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'I Kept My Promises': Donald Trump Says He is Israel's Best Pal in White House at Florida Rally

File photo of US president Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (File Photo: Reuters)

File photo of US president Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (File Photo: Reuters)

Donald Trump also highlighted his decision earlier this year to reverse more than a half-century of US policy in the Middle East by recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the strategic highlands on the border with Syria.

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President Donald Trump said Saturday that Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than him because, unlike his predecessors, “I kept my promises."

Trump energized an audience that numbered in the hundreds at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Florida by recounting his record on issues of importance to Jews, including an extensive riff on his promise to recognize 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 U.S. policy in the Middle East by recognizing 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.”

The Adelsons donated $30 million to Trump's campaign in the final months of the 2016 race. They followed up by donating $100 million to the Republican Party for last November's congressional elections.

Trump criticized Israel's sworn enemy, Iran, saying he withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal with other world powers because Tehran must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon

But Trump voiced support for Iranian citizens who have been protesting a decision by their government to withdraw fuel subsidies, which sent prices skyrocketing.

Trump said that he believes thousands of Iranians have been killed in the protests and that thousands more have been arrested.

“America will always stand with the Iranian people in their righteous struggle for freedom," he said.

The president introduced his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who has played a leading role in helping the administration craft its Mideast peace plan.

A self-described deal-maker, Trump said he had long been told that achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be the hardest deal of all.

But ''ïf Jared Kushner can't do it, it can't be done," Trump said.

The White House has said its Mideast peace plan is complete and had promised to release it after Israeli elections in September. The long-delayed plan remains under wraps, and Israel appears headed for its third round of elections this year.

The plan also is facing rejection by Palestinian officials, who object to the pro-Israel leanings of the Trump administration.
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