Trump Delivers Greeting Speech in Tel Aviv: ‘We Love Israel’

• May 22, 2017 6:46 am


President Trump touched down in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Monday for the second leg of his first foreign trip as president, saying "we love Israel" and calling for a renewed partnership in the fight against terrorism.

"On my first trip overseas as president, I have come to this sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the State of Israel," Trump said.

Israel has built one of the world's great civilizations, Trump said, calling it determined and prosperous.

"Now, let us work together to build a future where the nations of the region are at peace and all of our children can grow and grow up strong and grow up free from terrorism and violence," he said. "During my travels in recent days, I have found new reasons for hope."

Trump touted "historic agreements" during his visit in Saudi Arabia to help battle terrorism.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace, but we can only get there working together," he said. "There is no other way… We love Israel, we respect Israel and I send your people the warmest greetings from your friend and ally, all of the people in the United States of America. We are with you."

Trump's address on Sunday in Riyadh defined the battle against terrorist groups like the Islamic State as a fight "between good and evil" and challenged Muslim nations to drive terrorists out of their lands. He struck a different tone regarding Islam than he did on the campaign trail, when he at one point remarked that he thought "Islam hates us."

On Saturday, Trump signed a $110 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia.

After a dismal relationship with Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked at the incoming Trump administration as an opportunity to reset.

The greeting comes after a series of rocky moments in the U.S.-Israeli relationship leading up to the trip, however, when mixed messaging came out of the White House over whether the Western Wall was truly part of Israel. While U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said she felt it was, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster would not say so.

Ahead of Trump's visit, a U.S. diplomat reportedly angered Israelis last week by saying the Jewish holy site was part of the occupied West Bank.