Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) responded Wednesday morning to the news of Donald Trump’s election victory over Hillary Clinton, congratulating the new President-elect and offering his thanks to the former Secretary of State.
“I congratulate President-elect Donald Trump, and all the American people. We thank Hillary Clinton for her friendship with Israel,” said Bennett in a statement
Shaked also congratulated Trump, praising him as a “true friend of Israel.”
Bennett pledged to strengthen the “special relationship” between Israel and the US, adding that Trump’s win offers the chance to scrap a central tenet of American foreign policy in the Middle East for five decades – Palestinian statehood, which was conspicuously absent from the Republican platform.
“We are sure the special relationship between the United States and Israel will continue, and even grow stronger.”
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause.”
In his statement, Bennett noted that the Republican Party platform for 2016 crafted by Trump loyalists removed all reference to Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution.
“This is the position of the President-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple. The era of a Palestinian state is over.”
Justice Minister Shaked also suggested that Trump’s election opened the door for constructive change in US-Israel relations, noting his campaign promise to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the capital, Jerusalem.
“This is an opportunity for the American government to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. That would symbolize the strong, friendly ties between the two countries.”