Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (L) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, February 2, 2015.
(photo credit: YONATAN ZINDEL/POOL)
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani , a close associate of US President Donald Trump, said the expected meeting between PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump will be of extreme importance, an Israel Radio report said on Thursday.
According to the report, Giuliani referred to the tensions US-Israel relations have known in the recent past, stating that although there are differences between the two leaders, the meeting will also allow an opportunity for the two to normalize the relations between the two countries.
Giuliani also mentioned that the recent controversies regarding Netanyahu, who is being questioned by police in an ongoing criminal investigation, have spiraled out of control and show Israel in a negative light.
"There are more important things to worry about than to deal with cigars," Guliani was quoted as saying in reference to Case 2000, the investigation concerning allegations that Netanyahu received improper gifts worth hundreds of thousands of shekels from Israeli and foreign businessman. He mentioned threats like Islamic State and Iran as more pressing issues than the cigar affair.
Giuliani, who was recently named Trump’s cyber security adviser, is in the country for a few days on business as the global chair of Greenberg Traurig's Cyber Security, Privacy and Crisis Management practice. Greenberg Traurig is an international law firm with an office in Israel.
He is scheduled to meet Netanyahu on his visit, as he has done in past visits to the country. Last year he visited Israel three times.
Acknowledging that most American Jews did not vote for Trump, Giuliani said that this demonstrates a dramatic shift regarding the reason for America's strong support of Israel.
“It used to be that some of America's policies with regard to Israel were based on the domestic power of the Jewish vote, but since September 11, and increasingly over the last 16 years, that has changed to a more solid basis – a geopolitical understanding of why we have allied interests, why Israel is important to us,” he said.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.