President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu held their first official meeting today. The Jewish Federations of North America issued the following points recapping their discussion.
- The United States reaffirmed its “unbreakable” bond with its ally, Israel, and both leaders recognized the importance of their countries’ special relationship — a partnership built on shared values of advanced human freedom, dignity, and peace. The State of Israel was described as a symbol of resilience in the face of repression. In response to growing terror threats, both countries will continue to cooperate and provide mutual security assistance. It was stated that this would be the first of many productive meetings between the two leaders and their governments.
- Israel faces enormous security challenges. President Trump specifically mentioned Iran’s nuclear ambitions. His administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran and will prevent the country from ever having nuclear weapons.
- President Trump stated that Israel has been treated unfairly by other countries and peoples, especially with regard to boycotts and the United Nations.
- President Trump said the United States will encourage peace, but Palestinians and Israelis will have to directly negotiate and make compromises.
- PM Netanyahu stated that, unlike in the past, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally. He believes President Trump’s leadership creates unprecedented opportunity to advance peace and strengthen security.
- Responding to a question on moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump said he is “looking at it very, very strongly” and “with great care.”
- Regarding settlements, President Trump said, “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We’ll work something out.”
- When asked specifically about whether the United States preferred a two- or one-state solution, President Trump said that at first he thought that two states “may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians…are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
- In a similar vein, PM Netanyahu reasserted two Israeli prerequisites for peace: 1) That Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish State; and 2) That Israel must retain security control over areas west of the Jordan River. He also stated that Palestinians must stop teaching hatred to their young people and funding martyrs.
- President Trump was asked about “a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States” and what he would say to Jews in the United States, Israel and around the world who believe the “administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist overtones.” He responded, “We are going to have peace in this country. …and do everything in our power to stop long-simmering racism.” He commented that the Jewish people are “going to see a lot of love.”
- PM Netanyahu said he appreciates President Trump’s speaking out against radical Islamic terrorism and tackling of this concern head-on. Under President Trump, PM Netanyahu believes the world can reverse the tide of radical Islam.