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Saturday, January 20, 2018

How could we have known that Donald Trump, the president who triggers such a visceral reaction in this nation, would boldly tell the world that Jerusalem was undeniably Israel’s capital and our nation’s embassy was destined for our people’s most holy city?

Along those lines, how could we have known what Nikki Haley would bring to the table? When the president chose Haley, the former South Carolina governor, as his administration’s United Nations secretary, it was met with criticism in some circles. After all, what did a Southern governor know about world diplomacy?

In less than a year, Haley has told the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly that the U.S. would no longer stand by and allow Israel to be victimized by its anti-Semitic bias. At last March’s AIPAC Policy Conference, Haley easily received the loudest ovation of the event when she declared there was a “new sheriff in town.” This was just months after the Obama administration abstained on a Security Council vote condemning Israel for its settlements.

Her strength, and the backing of the U.S. administration, was made even more abundantly clear as the U.S. was one of nine nations voting against a U.N. resolution declaring null and void the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Just this past Sunday, as the year was coming to a close, the U.S. announced cutbacks of some $285 million in funds paid to support the United Nations.

Closer to home, we wonder about the township of Mahwah, which came together in a show of bias against Orthodox Jews and their need to build an eruv and even take their families to local public parks. It took a threatened state lawsuit against the town for it to step back from its hateful actions.

And in New Brunswick, we wonder if the removal of a professor who used social media as an anti-Semitic hatred platform will be enough to stay the spread of hate on this state campus with one of the nation’s largest Jewish student enrollments.

We know there is so much to a year that is positive. Yet it is how the Jewish community, both locally and in Israel, reacts to the negative that says so much. That we had volunteers from as near as Bergen County to as far as Tel Aviv coming to the aid of Houston’s Jewish community in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is a testament to our people.

Among the positive points of this year have been milestones for our readers: graduations, special anniversaries, births of children or grandchildren. We wish those continued simchas for our community in the coming year of 2018.

We are filled with hope that this will be a year of peace and prosperity for The Jewish Link family, including its readers and advertisers, the people of New Jersey and the Jewish people around the world.

We enter 2018 feeling that Israel’s relationship with the U.S. is stronger and more secure than ever. And we hope that intolerance against Jews and any other minority finds no place in this world.