After weeks of silence on US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put it back on the agenda in their remarks to the relaunch of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus for the 23rd Knesset on Tuesday.
However, they notably did not mention any timeline for Israel to apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria as the plan allows.
Listing the Trump administration’s accomplishments in the US-Israel relationship, Pompeo said: “We championed the President’s vision for peace. It’s the best and most realistic path forward to end the bloodshed between Israel and the Palestinian people and achieve enduring security, freedom and prosperity for both sides.”
Other Trump policies Pompeo listed were moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and telling “the truth that Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank are not per se inconsistent with international law.”
Netanyahu said in a letter read at the event that the Trump plan “has the potential to overcome past failures by offering the Palestinians the path of peace and reconciliation.”
In oblique references to possible sovereignty moves, Netanyahu said the plan “allow[s] us to reach the secure borders that Israeli governments have long sought” and “acknowledges that Jewish people are not foreign occupiers in Judea and Samaria,” which he pointed out to the Christian audience are significant to their heritage, as well.
Netanyahu and Pompeo spoke at the launch of the new Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, led by Likud MK Sharren Haskel. The caucus works with 42 Israel Allies Caucuses in legislatures on six continents. MKs from seven parties joined the caucus that emphasizes the importance of strengthening Christian support for Israel.
Pompeo, a former member of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, touted that support in his remarks, in a video message filmed in advance, in which he said: “Christian support for Israel in the US is both morally right and absolutely indispensable. It’s strong in both our nations and it’s not going anywhere.”
Netanyahu said his government is “dedicated to working together with our Christian friends from across the globe to further enhance the partnership between us.”
He also urged Christian lawmakers around the world to “follow the American example and move their embassies to Jerusalem.”