Netanyahu, Trump to hold phone conversation Sunday

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump have scheduled a telephone conversation.

Trump and Netanyahu will talk on Sunday evening, Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday morning.

“There are many issues between us including the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the situation in Syria and the Iranian threat,” Netanyahu said.

He added that cancelling the Iran nuclear agreement was not his “supreme goal.”

“I would like to make it clear, contrary to reports that I have read, that stopping the Iranian threat, and first and foremost the threat reflected in the bad nuclear agreement that was signed with Iran, continues to be a supreme goal of the State of Israel. On the issue of settlement, none are more concerned about it than the Likud government and I, and we will continue to look out for it wisely and responsibly, for the benefit of the settlement enterprise and the State of Israel,” he said.

On Saturday night, Netanyahu released a video on Facebook and Twitter, which he called a message to the Iranian people.

He said that he would speak soon to Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime.

“But it struck me recently that I’ve spoken a lot about the Iranian regime and not enough about the Iranian people, or for that matter, to the Iranian people. So I hope this message reaches every Iranian—young and old, religious and secular, man and woman,” Netanyahu said.

“I know you’d prefer to live without fear. I know you’d want to be able to speak freely, to love who you want without the fear of being tortured or hung from a crane. I know you’d like to surf the Web freely and not have to see videos like this one using a virtual private network to circumvent censorship. You have a proud history. You have a rich culture. Tragically, you are shackled by a theocratic tyranny,” he said.

He concluded: “I yearn for the day when Israelis and Iranians can once again visit each other freely in Tehran and Esfahan, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The fanatics must not win. Their cruelty must not conquer our compassion. Our two peoples can work together for a more peaceful and hopeful future for both of us. We must defeat terror and tyranny and we must ensure that freedom and friendship win the day.