Clin­ton, Trump meet sep­a­rately with Is­rael PM

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

HIL­LARY CLIN­TON and Don­ald Trump are meet­ing sep­a­rately with Is­rael’s Prime Min­is­ter Benjamin Ne­tanyahu on Sun­day in ses­sions that could set the tone for re­la­tions be­tween the al­lied coun­tries dur­ing the next pres­i­den­tial ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Trump met Sun­day with Ne­tanyahu for over an hour at his res­i­dence in Trump Tower in Man­hat­tan, ac­cord­ing to Is­raeli and cam­paign of­fi­cials. Clin­ton also was ex­pected to meet with the prime min­is­ter in New York on the eve of the first de­bate be­tween the can­di­dates. The Is­raeli leader has sought to project neu­tral­ity this time af­ter per­cep­tions arose that he favoured Mitt Rom­ney over Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2012.

The press was barred from cov­er­ing the meet­ing be­tween Ne­tanyahu and Trump, but Trump’s cam­paign said in a state­ment that the men, who have known each other for years, dis­cussed “many top­ics im­por­tant to both coun­tries”, in­clud­ing “the spe­cial re­la­tion­ship be­tween Amer­ica and Is­rael and the un­break­able bond be­tween the two coun­tries.”

Among those top­ics were: the nu­clear deal with Iran, the bat­tle against Is­lamic State mil­i­tants, mil­i­tary as­sis­tance pro­vided by the US to Is­rael and other se­cu­rity is­sues.

“Trump recog­nised that Is­rael and its cit­i­zens have suf­fered far too long on the front lines of Is­lamic ter­ror­ism,” the cam­paign said in a state­ment. “He agreed with Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu that the Is­raeli peo­ple want a just and last­ing peace with their neigh­bours, but that peace will only come when the Pales­tini­ans re­nounce ha­tred and vi­o­lence and ac­cept Is­rael as a Jewish State.”

Trump also re­peated his pledge to move the US em­bassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv if he’s elected to the White House.

“Mr Trump ac­knowl­edged that Jerusalem has been the eter­nal cap­i­tal of the Jewish peo­ple for over 3,000 years, and that the United States, un­der a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, will fi­nally ac­cept the long-stand­ing Con­gres­sional man­date to recog­nise Jerusalem as the un­di­vided cap­i­tal of the State of Is­rael,” the cam­paign said.


That prom­ise has been made in var­i­ous forms since, at least, 1992. Congress, three years later, passed a law call­ing for the US em­bassy to be moved to Jerusalem by 1999, but pres­i­dents of both par­ties al­ways have waived the re­quire­ment. Ge­orge W. Bush promised in 2000 to start the move “as soon as I take of­fice”, then didn’t.

The pair also dis­cussed, “at length”, Is­rael’s use of a se­cu­rity fence to help se­cure its bor­ders. Trump has pro­posed build­ing a wall along the length of the south­ern bor­der to keep out peo­ple and il­le­gal drugs and of­ten points to Is­rael as an ex­am­ple of how such bar­ri­cades can be suc­cess­ful.



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