Trump's Republicans ramp up support for Israel, as Netanyahu pledges to annex West Bank

Trump's Republicans ramp up support for Israel, as Netanyahu pledges to annex West Bank
Donald Trump and fellow Republicans have pledged stronger support for Israel, as Netanyahu looks to annex the West Bank
2 min read
07 April, 2019
Trump says he's the 'most pro-Israel' American president in history [Getty]

US Republicans have ramped up their support for Israel as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged to annex the Palestinian West Bank.

President Donald Trump told Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday night that the Republicans are the biggest allies of Israel, and that the rival Democrats would work against the country.

He said that a Democrats victory in presidential elections next year would "leave Israel out there", despite Jewish-Americans voters mostly supporting the Democrat Party.

Trump also recalled how his administration had recognised claims to the Syrian Golan Heights and moved its embassy to Jerusalem - recognising Israel's illegal annexation of the occupied Palestinian eastern section of the city.

"We got you something that you wanted," Trump said of the embassy move, adding, "Unlike other presidents, I keep my promises."

"I know that the Republican Jewish Coalition will help lead our party to another historic victory. We need more Republicans. Let's go, so we can win everything."

Trump also said that Republican donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam were hugely appreciative over his government's break with international consensus on Israeli occupation.

"That is the most important thing that's ever happened in their life," Trump said about the Golan Heights and embassy move. "They love Israel."

He also accused the Democrats of allowing antisemitism to "take root" in the party, following comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar criticising Israel who he mockingly "thanked" when he began his speech.

"Oh, I forgot. She doesn't like Israel, I forgot, I'm sorry. No, she doesn't like Israel, does she? Please, I apologise," he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham also said he wants a mutual defence agreement with Israel, which would mean "an attack against Israel would be considered an attack against the United States".

He said this would send a message to the world that "to destroy the one and only Jewish state, you have to come through us to get them".

Graham also promised that the Republican-dominated Senate would vote in a month or so on formally recognising Israel's illegal annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged Saturday to annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins the upcoming general election.

"I will apply (Israeli) sovereignty, but I don't distinguish between settlement blocs and isolated settlements," he said in an interview to Channel 12 television.

Settlements built on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 War are deemed illegal under international law and their ongoing construction is seen as a major barrier to peace.

Netanyahu is running for re-election as prime minister with a coalition of far-right parties.