Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Monday compared President Trump’s actions toward Israel to those of British Lord Balfour and Harry S. Truman, who played key roles in establishing the state of Israel, saying that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be remembered by Jews “throughout the ages.” He said the U.S. Israeli alliance has never been stronger, at least in the past 40 years.
Netanyahu spoke in the Oval Office:
Mr. President, Donald, Melania: Sara and I want to thank you for your extraordinary friendship and hospitality. It’s always a pleasure to see you, both but this is the first time we meet in Washington — America’s capital — after you declared, Mr. President, Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. And this was a historic proclamation followed by your bold decision to move the embassy by our upcoming National Independence Day.
I want to tell you that the Jewish people have a long memory. So we remember the proclamation of the great King Cyrus the Great — Persian King. Twenty-five hundred years ago, he proclaimed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon can come back and rebuild our temple in Jerusalem. We remember, 100 years ago, Lord Balfour, who issued the Balfour Proclamation that recognized the rights of the Jewish people in our ancestral homeland.
We remember seven years ago, President Harry S. Truman was the first leader to recognize the Jewish state. And we remember how a few weeks ago, President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Mr. President, this will be remembered by our people throughout the ages. And as you just said, others talked about it. You did it. So I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Israel. And I also want to — I look forward to our discussions on both challenges and opportunities . . .
Mr. President, I’ve been here for nearly four decades with talking and seeking to build the American-Israel alliance. Under your leadership, it’s never been stronger, and the people of Israel see your position on Jerusalem, they see your position on Iran.