PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Event Welcoming the US Delegation for the
Opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Sunday, 13 May
2018), at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, attended the event to welcome
the US delegation to the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
During the event Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a letter of appreciation to
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in gratitude for his activity on
behalf of moving the embassy to Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
Dear friends, from Israel, from the United States, from around the world.
This is a momentous time. President Trump is making history. We are deeply
grateful and our people will be eternally grateful for his bold decision to
recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the embassy there
Now, you are in the Foreign Ministry—I’m the Foreign Minister—and you’re
coming at a time when Israel is a rising power in the world, you know, in
cyber, in IT, in water, in judo, in singing.
You know what we say: Those who didn’t want Jerusalem in the Eurovision are
going to get the Eurovision in Jerusalem. Next year in Jerusalem.
Well, that’s next year, but tomorrow will be a historic day for our people
and for our state. President Trump’s decision to move the embassy to
Jerusalem affirms a great and simple truth: Jerusalem has been the capital
of the Jewish people for the past three thousand years. It’s been the
capital of our state for the past 70 years. It will remain our capital for
Thank you President Trump for your bold decision, thank you for making the
alliance between Israel and the United States stronger than ever.
Now, you know how you recognize real leadership? It’s when others follow,
and others are following in President Trump’s footsteps.
I thank Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, who is here, Sandra Jovel, who has
joined us today. We will open your embassy two days from tomorrow. Thank
I thank the President of Paraguay and the incoming President of Paraguay,
because they’ll open their embassy a few days after that. And other nations
are in the process of doing exactly that.
That’s a state secret, and we don’t reveal our state secrets. Sometimes we
reveal other’s state secrets. We’ll let you know as time comes.
I call on all countries to join the US in moving their embassies to
Jerusalem. Move your embassies to Jerusalem because it’s the right thing to
do. And move your embassies to Jerusalem—listen to this: Move your embassies
to Jerusalem because it advances peace, and that’s because you can’t base
peace on a foundation of lies. You base peace on the foundations of truth,
and the truth is that not only has Jerusalem been the capital of the Jewish
people for millennia and the capital of our state from its inception, the
truth is that under any peace agreement you could possibly imagine,
Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital.
It took President Trump, a President Trump to enunciate this simple, basic
truth. And once enunciated, that truth will propagate. So I expect—you can
call me, all the ambassadors who are here and afterwards, you can whisper in
my ear, we’ll fix it. But it will happen.
And to achieve peace, we have to do one other thing: We must confront the
enemies of peace, and I thank President Trump for his decision to confront
Iran rather than to appease it. Pulling out of the nuclear deal means that
the world’s greater sponsor of terrorism, greatest sponsor of terrorism, is
no longer on a glide-path to attaining an arsenal of nuclear weapons. This
is good for Israel, this is good for the region, it’s good for the world.
Now, I have something to say to part of the world: With all due respect to
those sitting in European capitals, we here in the capitals of the Middle
East—in Jerusalem, in Riyadh and elsewhere—we’ve seen the disastrous
consequences of the Iran deal. And so when President Trump decides to pull
out of this deal, to walk away from it, we know that when he walks away from
a bad deal, he’s doing a good thing for our region, for the United States
and for the world.
And this is what I’ve just discussed with the American delegation. I welcome
Deputy Secretary Sullivan, Secretary Mnuchin, Jason Greenblatt, Ambassador
David Friedman, who I mentioned before, and of course a special welcome to
Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka.
I’ve known Jared for 105 years, and there’s a special bond between our
families, but I think the fact that you and Ivanka are here is a special,
personal testament, but also a national and international statement. It is
one that touches our hearts, and we are all delighted by your presence at
any time, at any day, but especially on this day. Thank you.
We value all of your friendships, all of you for coming here on this
historic occasion. Thank you for standing up with Israel. Thank you for
standing up for the truth. Thank you for standing up for Jerusalem. Thank
you for coming here from all over the world.
We are celebrating a momentous day. Happy birthday Jerusalem.
Thank you all."