Turkey slams Netanyahu's 'irresponsible' remarks on settlements

Geraldine Edwards
April 8, 2019

"Special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota", Trump told members of the Republican Jewish Coalition in a ballroom of the Venetian Resort. She doesn't like Israel, I forgot, I'm sorry. "I forgot. I'm so sorry".

The U.S. State Department declined to comment on Netanyahu's statement.

Trump also took credit for eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and for pulling the USA out of several U.N. organizations, the U.N. Human Rights Council and UNESCO, citing anti-Israel bias in their agendas.

The Palestinians say the United States government's pro-Israel bias meant it could no longer lead peace negotiations between them and Israel, while U.S. officials argue their plan will be fair. The president had previously sparked widespread condemnation after declaring that there were "some very fine people on both sides" of the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which neo-Nazis had shouted, "Jews will not replace us".

Palestinian negotiators have boycotted contact with the Trump administration since it, in another break with longtime policy, moved the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognized the city as the country's capital, enraging Palestinians, who also consider the city their capital.

"You are asking whether we are moving on to the next stage - the answer is yes, we will move to the next stage", he said.

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Settlements built on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War are deemed illegal by the worldwide community and their ongoing construction is seen as a major barrier to peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Saturday to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins the upcoming general election. He and his wife, Miriam, received a standing ovation when they entered the ballroom where Trump was set to speak.

Cavusoglu suggested in a tweet on Sunday that Netanyahu was seeking to lure votes with such a promise.

FILE PHOTO: Labourers work on hanging up a Likud election campaign banner depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his party candidates, in Jerusalem March 28, 2019.

Turkey has repeatedly criticised Israeli policies even though the two countries in 2016 ended a six-year rift triggered by the Israeli storming of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead. "They wanted to destroy Israel".

"I said, 'Fellows, do me a favor".

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Trump says, "The asylum program is a scam".

But overall, Trump received an enthusiastic reception from the crowd. Ultimately, the group and many of its donors backed Trump. Trump had invited Matson to attend his State of the Union address in February.

In recent months, Israel has been courting Gulf Arab states.

"I will impose sovereignty, but I will not distinguish between settlement blocs and isolated settlements", he said. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

It wasn't the only time Trump has referred to American Jews as something other than Americans, nor was it the only time he did so in Saturday's speech, as the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale pointed.

And the panicked messaging from the Likud has been about the need for the party to be bigger than Blue and White, saying that President Reuven Rivlin plans to choose the leader of the largest party to form the next government if no one gets 61 recommendations to be prime minister.

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