Chemi Peres Wishes Trump ‘The Best of Luck’
Photo credit: Ron Sachs/CNP
President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday received the blessing of the Peres family, expressing hope that he will maintain strong U.S.-Israel relations.
“I would like to wish President Elect Trump the best of luck,” Chemi Peres, son of the late Shimon Peres and chairman of the Peres Peace Center, told thousands of participants at the closing session of the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in Washington, D.C., as some in the crowd burst into laughter. “I am sure he will maintain the unbreakable link between Israel and the US, at the core of which are the unwavering support of Israel’s security, and the forever extended hand for peace.”
“When President Kennedy was elected, he asked David Ben Gurion for advice: ‘What should I do to be a good President for Israel?’ Ben Gurion replied without hesitation: ’Be a great President for the United States,'” he added.
Weeks before he passed away, the ninth Israeli President called Trump’s idea of America “ignorant.”
“The idea of Mr. Trump, to isolate America,” Peres said in a Bloomberg Television interview, one of the last interviews he gave before his death, “Shall I say, in a nice way, it’s unbelievable, ignorant.”
Trump, it appears, didn’t hold any grudges. “President-elect Trump sent heartfelt messages to my family and me, saying that my father was, ‘The last of a generation of leaders who fought for the right of the Jewish people to shape their own destiny and his legacy stems from that,'” said Peres.
In his remarks, Chemi Peres thanked President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their work and close friendship with his father and support of Israel. “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge President Obama’s two terms in office, which were filled with inspiration and support of Israel,” he said to loud applause. “His friendship with my father, the honor bestowed upon Israel when he awarded President Peres the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and his support when my father passed away – show the close bond he shares with Israel and its people. I would also like to thank Secretary Clinton for being a close friend to my father and staunch supporter of Israel.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the conference via satellite. “I look forward to working with President-elect Trump to further the twin interests of peace and security” between the United States and Israel, he said.