Netanyahu to Ministers: Trump a ‘True Friend of Israel’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, in New York, on September 25, 2016. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO *** Local Caption *** øàù äîîùìä áðéîéï ðúðéäå ðôâù òí äîåòã äøôåáìé÷àé ì ðùéàåú àøöåú äáøéú, ãåðìã èøàîô á ðéå éåø÷ áé÷åø
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump in New York, Sept. 25. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

President-elect Donald Trump “is a true friend of Israel, and the staff surrounding him have a deep friendship with us,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting. “I spoke with the President-elect on the phone last week, and in that conversation as well, he expressed his strong support for Israel. This is a friendship that he has long professed, as has the staff he is surrounding himself with.”

Nearly all candidates for top posts in a Trump administration have been outspoken supporters of Israel. For example, the leading candidates for the position of Secretary of State are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. The latter has written hundreds of articles stressing the need for a strong Israel, while in 2011 Gingrich said that the Palestinians were an “invented” people. “I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and who were historically part of the Arab community,” Gingrich said in an interview. “And they had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it’s tragic.”

Netanyahu said that the two planned to meet “at the nearest possible opportunity in order to discuss all the important issues on the agenda between the U.S. and Israel. I would ask all ministers to allow us to develop policy together with the new administration on behalf of Israel and the region, and not via statements and speeches in the media,” Netanyahu told the ministers, referring to a slew of statements last week by ministers who said they believed that Trump would support Israel’s agenda to a great extent.

One of those agenda items mentioned by ministers is the expectation that Trump will finally move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim. If that happens, said Palestinian Authority ambassador to the U.N. Riyadh Mansour, “we will embitter [Trump’s] life. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be a violation of a U.N. decision. If this happens, we will use all the tools and weapons at our disposal, and no one at the U.N. will be able to stop us.”

Following his election, Trump said he will try and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians in order to bring an end to what he called “the war that never ends.”

Trump made the remarks during an interview with The Wall Street Journal a day after his initial meeting with outgoing President Barack Obama at the White House as part of the process of transferring power to the new administration.

In the interview, Trump referred to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians in business world terms, calling it “the ultimate deal.”

“As a deal maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake,” he added.