President says he was able to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem because he did not call back Arab leaders who opposed the move.
Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump
(photo credit: REUTERS)
At a private event for Orthodox Jewish donors, President Donald Trump received a blessing from a rabbi and joked that if he lands on hard times in the United States, he could become Israel’s prime minister.
The fund-raiser, hosted by the America First Super PAC and held Tuesday at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan, featured a packed room of Trump supporters, who chanted “Four more years!” as Trump took the podium, according to video of the event.
Before speaking, Trump was blessed by Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson.
“Blessed are you, our Lord, King of the universe, that you have shared of your glory and love and compassion with a human being who maintains the honor of every innocent person and Jew. Thank you, amen,” Jacobson said.
Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as special representative for international negotiations Avi Berkowitz, also attended the event.
Trump then said he had an approval rating of 98% in Israel and quipped that “if anything happens here, I’m taking a trip over to Israel. I’ll be prime minister.”
He also joked about Israel’s election deadlock. Israel has held two elections this year that have yielded inconclusive results. As of now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rival Benny Gantz is attempting to form a governing coalition and prevent a third election.
“What kind of a system is it over there, right, with Bibi?” he said, referring to Netanyahu. “They’re all fighting and fighting. We have different kinds of fights, but at least we know who the boss is. They keep having elections, and nobody’s elected.”
After that, he said that he was able to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because he purposely did not call back Arab leaders who opposed the move.
“Just tell them I’m very busy, I’ll call them back,” he said. “And then I did it, we got it done, it’s done. And then I announced it, and then I went into the office, I made about 25 calls…. I said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s done already; there’s nothing I could do about it.’ It’s much easier. I say, ‘I’m sorry, I wish I could have gotten back to you sooner.’”
Trump also mentioned his recognition of the Golan Heights and the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.
He acknowledged Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s missile attacks on Israel, as well.
Earlier on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that the US is standing by the Jewish state.
“The United States condemns the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians,” Pence tweeted. “It’s clear Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza. America strongly affirms Israel’s right to defend itself.”