While in Davos for the World Economic Forum, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump held their fourth face-to-face meeting since the latter entered the Oval Office about a year ago. Speaking in front of reporters before their meeting, Trump praised Israel for always supporting Washington.
Trump and Netanyahu Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO
Two days after US Vice President Mike Pence left Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US President Donald Trump in Davos, Switzerland, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. Prior to their meeting, the two leaders posed for a short photo op.
Netanyahu praised the work that Trump has completed in his first year in office and said that he looks forward to working with him “in the years ahead.” He also thanked him for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump spoke about the UN General Assembly vote condemning his Jerusalem declaration. “We heard every country was going to be against us and it was very interesting, and I said- ‘you know, we give billions and billions of dollars to these countries. It amounts to hundreds of millions and sometimes, it’s into the billions for certain countries. And they vote against us,’” he said. “And I made a very simple statement- that I’m watching. I’m watching. And we ended up getting 68 votes – either yes or we’ll take a neutral position, which is okay too…which was effectively a yes.”
The president also accused countries of taking money from Washington and then not supporting the US. “Israel has always supported the United States,” he noted. “So what I did with Jerusalem was my honor.”
Netanyahu and Trump Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO
Trump then slammed the American officials who proposed past peace plans, saying that they never discussed the large sums of funding that Washington provides to the Palestinians. “Well, we do talk about it- and when they [the Palestinians] disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them- we give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support- tremendous numbers, numbers that nobody understands,” he stated. “That money is on the table. That money’s not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace because I can tell you, Israel does want to make peace.”
“I will say that the hardest subject they had to talk about was Jerusalem. We took Jerusalem off the table, so we aren’t going to talk about that anymore,” he continued before adding that he is unsure whether Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will ever take place.
When asked by a reporter about an American peace proposal, Trump said: “We have a proposal for peace. It’s a great proposal for the Palestinians. I think it’s a very good proposal for Israel.”