This museum tells the story of Israel. Mr. President, you’ve just gone through a fast-paced visit through our past, our present and we work together to fashion the future. Here you can see Hebrew texts of the Bible that are 2,000 years old. You can see the seals and coins that bear witness to nearly 4,000 years of our presence in this land. You can see the menorahs we lit, the synagogues we prayed in during our long exile.
But the story of Israel is not simply the story of the past. It’s the story of a nation reborn, of a barren land brought back to life, of an ancient language revived, of an exiled people who returned, of Jewish sovereignty restored. We have a saying, Mr. President, “The Jewish people lives.” The State of Israel lives on, alive as ever: a thriving democracy; a powerful army; an innovative, free economy; and a proud, resilient people.
Mr. President, over the years Israel has had many friends, but Israel has never had and will never have a better friend than the United States of America. That friendship is reflected in the overwhelming support of the American people, strong bipartisan support of the American Congress and the support of American presidents from Harry Truman to Donald Trump. Thank you, President Trump, for your steadfast friendship to the Jewish people and the Jewish state. It is deeply, deeply appreciated.
Mr. President, I believe that the alliance between America and Israel is more important than ever. Together we must defeat those who glorify death and protect those who celebrate life. Together we can defeat the forces of militant Islam who seek to destroy the civilized world. And together we can and we must defeat the forces of terror. Terrorism, the deliberate slaughter of innocents, must be equally condemned and equally fought, whether it strikes in Europe, in American or in Israel – or for that matter, anywhere else. And as you said this morning, Mr. President, funding and rewarding terrorism must end.
Standing next to you, President Abbas condemned the horrific attack in Manchester. Well, I hope this heralds a real change, because if the attacker had been Palestinian and the victims had been Israeli children, the suicide bomber’s family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. That’s Palestinian law. That law must be changed.
I hope that President Abbas heeds the principles, the clear, strong, moral and practical principles that you enunciated today, President Trump: Stop rewarding terrorists, stop glorifying murderers.
I believe that this is the first and the crucial step towards the road towards a genuine peace that Israel seeks and that I believe that – together with you – we can achieve. President Trump, working with you, I believe we can advance a durable peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, as well as the Palestinians, because of the common danger that the Arab world and Israel face from Iran, and because of the leadership that you bring to this process.
Ultimately, around the world, I have no doubt that freedom will defeat fear, that light will vanquish darkness, because that is the story of America, a nation that has defeated the forces of tyranny, that is the beacon and hope of all humanity. And that is the story of Israel, a nation that has overcome unimaginable horrors and impossible odds, and is the hope of the Jewish people.
Mr. President, thank you for your historic visit, for your unbelievably moving gestures in a concentrated 36 hour period in Israel. You’ve touched the core and the stones of our being: in the Kotel, the Western Wall, yesterday, now in Yad Vashem and now in our wonderful museum. You, First Wife, First Family, First Lady Melania Trump, your family and your delegation, you’ve shown a great commitment to Israel’s future and to its security. I want to thank you, Mr. President, for standing up for Israel at the United Nations and everywhere else, and I thank you for your unrelenting support and a friendship that comes from the heart to the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Thank you, President Trump.
God bless you, God bless Israel and God bless the United States of America.