At first-ever July 4th celebration in Jerusalem, PM praises Trump support

Netanyahu called on all European countries to do what they promised and snap back sanctions on Iran the minute it violates the deal.

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July 3, 2019 05:04
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at American Independence Day celebration in Jerusalem July 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at American Independence Day celebration in Jerusalem July 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Iran’s decision on Monday to enrich uranium beyond levels allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal is an attempt to blackmail the world into making concessions and reducing sanctions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday at a Fourth of July ceremony, held for the first time in Jerusalem.

But now is the time to do the exact opposite and increase the pressure, Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu called on all European countries to do what they promised and snap back sanctions on Iran the minute it violates the deal.

A bipartisan delegation of 10 congressmen and two senators was among the hundreds of people at the Jerusalem International Convention Center,and Netanyahu stressed the importance of maintaining bipartisan support.

At the same time the prime minister thanked US President Donald Trump for his strong and steadfast support.

He ticked off a number of things Trump has done for Israel, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the embassy to the city, recognizing sovereignty over the Golan Heights, giving Israel support in “defending itself by itself,” giving Israel unstinting support at the United Nations and other international forums, and withdrawing from the nuclear deal.

And that, Netanyahu said, is just the shortlist.

Netanyahu also thanked US Ambassador David Friedman for all of his support, saying he has been critical in many decisions over the last two years concerning Israel.

Friedman may not be “politically correct,” Netanyahu quipped, but he is correct. This was an apparent reference to Friedman’s taking a sledgehammer on Sunday and opening Pilgrimage Road in the City of David leading to the Temple Mount.

Friedman, in his brief remarks on Tuesday, noted that this is the first time the US Embassy ever hosted a Fourth of July celebration in Jerusalem.

He referenced the inalienable rights mentioned in the American Declaration of Independence, and said the framers of that historic document took inspiration from God and the words of the prophets emanating from Jerusalem, the first of many connections between the American people and the “original shining city on the hill.”

While the US Consulate has held Fourth of July celebrations in the capital before, this is the first time the embassy has done so.

For years, the reception, attended by hundreds of government officials, diplomats and businesspeople, was held at the home of the US ambassador in Herzliya. Last year, some two months after the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem and eight months after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the event was held in Airport City near Ben-Gurion Airport.

The holding of the party to mark the 243rd US Independence Day comes following the relocation of the embassy to the former US consulate in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona; the merger of the Jerusalem consulate offices on Agron Street into the embassy, and the establishment of a Palestinian Affairs Unit instead of using the Jerusalem consulate as an informal embassy to the Palestinians; and turning the consulate-general’s residence at the site into the ambassadorial residence.




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