TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday congratulated Donald Trump on his victory, saying the president-elect is “a true friend of the State of Israel.”
“We will work together to advance security, stability and peace in our region,” Netanyahu said in a statement released a few hours after Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton.
“The bond between the US and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared future. I am sure that president-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the U.S. and we will bring them to ever greater heights,” he added.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 9, 2016
President Reuven Rivlin congratulated Trump, saying his victory proved the U.S. to be the “greatest democracy.”
“There are many challenges that lie before you as president — at home and around the world. Israel, your greatest ally, stands by you as your friend and partner in turning those challenges into opportunities,” he said in a statement.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett picked up on the Republican’s previous remarks rejecting the notion of a two-state solution, saying Trump’s victory provided “an opportunity” to do away with it altogether.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause,” Bennett said in a statement.
“This is the position of the president-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple,” he said. “The era of a Palestinian state is over. We are sure the special relationship between the United States and Israel will continue, and even grow stronger.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he promised “to safeguard and strengthen the special relationship and courageous friendship between the countries and work to strengthen the shared values of Israel and the United States.”
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), said that “Israel, as the only democracy in the Middle East, salutes the U.S., the oldest democracy in the world, on a democratic election process that expresses the will of the voter.
“We look forward to working jointly with the new American government to strengthen the strategic and economic ties between our countries.”
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid said Israeli lawmakers “look forward to working with President-elect Trump and building on the incredibly strong ties which bind our two nations together.
“Ours is a relationship based on shared values and mutual interests. I know he is deeply committed to those values and to the strategic relations between our two countries,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on Trump to make good on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“On behalf of the city of Jerusalem, I am writing to congratulate you on your victory,” Barkat said. “I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.”
Calling Trump “a true friend of Israel,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked also called for the embassy’s transfer.
“I am sure that Trump knows how to courageously navigate the free world to successful goals in the global war on terror,” she said. “This is an opportunity for the American government to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. That would symbolize the close ties and brave friendship between the two countries.”