The United States and Israel are well on their way to much improved relations. Much, much improved relations.
Since Inauguration Day, the Trump administration has replaced Barack Obama’s pro-Muslim and anti-Israel condescension strategy with a policy that is Israel-friendly.
In meetings between President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, the Israeli leader referred to the talks as heralding “a new day” in his nation’s relations with their American ally.
From The Times of Israel:
“The alliance between Israel and the US has always been steadfast but, I told them there and also here in Jerusalem: This alliance has become even stronger,” Netanyahu said at his first cabinet meeting since returning to Israel on Friday.
Citing his warm personal connection with Trump as well as “the common view about the dangers and opportunities in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said that during his ‘historic visit,” he and the president saw “eye to eye” on a range of issues facing the region, specifically noting the threat posed by Iranian aggression.
Netanyahu was welcomed by ministers, who last week urged him to reject the notion of a two-state solution in his meetings with Trump and have since celebrated the president’s statements suggesting the US is no longer committed to a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Appearing with Netanyahu before their meeting, Trump said Wednesday that he believed a peace deal was possible, but said he was not going to tell Israelis or Palestinians how to reach it.
You can watch their full press conference here:
From Times of Israel:
“I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said, showing receptiveness to Netanyahu’s call for a regional initiative that relied on Israel’s improving relationships with Arab countries. “The United States will encourage a peace, and really a great peace deal,” said Trump, and added that the matter was “important to me personally.” Trump’s UN enovy, Nikki Haley, subsequently said the US was “absolutely” committed to the two-state solution.
Speaking Sunday, Netanyahu said that he and the president agreed on the need for regional partners to be involved in any possible future negotiations.
“We see the possibility of trying to provide a basis for the growing regional interests that are forming between Israel, the US and countries of the region both to rebuff Iran and to develop other opportunities and normalization,” he said. “In the end we hope to achieve peace. This is a fundamental change and, I would say, has accompanied all of our discussions and has formed the infrastructure of all the agreements between us.”
The two-state solution that Netanyahu so strongly opposes isn’t one that Trump is anxious to see happen, since it would greatly compromise the security of Israel. However, it was the focus of former President Obama’s efforts during his entire two-term administration. And now with our ambassador to the United Nations defying Trump’s words, I’m sure the United Nations is completely melting down and freaking out over Trump’s solid support for Israel. Hopefully President Trump is able to set Nikki Haley straight, and the sooner the better.
One point should be made here that Netanyahu has requested that Trump recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which are on Israel’s northern border with Syria. Other Muslim countries, along with Syria, have used the Golan as a staging area from which to bombard Israel with rockets and missiles.
Maintaining control of the Golan is essential for Israel’s survival and an issue towards which Trump has remained supportive!