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Trump Discusses Potential US-Israel Defense Treaty With Netanyahu Days Before Israeli Elections

By Hunter Lovell September 15th, 2019 | Image Source: The National

President Trump tweeted on Saturday that he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone to talk about a potential defense treaty between Israel and the United States after the upcoming Israeli elections.

Trump said the deal “would further anchor the tremendous alliance between our two countries.”

“I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month!” he added.

The U.S. and Israel are close military allies, and the Pentagon regularly sends $4 billion to Jerusalem for military funding each year.

Trump and Netanyahu have also become close friends since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, and the White House has publicly backed Netanyahu’s political aspirations. It was during the first two years of Trump’s time in office that the U.S. Embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which was praised by the Netanyahu regime but criticized by Palestine and its supporters.

“Thank you my dear friend President @realDonaldTrump. The Jewish State has never had a greater friend in the White House. I look forward to our meeting at the UN to advance a historic Defense Treaty between the United States and Israel,” Netanyahu said in response to Trump’s tweet.

The phone call between the two leaders came just days before Israel’s elections, and Netanyahu is currently in a deadlock with two centrist candidates.

The prime minister has advocated national security concerns in recent days as a final campaign push, and he has floated ideas like annexing portions of the West Bank and saying more leftist candidates would leave Israel vulnerable to attacks.

Former Israel Defense Forces chief and Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz has said a defense treaty with the U.S. would be a “serious mistake.”

“Such an agreement would be a serious mistake for the State of Israel’s security because a mutual defense treaty requires us to coordinate our security with the United States,” Gantz said at a conference in Israel earlier this month.

“This is not what we want,” Gantz continued. “We haven’t asked anyone to be killed for our sakes, we haven’t asked anyone to fight for us, and we haven’t asked anyone for the right to defend the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu won reelection to a fifth term as prime minister in April, but he was forced into another election after he could not assemble a ruling coalition.

Author: Hunter Lovell

Source: Washington Examiner: Trump discusses potential US-Israel defense treaty with Netanyahu days before Israeli elections

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