Israel as a Jewish state and Jerusalem as their capital are two of Israel’s fundamental assertions in any long-term peace deal with the Palestinians, and both were backed on Sunday by Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump told Netanyahu during the meeting that he agrees that “that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State,” according to a press release on Trump’s campaign website. Trump also endorsed the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
A press statement from Netanyahu’s office said the two men met for over an hour and discussed “issues relating to Israel’s security and its efforts to achieve stability and peace in the Middle East.” Netanyahu met with Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday as well, with a press release from his office saying they discussed “a broad range of issues relating to advancing peace and stability in the Middle East as well as the potential for economic growth through technological innovation.”
The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has long been an overly complicated issue for the Americans. The U.S. currently maintains their embassy in Tel Aviv and has refused to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite the Jewish people’s history and religious ties to the city. While Congress has pushed for recognition of Jerusalem, the multiple American presidents have chosen not to do so for security reasons.
Trump, however, in his press release said that he “acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”
Trump is not the first presidential candidate to promise such an action.
Trump also discussed with Netanyahu Israeli industries, including how they might help the U.S. The press statement said they discussed “Israel’s burgeoning hi-tech and biotech economy and how it has made stunning advances improving and saving lives around the world. In particular, Mr. Trump noted Israel’s emergence as a world leader in cyber defense and security and its cooperation with the United States in this regard.”
Israel and the U.S. have had a largely positive relationship for decades, although current U.S. President Barack Obama has been criticized for ways he has handled ties between the nations. So far, there is hope the next presidential relationship with Israel could be better.
The statement from Netanyahu’s office said he thanked Trump and Clinton for their “friendship and support for Israel.”
Trump’s statement echoed that sentiment. “The meeting concluded with both leaders promising the highest level of mutual support and cooperation should Mr. Trump have the honor and privilege of being elected President of the United States.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 25, 2016)