Netanyahu praises Trump, stresses bond between US, Israel in AIPAC speech

Netanyahu thanked Trump for his historic decisions on behalf of Israel and spoke of the shared values between Israel and the U.S. in a televised speech to the AIPAC conference.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke via video link to the AIPAC Policy Conference on Tuesday, praising U.S. President Donald Trump, thanking AIPAC and emphasizing the shared values between Israel and the U.S.

“Thank you, AIPAC. Thank you for bringing together 18,000 proud Americans – and more than 4,000 American students – who stand with Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister praised Trump for recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which he formally did on Monday at the White House with Netanyahu present.

“The Golan Heights is indispensable for our defense. It’s part of our history. When you put a shovel in the ground there what you discover are the ruins of ancient synagogues. Jews lived there for thousands of years and the people of Israel have come back to the Golan,” Netanyahu said.

He also thanked Trump for leaving “the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran,” moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, and appointing David Friedman as ambassador to Israel.

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Shared values

Netanyahu also addressed the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. “Ladies and gentlemen, in recent weeks, we’ve heard a lot about the rise of forces who want to pull America and Israel apart. So I can tell you one thing. I guarantee you this. They will fail,” he said.

“Our shared values are too deep. Our shared interests are too strong. Our shared destiny too intertwined,” the prime minister added.

Taking a jab at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) the freshman congresswoman who tweeted “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” insinuating that AIPAC buys Israel support in Congress, Netanyahu said, “Take it from this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins.”

“The reason the people of America support Israel is not because they want our money, it’s because they share our values. … It’s because America and Israel share a love of freedom and democracy. It’s because we cherish individual rights and the rule of law. It’s because we don’t judge people by the color of their skin, their religion or their sexual orientation,” he said.

The best way to handle anti-Semites, “Is not to bow down to them. It’s to stand up to them,” Netanyahu said.

“So I have a message to all the antisemites out there – whether they live in modern Persia, in the palaces of Tehran or the bunkers of Beirut; whether they march through the streets of Charlottesville or murder worshippers in a synagogue in Pittsburgh; whether they voice their hatred in political parties in Britain, or Europe, or the United States… The Jewish people do not bow down. We stand up. We fight. And we win,” Netanyahu said.

Nation-State Law

The prime minister defended the recently passed Nation-State Law which codifies certain Jewish aspects of the State of Israel. The law has come under attack in certain quarters for allegedly discriminating against non-Jewish citizens of Israel.

Netanyahu said, ” I am proud of Israel’s vibrant democracy, where no one – no one – is a second-class citizen. All of Israel’s citizens are first-class citizens. All of Israel’s citizens whether Jew or Arab, Muslim, Christian, or Druze, have exactly the same individual rights. We vote in the same elections. We’re subject to the same laws. We study in the same universities. And we are also treated in the same hospitals.

“But Israel is also the one and only country on earth in which the Jewish people exercise our collective right of self-determination. And that right is expressed in the Star of David that is on our flag, in the Hatikvah that is our national anthem, in Hebrew our official language and most powerfully, in the right of every Jew across the world to automatically immigrate to Israel and become a citizen if they choose to do so.

“It is these features of our collective existence that the Nation State bill enshrined into an historic constitutional law. And contrary to the false attacks and allegations, it did not denigrate any individual rights, which remain sacred and equal for all our citizens. And it will always be that way.

“Israel will always be a democracy, just as Israel will always be the Jewish State, a place where all Jews anywhere can always call home, no matter how they pray or how they wish to conduct their lives. Israel is the home of all Jews.”