Monthly Archives: May 2017

Trump Arrives In Israel, Visits Western Wall


President Trump visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall but never 
acknowledged that this holy Jewish site was part of Israel.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 22, 2017 … It was a day filled with history as the first sitting US President stood by the Western Wall and placed a note inside.

President Trump’s arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport was a festive one.  Smiles, speeches and handshakes for all the Israeli dignitaries was followed by a helicopter ride into Jerusalem.
The President visited President Rivlin’s residence, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall. At the end of the day, President Trump and First Lady Melania joined Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara for a private dinner. Before dinner both Trump and Netanyahu addressed one another:

“President Trump, Donald, Sara and I are absolutely delighted to welcome you and Melania to the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the united capital of the Jewish state,” said Netanyahu.

Trump, since becoming President, has never acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his White House staff has stated that the Western Wall was not a part of Israel. Netanyahu’s opening statement spoke volumes illustrating the differences that presently exist between the US and Israeli delegations.

“We’ve known each other for many years, and it’s always good to see you. But it’s also wonderful to see the blossoming friendship between our two beautiful wives, Sara and Melania. You’re so welcome here and we’re so pleased to see you. We’re honored to have you in our home.

You’ve been today Mr. President to the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites of Judaism. You’ve been to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the holiest sites of Christianity. We protect the Christian sites as no one else does anywhere in this region. We protect Christian sites, Muslim sites, obviously Jewish sites. We’re committed to the freedom of all faiths and to the rights of all.

Mr. President, I appreciate the fact that you went to the Western Wall, and you’re the first acting president who has done that. The people of Israel applaud you for it.

We had a terrific discussion today, and when I say ‘terrific,’ it encompasses everything. We could talk about deregulation, we could talk about economics, I think we quote each other, we understand each other, and so much of the things that we wish to accomplish for both our countries.

But I want to thank you especially today for your deep commitment to Israel’s security, its well being and its future. I have no doubt that as we work together, you and I, the alliance between our countries will grow ever stronger.

I want you to know how much we appreciate the change in American policy on Iran which you enunciated so clearly just an hour ago. I want you to know how much we appreciate your bold decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. And I want to tell you also how much we appreciate the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East.

I look forward to working closely with you to confront the dangers we face together in this violent and volatile Middle East. I believe that together we could roll back Iran’s march of aggression and terror in this region and we can thwart Iran’s unbridled ambition to become a nuclear weapon state.

I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region, because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners. And that’s where we see something new and potentially something very promising. It won’t be simple, but for the first time in many years, and Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change. The Arab leaders who you met yesterday could help change the atmosphere and they could help create the conditions for a realistic peace. These are all great signs on your historic visit.

It’s a visit that I think has echoed down the ages because the late Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said that there was no city on Earth that he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. Well. Mr. President, Donald, there is no city on earth where you are more welcome than right here with us in Jerusalem.

Welcome to Jerusalem, welcome to Israel.”

President Trump responded: “Thank you very much and it’s a great honor to be with my good friend, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and of course Sara. Thank you, and also thank you for that beautiful tour. Melania’s still talking about it. Thank you very much.

You honored me and Melania by being one of the first world leaders to visit the White House, as you know. And we had a very good and sound discussion. And now you honor us again by welcoming us to your home on my first trip abroad as the President of the United States.

This is a land filled with beauty, wonder and the spirit of God. I’ve been amazed by the glorious and beautiful monuments and holy sites, and the generosity of your incredible people because it’s all about the people. I was deeply moved by my visit today to the Western Wall. Words fail to capture the experience. It will leave an impression on me forever.

Today we reaffirm the unbreakable bond of friendship between Israel and the United States, a friendship built on our shared love of freedom, our shared belief in human dignity and our shared hope for an Israel at lasting peace. We want Israel to have peace. But we are more than friends. We are great allies. We have so many opportunities in front of us, but we must seize them together. We must take advantage of the situation and there are many, many things that can happen now that would never have been able to happen before, and we understand that very well. That includes advancing prosperity, defeating the evils of terrorism and facing the threat of an Iranian regime that is threatening the region and causing so much violence and suffering.”

