Thursday, January 20th | 18 Shevat 5782

March 12, 2018 11:28 am

Netanyahu: I Have ‘Chemistry’ With Trump; Jerusalem Recognition Will Be Remembered ‘For the Ages’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US President Donald Trump at the White House last week. Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque.

In a wide-ranging interview with Fox News that aired on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had “a certain chemistry” with President Donald Trump, and hailed Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu visited the US last week to meet with Trump and speak at the annual AIPAC convention.

Asked by host Mark Levin if he had a “unique and personal” relationship with Trump, Netanyahu replied, “It is. It began that way, that’s the way it began. Just like that.”

Levin queried Netanyahu if he and Trump held shared beliefs. “Yeah, I think so,” Netanyahu responded. “But there’s also a certain chemistry.”

In particular, the prime minister pointed to Trump’s direct style. “I mean, the president likes to cut through the — I don’t want to call it noise — there are two initials in English, you know? He just cuts right through it. And it’s refreshing. When we talk about serious things he gets right to the point. And I appreciate that,” Netanyahu stated.

The prime minister noted that his acquaintance with Trump went back several decades. “I also remember him when I was ambassador of Israel to the United Nations,” Netanyahu recalled, “and he was a very prominent businessman in New York and we occasionally sort of bumped [into each other] in the same circles, but we met years later and it’s been a direct and very positive relationship from the get go.”

Asked about the reaction in Israel to Trump’s Jerusalem recognition move, Netanyahu responded, “I think all Israelis applauded. Just about all of them applauded, that’s an understatement.”

Netanyahu emphasized the historic importance of the Jerusalem decision, saying, “There’s a sense of history here. I said this to the president when I spoke to him in the Oval Office the other day. I said we have a long memory.”

The prime minister then compared Trump to other prominent figures in Jewish history. “We remember how 2,500 years ago the great Persian king Cyrus issued the proclamation that allowed the exiles, the Jewish exiles in Babylon, to come back to Jerusalem and build our Temple there,” he said.

“We remember how 100 years ago the British foreign minister Lord Balfour issued the Balfour Declaration that recognized the rights of the Jewish people in our ancestral homeland,” Netanyahu continued. “We remember 70 years ago how President Harry S. Truman recognized, I think he was the first leader to recognize the Jewish state. And we remember how President Donald J. Trump … recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decided to move the American embassy there. These are historic deeds. They will be remembered by our people that way for the ages.”

Watch the full interview below:

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