Trump and Netanyahu Discuss Border Fence, Status of Jerusalem
published Sep 25th 2016, 1:36 pm, by Ben Brody
Donald Trump “discussed at length Israel’s successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders” during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that lasted longer than an hour, according to a statement from the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign.
Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico as way to confront illegal immigration has become a cornerstone of his campaign, although the statement did not say whether he drew direct parallels with Israel’s border fence, which is meant to combat terrorism.
The real estate investor also “acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” his campaign said after Sunday’s meeting.
Palestinians claim all of east Jerusalem, including the Old City’s holy places, for the capital of a future state, while the current Israeli government says the city is its capital and won’t cede any of its eastern sector, which was annexed after a 1967 war in a move that isn’t internationally recognized. As a result, the U.S. and most other countries maintain embassies instead in Tel Aviv, although the U.S. Congress has periodically tried to move it.
During this year’s Republican presidential primaries several hopefuls, including Trump, advocated the move, which U.S. presidents have blocked for more than 20 years.
Trump said “peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State,” the campaign said in the statement. He and Netanyahu also discussed U.S. military assistance to Israel, regional stability, and the country’s technology sector, as well as the Iran nuclear deal, which both oppose.
Reporters were refused access to the event, held at Trump’s residence at Trump Tower in New York.
The Trump campaign did not say whether the two discussed a ban on Muslim immigration that Trump has proposed and which Netanyahu has criticized, or the issue of profiling as a way to counter terrorism.
In response to a bombing in New York on Sept. 17 that injured at least 29 people, Trump cited the example of Israel. “In Israel they profile,” Trump said on Fox News. “They’ve done an unbelievable job, as good as you can do.”
A brief statement from the Netanyahu’s office said the pair discussed “issues relating to Israel’s security and its efforts to achieve stability and peace in the Middle East.”
“Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Mr. Trump for his friendship and support for Israel,” according to the statement .
Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has advised the candidate on issues relating to Jewish voters, were also present at the meeting, according to statement from Netanyahu’s office.
Netanyahu, who met with President Barack Obama earlier in the week, was also scheduled to meet with Trump’s presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, on Sunday.
–With assistance from David Wainer and Jennifer Jacobs. To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ros Krasny at email@example.com Alister Bull
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