Trump continued: “During my travels, I have seen many hopeful signs that lead me to believe that we can truly achieve a more peaceful future for this region and for people of all faiths and all beliefs and frankly all over the world. In my visit to Saudi Arabia, I met with many leaders of the Arab and Muslim world, including King Salman, who treated us so beautifully, and really wants to see great things happen for the world. He really does. I got to know him well, and he really does. These leaders voiced concerns we all share about ISIS, about Iran’s rising ambitions and rolling back its gains, and about the menace of extremism that has spread through too many parts of the Muslim world. I’m encouraged that they pledged cooperation to confront terrorism and the hateful ideology that drives it so hard.

America welcomes the action and support of any nation willing to do the hard but vital work in eradicating the violent ideologies that have caused so much needless bloodshed and killing here and all over the world. We are willing to work together. I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen, one that will bring greater safety to this region, greater security to the United States and greater prosperity to the world.

This includes a renewed effort at peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I thank the Prime Minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process. He’s working very hard at it. It’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually, I hope.

I am certain we will have very productive discussions, and we’re going to have very productive discussions, in my opinion, with the leaders of other nations also, and I feel strongly about that because there’s a lot of love out there. And people from all nations, even nations that you would be surprised to hear, they want to stop the killing. They’ve had enough. America stands ready to assist in every way we can.”

Trump concluded: “Our deep and lasting friendship will only grow deeper and stronger as we work together in the days ahead.

I thank you again for hosting us in this beautiful and ancient land. Truly, it’s a land of wonders and it’s my honor to be here with you.

Sara, thank you. Bibi, thank you. I appreciate it very much. Great honor. Thank you.”

 

Netanyahu: Citizens Of Israel Will Receive You With Open Arms

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 21, 2017 … Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, made the following remarks:

“US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania will arrive tomorrow on an historic visit to the State of Israel. Senior administration and White House officials will arrive together with them. This is President Trump’s first visit outside the US, and the honor is ours that he has chosen to come to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and – of course – to the State of Israel.

I will discuss with President Trump ways to strengthen even further the first and strongest alliance with the US. We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace.

Mr. President, we look forward to your visit. The citizens of Israel will receive you with open arms.”

The Israel News Agency has created a special social media account which will provide real time updates of President Trump’s visit to Israel: www.PresidentTrumpinIsrael.com

President Trump Visits Israel – Schedule, Events

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 19, 2017 … The carpets are red and vacuumed, 10,000 police have been issued riot gear and the champagne bottles are chillin in the King David Hotel’s kitchen.

Following are the details for US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel. Please note that if you are a journalist and request to cover this historic visit, entry to all events is conditional upon presentation of a valid Government Press Office card and additional photo ID.

Monday, 22 May 2017 At 12:15 p.m. the official welcoming ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport begins. US President Trump will be welcomed at an official ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport. The event will be filmed and broadcast via satellite beginning at 11:30.

Pay parking is available at the Terminal 1 parking lot.

The President will then transfer to a helicopter which will fly him to Jerusalem.

 At 13:00 President Trump will arrive at Israel President Reuven Rivlin residence. The event will be filmed and broadcast via satellite beginning at (approximately) 12:15.

The following details have been provided by the President’s Spokesperson, who is responsible for coverage of the event.

Arrival on the red carpet can be viewed via official coverage only and will be broadcast live.

Guest book signing in the Main Hall.

Press conference by the Presidents in the Main Hall to be broadcast live.

At 18:00 – Meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

At 19:30 – Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sarah will host US President Trump and the First Lady for dinner at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem.

At 20:00 – Dinner for President Trump’s entourage and the Israeli delegation, under the aegis of Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017  At 13:00 President Trump arrives at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The President is expected to spend no more than 15 minutes at the Holocaust Memorial.

