|Sarah Netanyahu, Melania Trump, Pres. Trump, Israeli Premier Netanyahu|
Transcript And Analysis: Trump And Netanyahu Hold Joint Press Conference
President Trump is hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday. The two held a joint press conference amid differing messages emanating from the Trump administration about its stance on the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. NPR journalists with expertise in politics, national security and the Middle East have annotated a transcript of their remarks.
|Premier Netanayhu in joint press conference with Pres. Trump|
The partnership between our two countries, built on our shared values, has advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace. These are the building blocks of democracy. The state of Israel is a symbol to the world of resilience in the face of oppression. I can think of no other state that's gone through what they've gone, and of survival in the face of genocide. We will never forget what the Jewish people have endured.
Your perseverance in the face of hostility, your open democracy in the face of violence, and your success in the face of tall odds is truly inspirational. The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions, which I've talked a lot about. One of the worst deals I've ever seen is the Iran deal.
My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing — I mean ever — a nuclear weapon. Our security assistance to Israel is currently at an all-time high, ensuring that Israel has the ability to defend itself from threats, of which there are unfortunately many.
Both of our countries will continue and grow. We have a long history of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the fight against those who do not value human life. America and Israel are two nations that cherish the value of all human life.
This is one more reason why we reject unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations, which has treated Israel in my opinion very, very unfairly, or other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel.
|Bibi addresses press conf. with Pres. Trump (Photo: Matzav.com)|
President Trump, thank you for the truly warm hospitality. You and Melania have shown me, my wife Sara, our entire delegation. I deeply value your friendship. To me, to the state Israel, it was so clearly evident in the words you just spoke, Israel has no better ally than the United States. And I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.
Our alliance has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership, I'm confident it will get even stronger. I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field, in security and technology and cyber and trade and so many others, and I certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that Israel is treated fairly in international forums and that the slander and boycotts of Israel are resisted mightily by the power and moral position of the United States of America.
As you have said, our lives are 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. 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. You call for the defeat of ISIS.
Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam, and in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you and I stand with you. 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.
Read more (along with NPR's leftist analysis).
DEBKAfile reports: Trump reacted positively to Netanyahu’s proposal to broaden the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a regional effort as a “very important” new idea “on a broader canvas” which he believed could succeed. Netanyahu said that the regional fears of Iran also presented an opportunity for cooperation against the Islamic State and radical Islamic terror.
|Trump and Netanyahu putting Palestine in context of|
broader Middle East peace arrangement
(Courtesy: La Historia con Mapas)
These sentiments reflected agreement in principle between Trump and Netanyahu to seek an Israeli peace accord with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates as the lead-in to negotiations for an accord with the Palestinians. Egypt, Jordan and Turkey with whom Israel already has normal relations would jump in later. This deal fits in with the US plan reported more than once on these pages for a regional peace between the Sunni Arab nations and the Jewish State.
Some of the spadework may have been performed by CIA Director Mike Pompeo who paid a secret visit to Ramallah Wednesday morning for talks with Mahmoud Abbas, after trips to Ankara and Riyadh, following which Turkey upgraded its diplomatic mission in Israel
This plan was the fulcrum for the president to push back against the two-state solution advocated by the Obama administration as the cure for the conflict. It remains to be seen if this plan takes on life outside the White House and in the region’s capitals.
Trump realistically called on Israel to “hold back settlements,” show flexibility and make compromises for a peace deal. He urged the Palestinians to “get rid of hate starting in the schoolroom.” Whatever the Israelis and Palestinians agree to in direct talks - one state or two – “I will accept,” he said, adding, “I believe we will have a deal that is better than many Israelis think.”