When Benjamin Met Donald in New York

The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. (Psalm 147:3-5)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. President Donald Trump in New York, ahead of his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and profusely thanked him for his continued support.

Netanyahu was effusive in his praise of the U.S. president, remarking that he personally, and the State of Israel had much to be thankful for. Netanyahu initially thanked President Trump for his strong statement at the UNGA, “against the corrupt terrorist regime in Iran. You back up your strong words with strong actions. And I think that the fact that you brought American sanctions to bear has cut the cash machine of Iran and its campaign of carnage and conquest of the Middle East.” He added that Israelis and Arabs who lived in the Middle East were encouraged by such strong leadership.

The prime minister also commented that Trump had always been supportive of Israel within the confines of the United Nations building. He said that nobody had backed Israel like Trump had – and presumably that also included the U.S. Administration’s indefatigable ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

The decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was also praised, with Netanyahu noting, “You’ve changed history, and you’ve touched our hearts.”

In his final thank you, Netanyahu referenced the support in the Trump administration of Israel’s right to self-defense. The Israeli premier reiterated that Israel would continue to do whatever it saw fit to restrain the advance of Iran in Syria, the use of its proxy, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, and anywhere else it felt threatened.

I think, and I say this objectively, that the American-Israeli alliance has never been stronger. It’s stronger than ever before under your leadership. And I look forward to working with you and your team to advance our common interests – security, prosperity and peace with Israel’s neighbors, and for the region. And we can do it with you,” Netanyahu concluded.

In addition to his meeting with Donald Trump, Netanyahu also held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Israel’s prime minister was also invited to participate in a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference on anti-Semitism, which he declined. In published remarks, Netanyahu said that since 2009, “UNESCO has passed 71 resolutions condemning Israel and only 2 resolutions condemning all other countries combined.”

He added that far from combating anti-Semitism, UNESCO’s continual singling out of the world’s only Jewish nation was in fact, a proponent of it.

“The mark of antisemitism was once singling out the Jewish people for slander and condemnation. The mark of antisemitism today is singling out the Jewish state for slander and condemnation.

If UNESCO wants to remove this mark of shame, it must do more than host a conference on antisemitism. It must stop practicing antisemitism.

And it must stop the absurdity of passing resolutions which deny the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, between the Jewish people and our eternal capital Jerusalem.”

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