US President Donald Trump gives speech at Israel Museum.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
In US President Donald Trump's final speech in Israel on Tuesday, he praised Jerusalem's diversity and vowed to stand with Israel in the global war on terror.
"I am honored to be In the ancient city of Jerusalem to address the Israeli people and all people in the Middle East who yearn for security, prosperity and peace," he said. Jerusalem is a sacred city. Its beauty, splendor and heritage are like no other place on earth. What a heritage, what heritage. The ties of the Jewish people to this holy land are ancient and eternal. They date back thousands of years, including the reign of Kind David, whose star now flies proudly on Israelis' white an blue flag."
"Israel is testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people," he continued. "From all parts of this great country, one message resounds, and that is the message of hope. Down through the ages, the Jewish people have suffered persecution, oppression, and... [others have] sought their destruction," he said. "I make this promise to you: My administration will always stand with Israel." This remark earned an additional handshake from Netanyahu.
After reiterating that civilized nations must band together against terror, he said, "Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knives... Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities where school children... must run to the bomb shelters with fear but with speed. ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues... and Iran's leaders routinely call for Israel's destruction. Not with Donald J. Trump." At this, the rose to a standing ovation, as Netanyahu pumped his fist in support. "I like you, too," Trump said in response.
In regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Trump was optimistic. "I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace. I know you've heard it before, I am telling you, that's what I do, that they are ready to reach for peace. And by meeting with my very good friend, Benjamin, [I can say that] that he is reaching for peace, he loves peace, he loves people, he especially loves the Israeli people. Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace. Making peace will not be easy. But with determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal."
He went on to reiterate America's stance against Iran's nuclear proliferation. "The US is firmly committed to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorist and militias. So, we are telling you right now, that Iran will not have nuclear weapons."
After reflecting proudly on America's support of Israel's military infrastructure, Trump again praised Jerusalem for its diverse religious population side by side, and ended his visit warmly: "God bless the state of Israel, and God bless the United States."