Netanyahu: “Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other people”

A few days after US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem recognition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Paris. During a joint press conference, Macron reiterated his opposition to Trump’s declaration. Netanyahu, on the other hand, explained the importance of Trump’s announcement.

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Amid the increasing Iranian presence in Syria and after US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem recognition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Paris on Sunday. “Israel is our friend and we will not tolerate any aggression toward it,” Macron proclaimed at the beginning of their joint press conference.

“I’ve clarified to the prime minister my displeasure with Trump’s announcement,” Macron added. “I think it is a danger to peace because it is against international law.” Macron added that the two leaders discussed advancing the peace process in the Middle East based on a two-state solution. “I’ve invited the prime minister to make gestures toward the Palestinians to encourage them to come to the negotiating table,” he added. Macron also spoke out against the terror attacks against Israel and Netanyahu thanked him for his condemnations.

Netanyahu and Macron Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Channel 2 News

“Paris is the capital of France. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” Netanyahu stated. “It’s been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years. It’s been the capital of the Jewish state for 70 years. We respect your history and your choices, and we know that as friends, you respect ours.”

Netanyahu and Macron Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Channel 2 News

“There is an effort, continually, in UN forums- UNESCO and elsewhere- to deny the millennia-connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. It’s absurd,” he added. “It’s always been our capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other people. I think the sooner the Palestinians come to grips with this reality, the sooner we’ll move towards peace and this is why I think President Trump’s announcement was so historic and so important for peace.”

Netanyahu also commented on the threat from Iran, saying that the country is “the main source of aggression” in the region. According to Netanyahu, Iran is “trying to do two new things.” The first, he said, is “to entrench itself militarily with land forces, air forces and naval forces in Syria- with the expressed purpose of fighting and destroying Israel.” Netanyahu added that Israel will not tolerate this type of threat.

“The second thing that Iran is trying to do is to put inside Lebanon game-changing missiles, precision-guided missiles, to manufacture and add to over 100,000 statistical missiles and rockets…that could be a great danger to Israel, its cities and its people,” he added. “We will not tolerate that either.”

When asked by a reporter about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent accusation that Israel is “killing children,” he replied: “I’m not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who has helped Iran go around international sanctions and who helps terrorists- including in Gaza- kill innocent people. That is not the man who is going to lecture us.”



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