In 2016, Joel Rosenberg did not think that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump had what it takes to handle foreign policy in the Middle East.
In a recent interview with Jenna Ellis, former Trump senior legal advisor and personal counsel, Rosenberg – ALL ISRAEL NEWS editor-in-chief – admitted he was a never-Trumper at the time.
As an expert on the region who led various Evangelical delegations into the Arab world to meet leaders such as President Abdel al-Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, King Abdullah of Jordan and United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, Rosenberg describes how he simply didn't see how Trump would succeed as president.
“He had no foreign policy experience,” he said.
Fast-forward to their meeting in the Oval Office during the Trump presidency, Rosenberg listed, in front of the former president, 12 policies that his administration forged which made him change his mind, among them the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the designation of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory and a withdrawal from a dangerous nuclear deal with Iran.
“Many people, myself included, thought there is no way this guy has the knowledge, much less the experience, much less the fortitude to do any of that,” Rosenberg said. “And then he does it. You have to give that person credit.”
Rosenberg then told the former president: “You will go down in history as the most pro-life and the most pro-Israel president in American history, even if that's all you do.”
It was only after multiple conversations with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that Rosenberg began to realize what it was about Trump that allowed him to break through and make four Middle East peace deals, something none of his successors had done in a quarter of a century.
“Trump essentially led with what I call the ‘George Costanza Doctrine,’” Rosenberg said. “He realized that every person before him had tried essentially the exact same strategy and got the same results. Nothing.”
In a famous episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza decides to stop following his instincts and do the opposite of what he’s always done.
From the Seinfeld episode:
Jerry Seinfeld: If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
George Costanza: Yes, I will do the opposite. I used to sit here and do nothing, and regret it for the rest of the day, so now I will do the opposite, and I will do something!
For Trump, Rosenberg stressed, the opposite of what all his predecessors have done was to “hug Israel, get closer to Israel, show that we were standing with Israel and to take a hard line against the crazies in Iran.”
Trump created daylight with Israel and that led to historic peace agreements with moderate Arab states.
When asked about the Biden administration and what Americans should expect to see ahead on foreign policy, Rosenberg replied: “Biden hasn't done everything wrong. He is very pro-Israel. He stands with Israel on the Iron Dome funding and missile defenses and other types of things, but his judgment is so flawed that he doesn't understand Iran. He didn't understand Iraq. He clearly doesn't understand Afghanistan.”
“Joe Biden thinks he understands the region because he thinks he's been around Washington for 50 years, so he thinks he is an expert. The problem is he has incompetence matched with hubris,” Rosenberg added.
The ALL ISRAEL NEWS editor-in-chief emphasized that he is not questioning Biden’s motives but rather his judgment, and that he is not the only one doing so. Iran, Russia and China are also testing the U.S. president.
“All of our worst enemies are looking around going, maybe this is the moment?” Joel explained.
Rosenberg encouraged Christians praying for Israel to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that the Abraham Accords would expand – maybe to a peace deal with Saudi Arabia.
“To quote President Trump, ’It’d be huge,’” Rosenberg said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.