Israel officials are requesting that the President spend at least an hour to understand and see the exhibits.

Israeli officials, have said that such a short visit was impossible and that an hour is the bare minimum to respectably tour the vast institution, which also serves as a museum and an education center to present the world with the tragedy suffered by the Jewish people and others under Nazi Germany.

At 14:00 – US President Trump will make remarks at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

At 16:00 – Farewell ceremony for President Trump at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Israel Prepares For Trump Visit

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 18, 2017 … Israel is putting on her best dress. The Jewish state is spending intensive days preparing for the visit of President Trump – from coordinating over 10,000 police to having the President’s favorite pillow await him at the King David Hotel.

Israel’s Defense Ministry was coordinating with the Israel Government Press Office to accommodate working space for hundreds of journalists and officials who have been invited to the welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport.

In addition to a White House charter plane for the traveling press coming in from Saudi Arabia,  thirty C-17 American planes were reportedly expected to be needed in order to transport some 56 vehicles, including 14 limousines, as well as Trump’s presidential limousine known as “The Beast.”

Trump’s black, armored limousine, which is specially equipped to be heavily shielded from gunfire, grenades and explosive devices and to resistant to biological and chemical attack, is expected to arrive a few days before Trump’s arrival.

 

Three trucks were also reportedly being transported, containing armored glass to be installed in the windows of Jerusalem’s King David hotel where Trump will be staying.

On Sunday, at Ben-Gurion International Airport, a dress rehearsal will be held for the welcoming ceremony for US President Donald Trump, which will be held the following day, Monday, 22 May 2017.

Involved in preparing for the gala event are the Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, IDF and the Airports Authority.

The media has been invited to cover the dress rehearsal. Interested journalists should arrive at Terminal 1, Gate 4 (international flights), group meeting point, from 11:00, upon prior coordination with the Airports Authority Spokesperson’s office.

The Israel Government Press Office will be establishing a press center at the Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday, May 22 – 10:00-24:00 and Tuesday, May 23 – 08:00-18:00. Each journalist will be provided with live broadcast positions against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s Old City.

 

Netanyahu Meets with Danish Foreign Minister Samuelsen

Photo: Haim Zach (GPO)

By Herb Brandon
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 17, 2017 … Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening met with Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen at his office in Jerusalem. The two discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of innovation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the true reason for the absence of a solution to the Palestinian issue is incitement and asked that Denmark halt assistance to Palestinian organizations that support BDS activity.

Samuelsen said that Denmarks’s Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen had condemned antisemitic incidents, in particular the terrorist attack against the synagogue in Copenhagen two years ago, adding that he had reached out to the Jewish community.

“We fight antisemitism in Denmark,” he said, and recalled with pride Denmark’s record in rescuing Jews from the Holocaust.

“This visit reminds me of our history,” he said. “We have to remember.”

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Israel News Agency All rights reserved

Israel Announces Jerusalem Day Events

By Israel News Agency Staff 

Jerusalem, Israel — May 16, 2017 … Jerusalem Day festivities will begin this year on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 20:30, opposite Jerusalem’s Old City wall adjacent to the Jaffa Gate. The main sound-and-light-show event celebrating 50 years since the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem, at the initiative of Culture and Sports Minister and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies is open to the public.

Israel President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Culture and Sports Minister Regev, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Zeev Elkin and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat are due to attend.

“No other people in the world have such a deep and long-standing relationship to its capital city as the Jewish people have to Jerusalem,” said Minister Regev.

“Jerusalem Day festivities have never been as developed, prosperous and flourishing as it is today. Neither has there been such a multimedia presentation on the city wall. Come and celebrate with Jerusalem on the 50th anniversary of its liberation and unification.”

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the unification of the city, dozens of events will be held throughout the city, including shows, tours, musical performances, colorful parades, ceremonies, light exhibitions and more

Jerusalem Celebrates 50 – A breathtaking audio-visual display shown on the Old City walls featuring – David D’Or, Eviatar Banai, Sarit Hadad, Avraham Tal, Idan Amedi, Amir Benayoun, Shuli Natan, Adi Adonya, Osher Sabag, Ben Sanuf.

