Trump concluded his visit to Israel with high praise for Netanyahu and a powerful pro-Israel speech that highlighted the close bonds between the Jewish state and the US.
US President Donald Trump concluded his 28-hour visit to Israel with high praise for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a passionate call for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and a solemn vow that Iran will not obtain nuclear weapons during his term as president.
Speaking at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to an A-list of Israeli public officials, including Knesset members, mayors, and the chief rabbis, Trump repeated his call to “obliterate” the ideology of terrorism, and spoke about the political, historical, and defense ties between the US and Israel.
He pushed for the elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians, calling on both sides to put aside the “pain and disagreements of the past,” and declaring that both sides are ready to move forward.
A longtime businessman, Trump has cast Middle East peace as the “ultimate deal.”
He stated that Jews have built Israel into a place where they can till the land and pray where they want.
“But Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience,” he underscored.
“I call upon all people from all faiths to draw inspiration from this city [Jerusalem] and set aside sectarian and religious differences, and find common ground in making the future of this region so much better than it is now. Change must come from within and can only come from within,” the president said.
Trump said security cooperation with Israel is better than ever, and the difference from the last administration can be seen. “A big, big beautiful difference,” he emphasized.
Regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Trump declared that “Iran calls for the destruction of Israel. Not with Donald J. Trump,” he said to a standing ovation.
The president notably avoided all of the thorny issues that have stymied peace efforts for decades. Aides said the approach was purposeful.
Warm Welcome to Trump’s Words
Most Israeli politicians welcomed Trump’s speech.
Chairman of the Knesset Affairs and Defense Committee MK Avi Dichter hailed President Trump’s statements about the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, in light of the attempts by the Palestinians and other countries in the world to falsify the history of Jerusalem and Israel.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, said the address was more pro-Israel than even most Knesset members would give.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett called the speech “nearly unprecedented,” noting its friendly tone and vows to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.
However, opposition MK Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister, called on Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to follow through with Trump’s declarations.
“Trump made clear today that in his view both Abbas and Netanyahu are partners for peace. Now they need to prove it,” she says.
From Israel, Trump heads to the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis. He’ll close his ambitious first foreign trip at a pair of summits in Brussels and Sicily.
By: World Israel News Staff
AP and TPS contributed to this report.