Netanyahu Says Committed to Trump to ‘Advance Peace’ with Neighbors

Will Trump get a peace deal done in the Middle East? U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sees the many dangers in the Middle East, but he believes that there could be a silver lining to it all and he wants to work with United States President Donald Trump to achieve that positive potential. “Israel is committed to working with President Trump to advance peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors,” said Netanyahu in a speech to the AIPAC conference published by his office.

He continued, “I believe that the common dangers faced by Israel and many of our Arab neighbors now offer a rare opportunity to build bridges towards a better future—a future more prosperous, more secure, more peaceful.” Netanyahu made it clear that such a future must be achieved by “never compromising our security,” which is another area in which Netanyahu is grateful for President Trump’s support.

“The administration is showing its commitment to Israel by turning those words into policies… You see it in the budget request submitted by President Trump. It leaves military aid to Israel fully funded, even as the fiscal belt is pulled tighter. And we appreciate that,” said the Israeli leader.

Trump and Netanyahu had what the Israeli described as “an exceptionally warm meeting” with Trump in February. During the meeting, the two leaders supported peace with the Palestinians but made it clear it needed to be done between the two parties directly.

Trump did nudge Netanyahu a little on the issue of settlement construction, but so far the two have appeared to generally be on the same page and the two governments are currently discussing an approach to the settlements together.

Netanyahu said that the U.S. and Israel share many common values, including “the pursuit of peace.”

“Israel’s hand and my hand is extended to all of our neighbors in peace,” said Netanyahu, who went on to contrast that to the Palestinian leadership. “We teach peace to our children. And it’s time the Palestinian Authority do the same. It must stop teaching hatred to its children. It must stop paying terrorists. It must stop denying our legitimacy and our history. It must above all, once and for all, recognize the Jewish state.”

Despite the conflict with the Palestinians that seems to overshadow all regional relations, Netanyahu believes that there are those in the region that should be allies in the fight against militant Islam. He is confident that Israel and the U.S. “will stand together” to fight “darkness” and “despair”. And through that partnership with America, Netanyahu believes more cooperation can emerge in a region rife with conflict.

“It means building alliances with moderates in the region, those moderates who seek to build a better future and embrace modernity and peace,” said Netanyahu. “In this battle between modernity and medievalism, more and more countries in the region and outside the region, around the world, realize that Israel is on their side.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 27, 2017)


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