Netanyahu Meets Trump at Trump Tower

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at his residence in Trump Tower on Sunday.

The meeting was closed press and cameras were lucky to only capture a split second of Netanyahu entering Trump Tower behind a portable wall before 10:00am. “The prime minister was spotted entering Trump Tower,” was The Associated Press’ account ahead of the meeting.

Netanyahu left Trump Tower after an hour and twenty minutes. Ambassador Ron Dermer and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner attended the meeting.

“Mr. Trump and the Prime Minister discussed the special relationship between America and Israel and the unbreakable bond between the two countries,” the Trump campaign said in a readout of the meeting. “The topics of military assistance, security and regional stability were addressed. Mr. Trump agreed that the military assistance provided to Israel and missile defense cooperation with Israel are an excellent investment for America. Mr. Trump said that under a Trump administration, there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries. Mr. Trump recognized Israel as a vital partner of the United States in the global war against radical Islamic terrorism.”

According to the campaign, the two leaders also discussed “Israel’s successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders,” a model Trump points to in his plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Trump also “agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State” and he “acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”

courtesy of the Trump campaign

courtesy of the Trump campaign

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, “Prime Minister Netanyahu presented Israel’s positions on regional issues related to Israel’s security and efforts to achieve peace and stability. Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Mr. Trump for his friendship and support of Israel.”

Trump had planned to meet with Netanyahu last December in Israel, but shortly after the meeting was reported, the prime minister’s office sent out a statement rejecting his proposal to ban U.S. entry for all Muslims.. “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” the statement said. “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.”

As a result, Trump canceled the trip. “He said something that wasn’t as positive as I would have liked, and I canceled it,” Trump told Jewish Insider in April. “I did not particularly like his statement… I was disappointed in his statement.”

The relationship between Netanyahu and Trump goes back to 2007 when then Likud leader plotted his return to the Prime Minister’s office. In October 2010, Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth published a list of potential major donors prepared by the Netanyahu campaign during the Likud Party’s leadership contest in 2007. The list includes names of foreign and local donors and a reordered list in Netanyahu’s own handwriting, in which he divided donors into four categories according to whether contacting them was “worth the effort.” The first group, according to Yediot, included the foreigners worthwhile of contacting. Numbers 3 and 4 were marked next to the names of millionaires with a small chance of donating. Trump was one of the donors Netanyahu was seeking to reach out to, although he was placed in the fourth category with only a small chance of donating.

Netanyahu is expected to meet with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the afternoon.

Israeli President Ruvi Rivlin also chimed in on the 2016 presidential race on Sunday. “Israel and USA share common values,” Rivlin tweeted in a Twitter Q&A Sunday morning, in response to a question which candidate he would prefer to receive a medal of honor from. “The USA is Israel’s greatest friend and ally, and any American president will carry this torch forward.”

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