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Why Optics Matter During Trump's Israel Visit

Why Optics Matter During Trump's Israel Visit

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during then visit to the Israel museum in Jerusalem, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

By Tuesday, 23 May 2017 12:12 PM Current | Bio | Archive

President Trump is only hours into his first trip to Israel as U.S. commander in chief, but the images globally broadcast from the Jewish state deliver an unmistakable message — the United States and Israel are partners standing together. 

It’s an important message with consequences for both nations. For those of us who recognize not only the strategic interests bonding the U.S. and Israel, but the deeply rooted values of freedom, democracy, and human rights, the sight of President Trump in Israel is both inspiring and comforting.

During the previous eight years of the Obama administration the relationship with Israel was not treated with the care that it demands. While intelligence sharing, military cooperation, and other aspects of cooperation continued apace, President Obama never missed an opportunity to sow distrust, while insulting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Thankfully, with the Trump White House, the relationship will be restored to its rightful place.

It's clear that great work went into ensuring that the various optics of this trip to Israel were carefully choreographed. As Air Force One touched down, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife were waiting on the tarmac, beside a red carpet, to personally welcome President Trump. The handshakes and smiles were genuine. It's clear these two men know and respect one another. 

Trump’s brief remarks concluded with a powerful statement about how the U.S. views Israel, "We love Israel, we respect Israel . . . the people of the United States of America are with you."

Later, at a ceremony with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, President Trump reiterated his message that America and Israel are united. In any close relationship, there must be a degree of give and take. Case in point, when President Trump was shown an almond tree planted in honor of his visit with the Biblical passage to, "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" he asked that the commemorative plaque be updated to include the words "pray for peace in Jerusalem." Israel’s president immediately announced that the update would be made.

During the next two days, there will be many more iconic images of President Trump in the Holy Land. It’s not just in America that many people are transfixed by what they see — the entire world is watching.

For anyone tuning in, it's clear to see that the U.S. and its ally Israel will move forward together in a spirit of mutual respect — and brotherhood. Thus, optics matter. Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words. The friends and enemies of America and Israel should take note that the greatest superpower in the world stands firmly at the side of its vital ally — Israel.

Armstrong Williams is the author of "Reawakening Virtues." He is a political commentator who writes a conservative newspaper column, hosts a nationally syndicated TV program called "The Right Side," and hosts a daily radio show on Sirius/XM Power 128 (6-7 p.m. and 5-6 a.m.) Monday through Friday. He also is owner of Howard Stirk Holdings Broadcast TV stations. Read more reports from Armstrong Williams — Click Here Now.

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Optics matter. Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words. The friends and enemies of America and Israel should take note that the greatest superpower in the world stands firmly at the side of its vital ally, Israel.
holy land, jerusalem, rivlin
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 12:12 PM
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