Festive reception hosted by the Mayor at the Tower of David Museum – A live museum with central characters from Jerusalem’s past and present and a concert by the Jerusalem Andalusian Orchestra and the singers Emil Zrihan, Orit Atar and Idan Amedi.

“Singing for You, Jerusalem” at the President’s Residence.

The Jerusalem Symphonic Orchestra and Miri Mesika, David D’Or and Kobi Aflalo at Safra Square. Dozens of events and performances in the neighborhoods. Yakir Yerushalayim Award ceremony at the Tower of David

White Night at Sacher Park: A marathon of concerts by the best artists – Adi Ulmansky, HaYehudim, Avraham Tal hosting Karolina, Static and BenEl Tavori, Moshe Peretz with Agam Buhbut, Berry Sakharof with Shalom Hanoch, Cafe Shahor Hazak, Hanan Ben Ari, Ariel Zilber, Mayumana, Idan Raichel in a sunrise concert at Safra Square.

Street party and Mayumana performance at Zion Square

Beer Garden – athletes on the bar in collaboration with the Maccabiah, music, beer, games and food at Kikar HaHatulot.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, celebrations of 50 years of Jerusalem’s reunification continue. During the week of May 21 to 25, 2017, the Jerusalem Municipality will mark these celebrations with a wide variety of events and shows held throughout the city for the benefit of residents and visitors.

The Annual White Night celebration will be held to celebrate Student Day. To mark 50 years to the unification of the city, this year the event will include the best singers and will be held across the city – in Sacher Park, Kikar HaHatulot, a street party at Zion Square, Mitchell Garden, and a sunrise concert at Safra Square.

“Fifty years have passed since Jerusalem has been united, and this year we will celebrate with a wide variety of events, allowing more and more people to connect with Jerusalem and take part in the festivities,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

“I invite all the residents and visitors of Jerusalem to come join the celebrations in honor of the reunification of our nation’s capital.”

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Israel News Agency All rights reserved

Someone Knows Jerusalem Is Israel’s Capital – Friedman Meets Netanyahu

Photo: GPO

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 16, 2017 … Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

 “Welcome. It’s a pleasure to see you and to welcome you to Jerusalem, our eternal capital,” said Netanyahu. “I know you went to the Kotel [Western Wall]. It’s deeply appreciated by all our people.”

US Ambassador Friedman responded: “There was no other place to go.”

Netanyahu, who denied FOX News reports yesterday that he did not want the US embassy in Tel Aviv to move to Jerusalem said: “It was a strong gesture of solidarity. We look forward to receiving President Trump and we want to work with you and with the President these coming years to strengthen our great alliance.”

 

 

As Friedman arrives in Jerusalem, less than a week before President Donald Trump arrives in Israel, the White House has been forced to comment over reported comments by US diplomat describing the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City — one of Judaism’s holiest sites — as being in the “occupied West Bank”.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office said it was shocked by the comments and said it had asked the White House to explain what was meant by them.
According to Israel’s Channel 2 News, a member of the US delegation preparing for Trump’s visit made the comment about the Western Wall when Israeli officials suggested a photographer shoot video of the President during his visit to the site.
The Israeli delegation were reportedly told that the President’s visit to the site was private and that he did not want Netanyahu to accompany Trump there; the American official reportedly added that Israel did not have jurisdiction over the area.
The Americans then asked the Israeli delegation to leave from where they were standing by the Western Wall, that it did not belong to them, it was none of their business and they were not welcome there.
A shouting match between the US delegation and the Israeli delegation then began.
The US delegation walked away from the Israelis and visited other sites in Jerusalem’s Old City.
“Israel is convinced that this statement is contrary to the position of President [Donald] Trump, as expressed in his firm opposition to the most recent UN Security Council Resolution,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a written statement Monday.

