The Conference Circuit

Netanyahu: No ‘big difference’ between GOP and the Democratic Party on Israel

Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed the growing partisan divide between the Republican and Democratic parties in support of Israel during a satellite address at the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Forum in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

“On the whole, I think that it’s a very good time in U.S.-Israel relations,” Netanyahu told the crowd, citing the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

At the same time, he emphasized, “I don’t think there’s a big difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party as I have known it over the years” on Israel. To illustrate the bipartisan nature of U.S. support for Israel, Netanyahu pointed out that while he had “differences with President Obama, at the same time the two of us signed a memorandum of understanding that enabled Israel to get very generous American military assistance over the next decade. And I’m very appreciative of that.”

President Trump recently labeled the Democratic Party as “anti-Israel and anti-Jewish” referring to comments made by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN). But according to the Israeli prime minister, “the people that I know” in the Democratic Party, “are staunch supporters of Israel, and I hope it will remain the same.”

“If it changes that obviously will concern us. I think it should concern everyone,” he added.

Netanyahu also called on American Jews to strengthen their connection with Israel. “If you want to maintain your Jewish identity, then you have a stake in the State of Israel because Israel is the great guarantor of Jewish identity,” he said. “If you’re interested in Jewish identity, support Israel.”

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