President Donald Trump says Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than him because, unlike his predecessors, “I kept my promises”.
Trump energised an audience that numbered in the hundreds at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Florida on Saturday by recounting his record on issues of importance to Jews, including an extensive riff on his promise to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and relocate the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Both Israel and Palestine claim parts of Jerusalem for their future capital.
Trump said his predecessors had promised to move the embassy but only paid lip service to the issue.
“They never had any intention of doing it, in my opinion,” Trump said. “But unlike other presidents, I kept my promises.”
Trump also highlighted his decision earlier this year to reverse more than a half-century of US policy in the Middle East by recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.
The Israeli American Council is financially backed by one of Trump’s top supporters, the husband-and-wife duo of Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate.
Both Adelsons appeared on stage to introduce Trump, with Miriam Adelson asserting that Trump “has already gone down in the annals of Jewish history, and that is before he’s even completed his first term in office”.