Netanyahu to meet with Trump in February

PM reported to meet with Trump, Friedman in Feb.; PM gives televised addressed to Iranian people distinguishing Iran’s regime as the enemy and not the people of Iran

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Prime Minister Netanyahu will reportedly meet with United States President Donald Trump at the beginning of February. Netanyahu will visit the United States in March to speak at the national AIPAC convention, however, a meeting is to be scheduled for both leaders in the coming weeks.

Netanyahu congratulated President Trump on his inauguration ahead of Shabbat (the Sabbath) on Friday stating “Congratulations to my friend, President Trump. I look forward to working closely with you so that the alliance between the United States and Israel will be stronger than ever. Shabbat Shalom [Good Sabbath].”

According to reports, Netanyahu will meet with Trump and his new ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who is to serve as a senior advisor to Trump’s Administration, will also meet with Netanyahu.

Their meeting will center on Iran, UN Resolution 2334 and international efforts against the State of Israel, US-Israel relations and moving the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ahead of their meeting, Netanyahu released a video address addressing Trump’s presidency in light of Iran. During his address, he spoke at length of the Iranian people, distinguishing the Iranian regime and Iranian people, and expressing that Israel is the people of Iran’s friend and not enemy.

He stated “I plan to speak soon with President Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime which calls for Israel’s destruction. But it struck me recently that I’ve spoken a lot about the Iranian regime and not enough about the Iranian people, or for that matter, to the Iranian people… I know you’d prefer to live without fear. I know you’d want to be able to speak freely, to love who you want without the fear of being tortured or hung from a crane. I know you’d like to surf the Web freely and not have to see videos like this one using a virtual private network to circumvent censorship.”

He spoke of Iranian history and culture despite its “theocratic tyranny”, stating “In a free Iran you will once again be able to flourish without limit. But today, a cruel regime is trying to keep you down.”

On the Iranian regime, he stated specifically, “This ruthless regime continues to deny you your freedom. It prevents thousands of candidates from competing in elections. It steals money from your poor to fund a mass murderer like Assad.” He added “By calling daily for Israel’s destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us. This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy. We’ve always distinguished between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime. The regime is cruel- the people are not; the regime is aggressive – the people are warm.”

Netanyahu spoke of his hope for peace between the people of Iran and Israel, stating “I yearn for the day when Israelis and Iranians can once again visit each other freely in Tehran and Esfahan, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”

He warned against radical Islam and “fanatics”, urging that the “fanatics must not win. Their cruelty must not conquer our compassion,” calling for on Iranians and Israelis to “work together for a more peaceful and hopeful future for both of us. We must defeat terror and tyranny and we must ensure that freedom and friendship win the day.”