Speaking on Tuesday at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the winner of this November’s presidential election is irrelevant to the Israel-US relationship.
Assuring the country that he had spoken to each candidate at length about Israel and the Middle East during his meetings with them on Sunday in New York, Netanyahu insisted that Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would be equally beneficial for the Jewish State.
“Both of them talked about their support of Israel, and the importance of the ties between the two countries,” said the premier. “It doesn’t matter which of them will be elected, the support for Israel will remain strong, the alliance will remain strong, and will even get stronger in the coming years.”
The statement came just hours after the conclusion of the first debate between the candidates on Monday evening, during which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict did not come into play, though Trump briefly mentioned his meeting with the prime minister in connection with criticism of the Iran nuclear deal signed last year.
“I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day, believe me, he is not a happy camper [about the deal],” said the real estate mogul.
Speaking about the issue at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Netanyahu acknowledged that it was “no secret” he and President Barack Obama had disagreed over the Iran deal, which Israel fought fiercely, but that the friction “did not harm at all the stable and strong relationship between the two countries.” He pointed to the recent landmark $38 billion military aid deal signed by the two countries earlier this month as evidence that the relationship remained healthy.