President Trump and First Lady Melania greeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House Monday afternoon.
In a brief press conference a few minutes in the Oval Office, Trump welcomed Bibi and his wife to the White House, saying his relationship with Israel is “probably the best relationship, right now, with Israel that we ever had.”
Netanyahu responded by complimenting the Trump administration’s commitment to moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “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.”
“This was a historic proclamation followed by your bold decision to move the embassy by our upcoming National Independence Day,” he continued.
ThePrime Minister of Israel went further, lumping Trump’s decision to recognize the Israeli capitol among some of the greatest liberation heroes in the history of Israel. Bibi compared Trump the Persian King Cyrus, who liberated the Jews from slavery, Lord Balfour, who first recognized the Jewish right to a homeland and President Harry S. Truman who recognized the Jewish state.
Here are Bibi’s comments, in full:
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.