Donald Trump has signalled a paradigm shift in US policy towards Israel as the US president and Israeli PM met in Washington yesterday.

Expressing a profound friendship with one another individually and on the national level, Trump said, “Today I have the honour of welcoming my friend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House.”

In a much anticipated press conference held jointly by the two leaders, Trump added, “With this visit the United States, again, reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel.”  Prime Minster Netanyahu said, “Our alliance has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership I’m confident it will get even stronger.” He added, “Israel has no better ally than the United States, and I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.”

Full Press Conference of Netanyahu and Trump – 15 February 2017Watch the FULL press conference between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump at the White House on 15 February 2017.

God bless these two leaders and the relationship between the United States and Israel.

#Israel #USA #Trump #Netanyahu #PrayforIsrael

Posted by Christians United for Israel – UK on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On the two-state solution

President Trump appeared to turn US policy on its head, saying he was “looking at two states and one state” and adding: “I like the one that both parties like.” Unlike his predecessors, Trump did not explicitly demand a two-state solution, “I can live with either one. I thought for a while that two states looked like it may be the easier of the two. To be honest, if Bibi and the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”

When asked about settlement-building during the briefing, Trump told Netanyahu: “I would like to see you hold back for a little bit.”

Trump paid compliment to Netanyahu, a “smart man, great negotiator”, saying “I think we’re going to make a deal.  It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand.  That’s a possibility.  So let’s see what we do.”

On peace between Israel and Palestinians

Trump indicated that peace should be negotiated directly between both parties. He said, “The United States will encourage a peace and, really, a great peace deal.  We’ll be working on it very, very diligently.  Very important to me also — something we want to do.  But it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement.  We’ll be beside them; we’ll be working with them.”

Netanyahu spoke of the two prerequisites to peace, “First, the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state.  They have to stop calling for Israel’s destruction.  They have to stop educating their people for Israel’s destruction,” he said,  “Second, in any peace agreement, Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River.  Because if we don’t, we know what will happen — because otherwise we’ll get another radical Islamic terrorist state in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East.”

Trump equivocally backed the two pre-conditions: “I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they’re taught from a very young age,” Trump stressed. “I’ve seen what they’re taught. It starts at a very young age. And it starts in the schoolroom. The (Palestinians) have to acknowledge Israel. There’s no way a deal can be made unless they ready to acknowledge a very important country.”

On the US embassy move to Jerusalem

Trump addressed his campaign promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: “I’d love to see that happen,” he said, “We’re looking at it very, very strongly. We’re looking at it with great care, a great care, believe me. We’ll see what happens.”

On Iran

Trump referred to the Iran deal made by the previous administration as “One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen” saying that the security challenges Israel faces, included that of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, are “enormous”.

Netanyahu complimented Trump’s position saying, “As you have said, our alliance is based on a deep bond of common values and common interest. And increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force: radical Islamic terror.” He added, “Mr. President, you’ve shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head on. You call for confronting Iran’s terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal, and you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

On Radical Islam

Netanyahu said that under Trump’s leadership, they can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam saying that Israel stands with the US in this “great task”. He added, “Mr. President, in rolling back militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity, because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly – as an ally.”

IN PICTURES: PM Netanyahu and wife Sara visit the White House

On the UN

Trump said that he rejects “unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations”  or other “international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel”.  He also said that the administration is committed to working with Israel and common allies in the region towards greater security and stability.

Netanyahu on Trump

Netanyahu closed the press conference saying, “I’ve known the President and I’ve known his family and his team for a long time, and there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump.  I think we should put that to rest.”

Christians United for Israel UK