A White House spokesman later said: “These comments were not authorized by the White House. They do not reflect the US position, and certainly not the President’s position.”

The US embassy in Israel said it had no comment.
The Israel News Agency places great faith in US Ambassador David Friedman to educate his Consular staff in Israel in the history of Jerusalem and to update both his Israeli staff and those coming from Washington that Jerusalem has been and remains Israel’s undivided biblical, historical, cultural and legal capital.
UPDATE: The White House just announced that Prime Minister Netanyahu will not be welcome at the Western Wall as Trump visits the Jewish holy site.
Gen. McMaster said that “no Israeli leaders” will accompany Trump to the Western Wall.
“He’s going to the Western Wall mainly in connection with the theme to connect three of the world’s great religions…and to highlight the theme that we all have to be united against the enemies of all civilized people.”
INA: The Western Wall is a JEWISH holy site.
Copyright © 2017 Israel News Agency All rights reserved

 

Netanyahu Meets with Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford

Meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US Chairman of joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford in Jerusalem. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 9, 2017 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, this afternoon met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford and discussed the continued deepening of bilateral security relations as well as the common challenges.

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “It’s good to see you again. We have a great alliance between Israel and the United States, and a great alliance between the American military and the IDF. We appreciate it and we know that this alliance is good, not only for security but also good for peace.”

Gen. Dunford: “Thanks, Mr. Prime Minister. I’m back, as you know, for my third time since I’ve been in this assignment to not only work on our overall relationship, but to work on my personal relationship with General Eisenkot, which is rock-solid and probably representative of the broader relationship that we have.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “It is indeed. We look forward to welcoming President Trump here very soon.”

 

White House Aides, Israeli Ministers To Attend Jerusalem Post New York Conference

By Herb Shook
Israel News Agency

New York — May 6, 2017 … The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference will be taking place in New York tomorrow with speakers from the White House and Israeli government.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. EST and 4 p.m. Israel time.

Six senior Israeli government ministers will be speaking at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz.

Israeli Opposition leader Isaac Herzog will be on hand to provide an alternative viewpoint and world-renowned legal expert Alan Dershowitz will provide insight into the global, legal issues facing Israel.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, will be on stage to talk with Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz about the recent controversy regarding his past and the rumors surrounding his future at the White House. Legendary journalist Larry King will also be on hand to receive a lifetime achievement award and answer Katz’s questions about his illustrious career.

The Jerusalem Post Conference will feature a special panel with two generals who served in recent years as IDF chief of staff – Moshe Ya’alon and Dan Halutz. They will review Israel’s strategic standing in the Middle East and identify ways the country can ensure it is prepared for the security challenges that loom on the horizon.

World Jewish Congress chairman and the conference’s president, Ronald S. Lauder, will speak on the challenges facing the Jewish people around the world, and a special panel with representatives from across the Jewish spectrum will talk about religious freedom in Israel, touching on issues like prayer at the Western Wall, conversions and civil marriage.

Over the last six years, the conference has turned into a vital forum that opens a window for our readers into Israel by connecting them directly with the politicians, government officials and IDF officers who make the news as well as the journalists who report on it. And it makes news! The conference stage has been the scene of arguments between Meir Dagan, the late and legendary Mossad chief, and government ministers about the role he played in preventing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from taking unilateral military action to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

At last year’s conference, the soldout audience was treated to a speech by Mosab Hassan Yousef, better known as the Green Prince, the son of a top Hamas terrorist who became one of Israel’s most important intelligence assets.

In addition, the Jerusalem Post Conference has been the setting for speeches from and talks with former presidents, prime ministers, Hollywood stars such as Michael Douglas and famous sex therapist Dr. Ruth, as well as senior members of the Israeli and American administrations.

The conference will be streamed live on www.jpost.com beginning at 4 p.m.
Follow the conference on Twitter:  #JerusalemPostConference  #JPost17