From: “Bierman, Noah”
Date: January 25, 2018 at 5:12:26 PM GMT+1
Subject: travel pool 10 — rough transcript of Netanyahu bilat
The spray between President Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu lasted about 9 minutes. The body language was warm, with a closer handshake than the one Trump shred with Prime Minister May. Both men smiled at each other often, and Netanyahu nodded often as Trump spoke about the Jerusalem decision. Netanyahu’s smile broke into a look of discomfort when Trump mentioned that Israel would “pay” for the Jerusalem decision in future peace negotiations. This is a rush transcript and many parts, especially when Netanyahu spoke, were hard to hear. As always, please check against the transcript.
Trump “Thank you very much. It’s great to be here Prime Minster Netanyahu. We’ve developed a great relationship both as countries…never been stronger. I can honestly say that and also as personal friends. We have discussions going with Israel on many fronts including trade but the big move and something that was very historic and very important was the fact that we moved the embassy as you know to Jerusalem. As you also know that was way ahead of schedule by years and we anticipate having a small version of it opened sometime next year so that’s a long time ahead of schedule and it’s an honor and it’s a great honor to be with you.”Netanyahu: “Mr. President, I want to say something because this is the first meeting we’ve had since…[decision to move the embassy and expedite]…This is historic …that will be forever etched in the hearts of our people for generations to come. People say that this puts peace backwards. I say it puts peace forward, to recognize the history, to recognize…Peace will only be built on the basis of truth. By recognizing the history you’ve made it …support you completely….“Iran nuclear deal. You’ve said it’s a disastrous deal. …if you walk away from it…then we will back you all the way. We also appreciate the fact …confront Iran’s aggression with us and with other parties in the region like never before. I’ve never seen the realistic…between the United States and…”UN is a “House of slander…and by word and deed, you have told them: enough is enough. As you finish your first year in office, I want to say that I look forward to continuing our remarkable, tremendous friendship in the years ahead…”Trump: “I have to say with the United Nations, we were pretty much out in the wilderness by ourselves, the United States…I said you know, we pay billions and billions of dollars to these countries. It amounts to hundreds of millions and sometimes into the billions for certain countries…And I made a very simple statement that I’m watching. I’m watching. And you ended up getting 68 votes either yes or we’ll take a neutral position…we ended up getting a lot of votes that I would say virtually we were going to get none. And we give billions of dollars away every year to countries. And in many cases those countries don’t even support us. They don’t support the United States. Israel has always supported the United States.“So what I did with Jerusalem was my honor. And hopefully you can do something with peace. I would love to see it. You know if you look back at the various peace proposals and they are endless, and I spoke to some of the people involved, and I said did you ever talk about the vast amount of funds, money that we give to the Palestinians. Because they’re hundreds of millions of dollars and they said we never talk. Well we do talk about it. And when they disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them, and we give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support, tremendous numbers, numbers that nobody understands. That money’s on the table. That money’s not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace. Because I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace. And they’re going to have to want to make peace too or we’re going to have nothing to do with them any longer. This was never brought up by other negotiators but it’s brought up by me.“So I will say that the hardest subject they had to talk about was Jerusalem. We took Jerusalem off the table….They won one point and you’ll give up some points later in negotiation if it ever takes place. I don’t know that it ever will take place. But they have to respect the process also and they have to respect that the US has given tremendous support to them over the years in terms of monetary support and other support. So we’ll see what happens with the peace process, but respect has to be shown to the US or we’re just not going any further.”Q: are you close to putting out some sort of Middle East peace proposal?Trump: “We’re going to see what happens. Yes, we have a proposal for peace. It’s a great proposal for the Palestinians. I think it’s a very good proposal for Israel. It covers a lot of the things that were over the years discussed and agreed on. But the fact is and I think you know this better than anybody, there were never any deals that came close because Jerusalem, you couldn’t ever get past Jerusalem. So when people said ‘Oh, I set it back.’ I didn’t set it back. I helped it. Because by taking it off the table, that was the toughest issue. And Israel will pay for that. Look, Israel, something’s going to happen, they’ll do something that’s going to be a very good thing. But they want to make peace and I think the Palestinians want to make peace. And if they do, everybody’s going to be very happy…we’ll see what happens.”Q: Reaction to Mahmud Abbas remarks? Did you see them?Trump: “No I didn’t really read his remarks…I think I’m probably better off not seeing them. (Netanyahu chuckles). But we’ve done a lot for them and hopefully they’re going to make peace for their people. You know what? Its many years of killing people. Its many years of killing each other. They have to be tired and disgusted of it. So let’s see what happens. I think eventually very sound minds, I hope sound minds, will prevail. And it would be a great achievement of mine. I said it from Day One, if we could make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. If we do that, I would consider that one of our truly great achievements. But the money is on the table. You know the money is never on the table. I tell you up front. We give them tremendous amounts, hundreds of millions of dollars a year. That money is on the table because why should we do that, as a country, if they’re doing nothing for us? And what we want to do for them is help them. We want to create peace, and save lives. And we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens, but the money is on the table.”