President Donald Trump concluded his visit to Israel with an address at Israel Museum — a speech that made no mention of the illegal settlement construction, the atrocities on Palestinians committed by Israeli government or any other mention of the Palestinian State, other than to call its people “terrorists wielding knives.”
“In Israel, not only are Jews free to till the soil, teach their children, and pray to God in the ancient land of their fathers — and they love this land, and they love God — but Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience, and to follow their dreams, right here,” said the president in the speech.
It’s obvious the president knows nothing about the day-to-day occurrences of atrocities against Palestinians in the country, because nothing could be further from truth.
The other aspects of the speech were simply lip service. Although Trump kept asserting that peace was needed in the Middle East (the word was used 15 times in the 20-minute speech), he did not specify any details on how they would go about to attain it and what would a peace agreement entail.
The leader of the left-wing party Meretz Zehava Galon criticized the address for being lack-luster.
The speech, for obvious reasons, resonated with the right-wing Israelis.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan of the far-right party Liduk endorsed Trump’s remarks.
“President Trump [gave] a historic speech on our connection to the land,” he tweeted. “His unequivocal demand from the Palestinian Authority to stop hate education and funding terror is a clear backing of our position. Proud.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (also Likud) praised Trump’s speech for not speaking about the illegal settlements.
“A rare U.S. presidential speech, without the words Palestinian state, without criticism of the settlements,” she tweeted. “An excellent speech that all Israel should be delighted with. There is a friend in the White House.”
Other Likud and Jewish Home MKs noted that Trump did not mention Palestinian statehood.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) said it was “a Zionist speech.”
Science Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said Trump could sign up as “a member of the Likud” based on his speech.
In fact, settler leader Yossi Dagan, the head of the Shomron Regional Council in the northern West Bank construed it as a go-ahead to making more settlements.
“After this speech and this visit, there is no excuse not to restart building in Jerusalem and the West Bank,” he said. “It’s clear that even if the U.S. opposes building, they won’t fight against it.”
For the full speech, watch the video above or read it here.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters