Netanyahu in the U.S.

This past week has seen two important meetings for Netanyahu in the U.S. One was with U.S. President Donald Trump. The other was at the AIPAC conference. At AIPAC, Netanyahu did an excellent job of asserting Israel’s commitment to pursuing better relations both with Iran and with the Palestinians in spite of the current terrorist methods encouraged by both groups. Here is one especially powerful quote from his speech at AIPAC:

As we counter Iran’s aggression, we shall always remember the brave people of Iran—their suffering, their hopes, their courage. Women are jailed for removing their hijabs. Students are tortured—tortured and shot for advocating freedom. We stand with those in Iran who stand for freedom.

Now, I believe that a day will come when this horrible tyranny will disappear, will perish from the earth, and at that point the historic friendship between people of Israel and the people of Persia will be reestablished. Today we have [the biblical villain] Haman, tomorrow we’ll have [King] Cyrus and friendship and peace! My friends, as we work together to confront the bad, there is also potential to advance the good that paradoxically comes from the bad. Because most of the states in our region know—they know very well, believe me—that Israel is not their enemy, but their indispensable ally in confronting our common challenges and seizing our common opportunities. This is true for Egypt and Jordan, Israel’s longtime peace partners, but also true of many other Arab countries in the Middle East. Israel remains committed to achieving peace with all our neighbors, including Palestinians.

President Trump has made it clear that he is committed to peace. I’ve made it clear that I am committed to peace. We appreciate the efforts of President Trump’s superb team: Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and Ambassador David Freidman. Thank you all for your hard work for peace. But to get peace, President Abbas has to embrace peace and to stop supporting terror. Raise your hands high if you agree with me that President Abbas should stop paying terrorists to murder Jews. You know how much he pays? He pays about 350 million a year to terrorists and their families. Each year. That’s about a little less than 10% of the total Palestinian budget. That’s an incredible number, he pays Hakim Awad, the terrorist who murdered this beautiful family of Ehud and Ruth Fogel and their three children, including their 3-month-old baby girl. He pays Hakim Awad for this murderer. Over the lifetime of this killer he will be receiving 2 million dollars. I have a message for president Abbas: Stop paying terrorists! Because what message does this send to Palestinian children? It says murder Jews and get rich! And I believe President Abbas should find better use for this money. To build roads, schools hospitals, factories. Build life, don’t pay death. Invest in life. Invest in peace. Israel hopes that the passage of the Taylor Force Act will make clear to President Abbas that America has no tolerance for terror.

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