Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Sunday
The meetings were arranged over the past few days
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Hillary Clinton Sunday night at a New York hotel, after conferring earlier in the day with Donald Trump for nearly 90 minutes at Trump Tower.
Clinton, the Democratic nominee, talked with Netanyahu during a closed-door meeting at the W Hotel in Union Square. It was hardly their first discussion – the pair often held talks during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
Clinton and Netanyahu discussed the recently-signed U.S.-Israel defense Memorandum of Understanding to “strengthen the defense and intelligence relationship and work closely with Israel to ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge,” according to a senior Clinton campaign aide. Clinton also stressed her commitment to countering attempts to delegitimize Israel, including through the BDS movement. That’s an issue with potential to resonate with pro-Israel voters six weeks out from Election Day.
They also discussed the Iran nuclear deal – which Netanyahu has argued against vociferously – and other regional changes, including the ongoing civil war in Syria. Also on the table: the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “The secretary reaffirmed her commitment to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity,” the aide said. Secretary Clinton reaffirmed her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the UN Security Council.”
Her meeting with the prime minister was somewhat shorter than his talk Sunday morning with Trump. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser to his presidential campaign, and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, were also on hand for the meeting, which comes the day before the first presidential debate, according to Israeli news outlet Haaretz.
Per a readout provided by Trump’s campaign, the two discussed “military assistance, security and regional stability.”
And – in a nod to Trump’s calls to build a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico – Trump’s campaign said the two “discussed at length Israel’s successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders.”
The Trump meeting came as part of Netanyahu’s trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. He met with President Barack Obama last week, in what was likely their last bilateral meeting during Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office.
The Trump campaign said Trump and Netanyahu also discussed Israel’s biotech economy and its cyber-defense advances.
“Mr. Trump recognized that Israel and its citizens have suffered far too long on the front lines of Islamic terrorism,” the Trump campaign said. “He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State.
“Finally, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”