Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed his meeting with President Donald Trump this week as “historic”, declaring the beginning of a “new age” in US-Israel relations.
The Prime Minister spoke with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday, a day after his first meeting with the president since the inauguration less than a month ago.
In the sit-down interview with Hannity, Netanyahu expressed optimism on the future of US-Israeli cooperation, stating that he and the president see eye to eye on the major developments in the Middle East – a clear departure from his relationship with the Obama White House, which promoted an Iranian nuclear deal fiercely opposed by both Israel and much of the Arab world.
“I think it was a historical meeting,” said Netanyahu. “It was a meeting of the minds and a meeting of the hearts."
Netanyahu noted that he has known Trump personally for more than 30 years, going back to his term as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, from 1984 to 1988.
"I've known him [Trump] from the time that I was serving as Israel's Ambassador to the UN. And, you know, we would sort of bump into each other here and there in New York City. But we've gotten to know each other over the years."
"I feel we have now, as the president said, an even stronger alliance - a 'new day', he called it, maybe a new age."
Regarding thawing relations between Israel and some Arab states, Netanyahu suggested new opportunities for the Jewish state were emerging, adding that he and the president shared the same view of the major trends now reshaping the region.
"In my conversation yesterday with President Trump, he sees things the same way. That opens up opportunities. No question about it."
Netanyahu also expressed optimism regarding the new administration’s approach towards the Iranian nuclear deal, suggesting Trump was more in tune than his predecessor with regional fears over a nuclear-armed Tehran.
"The most important difference [between Israel and Obama] was on Iran. The Arab countries would sort of say things in the dark. They wouldn't say it outright. I had to sort of speak out of for everyone in the region. But right now I think it’s not merely in the region. People understand that Iran is a malevolent force, and the nuclear deal with Iran - if its kept, the Iranians just walk in - the deal said no bomb today, 100 bombs tomorrow, in 10 years; that's what it says."
“Everybody now understands [the threat]. And there’s an American president who understands it. And we’re talking about what to do about this common threat.”