JERUSALEM – In his speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, President Donald Trump noted the “big beautiful difference” between his administration’s relationship with the Jewish state and the previous administration, and reiterated his promise that Iran would not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon.
There were, however, no major overtures such the much speculated transfer of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Still, Trump’s speech was lauded by Israeli politicians here as one of the most friendly toward Israel from any U.S. president, and he used the speech to affirm the Jewish bond to Jerusalem and the land of Israel.
Trump declared that both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders were ready for peace, and that “with determination, compromise and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal.”
Trump spoke in the highest terms of Jerusalem, Israel and the Jewish people.
“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 a 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 Israel’s blue and white 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 was met with a lingering round of applause and another handshake from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump continued: “America’s security partnership with Israel is stronger than ever. Under my administration, you see the difference — big, big beautiful difference — including the Iron Dome missile defense program, which has been keeping the Israeli people safe from short-range rockets launched by Hezbollah and Hamas, and David’s Sling, which guards against long range missiles.”
After reiterating his commitment to driving out terror, the president referred to attacks committed on Israeli civilians: “Israelis have experienced firsthand the hatred and terror of radical violence. Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knives and bombs. Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities where schoolchildren have to be trained to hear the sirens and to 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,” he declared, earning a standing ovation and a fist pump from Netanyahu.
Trump smiled at the audience on their feet and said, “I like you too.”