haaretz
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Netanyahu stands with Trump after signing the Abraham Accords, normalizing relations between Israel and some of its Middle East neighbors, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, September 15, 2020
Netanyahu stands with Trump after signing the Abraham Accords, normalizing relations between Israel and some of its Middle East neighbors, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, SeptemberCredit: TOM BRENNER/ REUTERS
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Haaretz

From a dramatic embassy relocation to unprecedented interference in Israeli elections, Donald Trump’s four years in the White House have produced a long stream of headlines related to Israel. Trump entered the White House wanting to achieve what he called “The Ultimate Deal”, a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and while that did not happen during his first and potentially only term, many other things did.

In December 2017, Trump announced that he will in Israel to Jerusalem, a declaration that was met with jubilation in Jerusalem and rage in Ramallah. The ceremony marking the move itself, in May 2018, included speeches by two Evangelical pastors, one of whom with a record of hateful remarks against other religious groups. While the celebration took place in Jerusalem, dozens of Palestinians stormed the Israel-Gaza border and were by the Israel Defense Forces.

A look back at the past four years:  ■

In the spring of 2019, just two weeks before an Israeli election, Trump hosted Netanyahu in the White House for an event in which America over the Golan Heights. Half a year later, just three days before another Israeli election, Trump tweeted that he and Netanyahu had discussed a mutual defense pact. The issue was never mentioned again after the election, and it also didn’t help Netanyahu politically in that election.

Trump’s plan for the Middle East, known in the region as the was unveiled in January 2020. It included Israeli of the West Bank, including each and every settlement in the area. The Palestinians were offered as part of the plan a "state" in name only, battered and cut into small pieces by the promised annexation.

That annexation, however, didn’t take place eventually. Instead, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, negotiated three between Israel and Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan – in exchange for Israel halting its annexation plans and giving a "green light" to the to the UAE. The deals were praised as historic achievements in Israel and the region.

Trump has said that more Arab countries will sign normalization deals with Israel after the election. It remains to be seen if that will indeed happen, and if he will be a re-elected president at that point or a president on his way out. 

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