President Donald Trump announced his plan for peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine on Tuesday at a White House event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Together we can bring about a new dawn in the Middle East,” Trump said as the room applauded.
The president acknowledged that the field effort to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians was a historically difficult process but that he was determined to make it happen.
“All prior administrations from President Lyndon Johnson have tried and bitterly failed, but I was not elected to do small things or shy away from big problems,” he said.
Supporters of the president and Israel filled the East Room of the White House for the event, enthusiastically applauding throughout his speech.
Trump acknowledged that the struggle for Israel to choose a new prime minister was ongoing but that peace with Palestine was “beyond politics.”
He described the current electoral struggle between Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz as “the longest-running election of all time” after meeting with both at the White House earlier in the week.
Trump also recalled his trip to Israel as president and his time meeting with Palestinian President Abbas.
“I was saddened by the fate of the Palestinian people,” he said, adding that they “deserved a better life.”
“Palestinians have been trapped in a cycle of terrorism, poverty, and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism,” he said.
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and James Risch (R-ID) were present for the event as well as members of House Republican leadership, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and House Conference chair Liz Cheney (R-WY). Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) also attended, along with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Talk radio host Mark Levin was also present as well as Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam. Former Democrat vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut was also spotted.
The president acknowledged that Israel was experiencing the longest election of all time.
Trump thanked Netanyahu for supporting the detailed 180-page plan, which included a conceptual map of proposed territorial compromises from Israel.
“As I have seen throughout my long career as a dealmaker, complex problems require nuanced fact-based remedies,” Trump said.
He described the deal as a “win-win” opportunity for both Palestinians and Israelis.
“Today Israel has taken a giant step toward peace,” he said.
The president also promised to help Palestinians with serious investment, provided they abandon violent jihad and Islamic terrorism as well as providing financial backing for terrorists.
“We will help by empowering the Palestinians to thrive on their own,” he said. “Palestinians will be able to seize the new future with dignity, self-sufficiency, and national pride.”
Netanyahu also spoke, thanking Trump as the “greatest friend Israel has ever had in the White House.”
“Frankly, though we have had some great outstanding friends in these halls, it’s not even close,” he continued.
Netanyahu thanked Trump for bringing forward a bold plan that defended Israel’s rights in the region, including the right to security and sovereignty.
“You recognized that Israel must have sovereignty in places that enable Israel to defend itself by itself,” he said.
After the event, Trump shared an image of his proposed territorial peace deal between the two countries.
I will always stand with the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I strongly support their safety and security and their right to live within their historical homeland. It's time for peace! pic.twitter.com/lKwQ9IKTUG
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020