Netanyahu Congratulates Trump Victory as Israeli Ministers Hail 'End of Two-state Solution'

Warm wishes by Israeli and Palestinian leaders accompanied by expectations of the U.S. president-elect, including calls to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at Trump Tower, September 25, 2016.
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at Trump Tower, September 25, 2016. GPO

Israel woke up to Donald Trump's unexpected win in the U.S. presidential election on Wednesday, and local politicians were quick to offer their congratulations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a statement congratulating Trump, saying: "President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel. We will work together to advance the security, stability and peace in our region. The strong connection between the United States and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared destiny.

"I'm certain that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States, and bring it to new heights," he added.

President Reuven Rivlin also congratulated Trump.

“I want to congratulate President elect Donald Trump, his family, and all the American people who have once again shown the world it is the greatest democracy.”

“I hope together Israelis and Americans can grow our innovation and cooperation, which are the fruits of liberty, and equality. God bless you, Mr. President,” Rivlin added.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) congratulated Trump on Facebook: “Warm wishes to the president of the strongest and biggest global power: Donald J. Trump!"

In an announcement to the press, Herzog added that “the U.S. elections are a continuation of a global trend of rejecting the old ruling elites and a wish for a clear and emphatic change. Trump’s election is the continuation of a social, economic and political tsunami that we’ve seen in many countries, which will also bring about change in Israel."

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"This is a time of change around the world, and it will soon take place in Israel as well," he added.

His Zionist Union cochair, Tzipi Livni, sent her congratulations on Twitter.

“Congratulations @realDonaldTrump. I hope for the U.S. and the world that he actualize the promises of his acceptance speech, not the campaign."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he "congratulates the elected American president, Donald Trump, and hopes that peace will be achieved during his term."

The chairman of the PLO’s executive committee, Saeb Erekat, responded to Trump’s election by stating that “the Palestinians expect the new administration to implement a two-state solution.

"The Bush and Obama administrations also gave their commitment to this solution, and this must now be implemented in practice. Peace and stability in the region will not be attained without an end to the Israeli occupation."

Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, meanwhile, hoped Trump's election would bring an end to the two-state solution.

"Trump's victory is a tremendous opportunity for Israel to immediately announce its intention to renege on the idea of establishing Palestine in the heart of the country – a direct blow to our security and the justice of our cause.

"This is the president-elect's outlook as it appears in his platform, and that definitely should be our way. Salient, simple and clear. The era of the Palestinian state is over."

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked congratulated Trump and called him "a true friend of Israel.

"I am certain Trump will know how to lead the free world to success in the goals of the global war against terror. This is an opportunity for the American government to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. This will symbolize the close relationship and courageous friendship between the two nations," said Shaked.

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid also sent his warm wishes. "Congratulations to President-elect Donald J. Trump. The United States is Israel's closest and most important ally. We look forward to working with President-elect Trump and building on the incredibly strong ties which bind our two nations together.

"Ours is a relationship based on shared values and mutual interests. I know he is deeply committed to those values and to the strategic relations between our two countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely spoke of her expectations of the new president.

“Congratulations to the new President, Donald Trump. I look forward to the fulfilling of the promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. That would be an important historic move," she said.

MK Dov Khenin (Joint List) noted that “Trump won not because of a racist minority but because of an angry majority. He was elected in a country that elected a black president by a large majority on two occasions.

"Trump’s campaign showed that when there is no real solution to a systemic crisis on offer from the left, a dangerous and false response grows with monstrous rapidity from the right."

Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union) said that "the alliance between Israel and the United States is our most important strategic asset, and is essential for our security. The entire political spectrum in Israel must preserve and strengthen it under any administration, and avoid interference in the internal affairs of the United States. Congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump."

Striking a different tone, Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Galon said, "Trump built his candidacy on inflaming fear and hatred, and it worked for him; but such campaigns always have implications. We will hear about hate groups that received legitimacy as a result of these elections."

Clinton's candidacy was not perfect, but she had to work harder than any man to beat Trump, she added. 

"I believe in the strength of the democratic process, the system of checks and balances that controls it. And we believe that American democracy will survive Donald Trump's presidency," said Galon.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein congratulated the president elect and his vice president elect when he opened the Knesset session. 

"The relations between the United States and Israel have always been close and warm, and I am convinced that they will continue to be in the Trump era." Edelstein said. "The American people will continue to stand united to meet the challenges of America and the world. Your success, Mr. Trump, is our success."

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also congratulated Trump, saying that he expects the new president to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem as he promised during the campaign.

"Mr. President-elect, you were always a staunch supporter of the city of Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel and the beating heart of the Jewish people, and for that I thank you. I'm certain that throughout your term you will continue strengthening the status and sovereignty of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy to the city."