TEL AVIV – Israeli officials on Tuesday lauded President Donald Trump’s address to the UN General Assembly, with Israel’s envoy to the international body praising Trump for being “on the right side of history.” Palestinians and left-wing American Jews, meanwhile, slammed the speech as harmful.
Trump called on the international community to isolate Iran, and defended his decisions to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, leave the UN Human Rights Council and build a “major wall” with Mexico.
Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, “The president proves again that the US is on the right side of history.”
“While standing on the side of Israel in the struggle for stability in the Middle East, the United States leads the United Nations into a new era that ends its obsession with Israel and pushes back against the Iranian regime,” he added in a statement.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it has been a long time since there was a world leader who understood the Middle East as well as Trump and he hopes other leaders will “listen and internalize” Trump’s words.
“We saw an impressive speech today by US President Donald Trump at the club of hypocrites and sycophants called the ‘United Nations,’” Lieberman tweeted.
“For years there has not been a leader on the world stage that understands the Middle East, deals with the Iranian threat and lays down red lines for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad,” he said.
The left-wing U.S. Jewish group J Street denounced Trump for his “bellicose and extreme rhetoric” and advancing a “dangerous agenda” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump has “replaced our nation’s commitment to world leadership, diplomacy and human rights with aggression, bullying and ultra-nationalism,” J Street President Jeremy Ben Ami charged in a statement, calling on Congress to “restrain” the president.
“Attacking diplomacy and international cooperation, this administration is leading us down a path toward armed conflict with Iran,” he added.
“When it comes to the Iran nuclear agreement and to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the president is advancing the dangerous agenda of his war cabinet and far-right political backers, while jeopardizing the interests and security of both the U.S. and Israel,” Ben Ami concluded.
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Trump’s speech had “closed the doors to peace.”
“What his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes and apartheid,” Erekat stated.
“The reality today is that due to the one-sided pro-Israel decisions of the U.S. administration, peace between Palestinians and Israelis has been derailed,” he added.
Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Trump’s speech “deepens conflicts and distances the chances of achieving peace.”
Jerusalem, he added, “will remain the capital of the State of Palestine … whether one likes it or not.”