Netanyahu met with Trump for short meeting before signing of proclamation; Both leaders address the press on strong bilateral ties, Iran and anti-Semitism; Trump: Israel is an inspiration, a trusted ally and a cherished friend; Netanyahu: we now know that there are two peoples who stand with the Golan, the people of Israel and the people of America.
President Trump signed an executive order officially recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in Washington DC alongside Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday. During his short, 90-minute visit due to the security situation with Hamas, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with President Trump before he signed the proclamation. Both leaders addressed the press, touching on Israel’s historic ties in the Golan Heights, Iran and the rise of global anti-Semitism while praising the strong bond between Israel and the United States.
President Trump highlighted the historic efforts and accomplishments for Israel under his administration, stating “At this moment the American embassy stands proudly in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people… They [Israel] wanted the embassy for many, many years… we got it done.” He referred to Israel as an “an inspiration, a trusted ally and a cherished friend,” reassuring that the “United States will always stand by its side.”
On the threats posed by Iran, Hezbollah and Syria, he stated, “Today, aggressive action by Iran and terrorist groups in southern Syria, including Hezbollah, continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel,” reiterating his commitment to Israel’s “ability to defend itself and to have strong, powerful national security, which they are entitled to have.”
On anti-Semitism, the president stated, “We will confront the poison of anti-Semitism through our words, and maybe even more importantly, our actions. In the last century, humanity witnessed the horrific consequences of anti-Semitism and a world without a Jewish homeland. In the wake of those unthinkable horrors, the Jewish people built a mighty nation in the Holy Land, something very powerful, something very special and important… There can be no better example of greatness than what Israel has done starting from such a small speck of sand.”
Netanyahu again praised US-Israeli ties, President Trump and his administration, stating “I think there is a unique bond between our countries, between our administrations, between the two of us. There has been no greater bond than that. It serves the interests of Israel in ways that I cannot begin to describe because not everything that the President and I talk about can be shared with the public.”
The prime minister spoke at length on Israel’s history in the Golan Heights and its wars to liberate it. He stated on President Trump’s decision to recognize the region, “Your recognition is a two-fold act of historic justice. Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of self-defense, and the Jewish people’s roots in the Golan go back thousands of years. In the long sweep of Jewish history, there have been a handful of proclamations by non-Jewish leaders on behalf of our people and our land: Cyrus the Great, the great Persian king; Lord Balfour; President Harry S. Truman; and President Donald J. Trump… you’ve done it not once, but twice, with your bold proclamation on Jerusalem and with your bold proclamation today on the Golan.”
He addressed the significance of the United States’ recognition amidst Iran’s efforts in Syria. He stated, “Your proclamation comes at a time when the Golan is more important than ever for our security when Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria to strike at Israel. From across the border in Syria, Iran has launched drones into our airspace and missiles into our territory.” He added, “just as Israel stood tall in 1967, just as it stood tall in 1973, Israel stands tall today. We hold the high ground and we shall never give it up.
Prime Minister Netanyahu finished by stating, “But thanks to you, we now know that there are two peoples who stand with the Golan: the people of Israel and the people of America. On behalf of all the people of Israel, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for your leadership, thank you for your friendship, and thank you for all you have done to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger and greater than ever.”
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