RUSH: Trump did another first on this trip in Israel today. He made history. He’s the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall. Now, other presidents have been there as candidates or after they retired, but none before Trump ever, as a sitting president. George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Hussein O all visited either when they were candidates or as private citizens. And none of them were accompanied by the Israeli prime minister. Now, an interesting thing about this. Trump and Melania went to the Western Wall today, and men and women go to different areas of the wall.
The prime minister, Bibi… It’s Benjamin, but Bibi to people like me, his friends. Bibi wanted to go with Trump and Trump said. “No. Respectfully, no. This is a personal thing for me. I don’t want this to appear to be a political event.” So the prime minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu, was there but did not accompany Trump as he personally visited the wall. It’s customary to write a small message and find a place in the wall to plug it, and those messages are there for eternity. I have visited this place during a five-day whirlwind trip back in 1993, and it’s someplace everybody should be able to go.
Whatever your faith, the Holy Land is someplace everybody should be able to go. There’s nothing like actually being there and seeing it after having read and seen so much about it. So the president and Melania will have dinner with Netanyahu and his wife at Netanyahu’s home, which is not part of a governmental complex. I’ve been there too. Let me tell you some of this. It’s been a while since I’ve told some of these stories. I’ll make this real brief. I got a chance to go in 1993.
It was a combination religious trip and political trip. It was an opportunity to meet leaders of the day in Israel, go to the Knesset, but also visit some of the famed religious sites. I had Mossad briefings, private Mossad briefings. I was at to the Golan Heights, had interviews with all these people. These five days probably were worth a couple of years in college on this subject. They obviously had been briefed, these Israeli leaders had been briefed on who I was, obviously would happen. We met Yitzhak Rabin, who could not have been more gracious and outgoing and friendly.
But when it came time to meet Shimon Peres, this is the weirdest thing. There was my entourage, if you will. When people like me travel, there’s always a bunch of hangers-on, and so the hangers-on, the entourage were all ushered in to each dignitary’s office and then the hangers-on (“the hitchhikers,” I call ’em) were then excused from the room while I and my immediate advisers had meetings with these people. Shimon Peres was nice as he could be, but he kept…
While he was seated, he kept undoing his belt buckle. He sat there, undid the belt buckle and then tightened it a bit and redid it and then he’d do it again and loosen it, while he was speaking. And he started talking about how we’re destroying all the trees in the world. Not we, not me, but we’re destroying all the trees. And it didn’t take me long to realize, “This guy’s been told that I am a Reaganite right-winger, and so he’s jabbin’ me. You know, he’s just jabbing me.” (laughing)
We had a guy (ahem) on our trip when we were leaving the Israeli government compound, there was a car alarm going off. Whenever there’s an alarm anywhere near that place, you skedaddle. You seek cover. So they hustled us out, and we got in our transportation. As we were leaving, they told us, “Yeah, it was Shimon Peres’ car alarm. No problem at all.” Later that day, we were leaving the Knesset after having met with the speaker of the Knesset — which is, of course, their version of the United States Congress — and in walks Shimon Peres. (chuckling)
And one of the people traveling with me said… (chuckles) I wished I could shrink to invisible. One of the people traveling with me said, “Hey, Buddy! Did you get your car alarm fixed?” Oh, no! I’m burying my face in my hands. “Oh, no! No, this isn’t happening! No!” Peres maintained total aplomb and dignity and just looked at this guy like… And he said, “You are more informed than I. I have no idea to which that you refer.” (sic) “Oh, yeah, we were leaving your office and the car alarm was going off. I just hope you got it fixed.” And Peres looked at the me (laughing) with a look like, “I hope I never see you again,” (laughing) and we were off.
We had been talking about that. A couple things like that happened on the trip. They always do. But it’s an amazing. Trump also went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. That is… Well, the whole thing that Trump is doing, I’ve done it. And for him to do it as president in his first trip abroad says a lot about the things on his mind in terms of American foreign policy, and it’s consistent. Terrorism has been at the top of his list and wiping out ISIS, and he’s told every leader of every nation he’s spoken to, “We gotta drive ’em out.”
You know, other presidents go to the U.N. and make platitudinous speeches about these kinds of things. I’m not trying to oversell this. Don’t misunderstand. I just think it’s… I haven’t seen it too much if it’s happened where a United States president takes it to these people face-to-face and does it in an inoffensive way, in total contrast from the way Trump is portrayed. I mean, you can find stories here: “Trump surprisingly presidential! Trump surprisingly reverential! Trump surprisingly competent! Trump surprisingly in command!”
The only reason it’s “surprising” is because of the way Trump is presented in the American media while at home.
RUSH: Joint press conference between President Trump and Bibi Netanyahu just concluded. Let me summarize this for you. It’s a completely different Netanyahu than the Netanyahu we saw with Barack Obama. I’ll tell you what I remember about… It was either the first or second trip to the White House by Netanyahu. Obama was rude, he was offensive, and some would even say mean-spirited. I don’t know how many of you remember this. I think this was the second, but it doesn’t matter. Pick one. I just think was it the second trip.
Obama and Netanyahu and their various aides are working on something (I don’t know what it was; doesn’t matter) and abruptly Obama got up and said to Netanyahu, “I’m leaving. I have to go have dinner with my family. You stay here. You keep working on this, and I’ll come back afterwards and see where you are.” Honest, folks, it happened. The White House was very proud of that. They made sure that news got out. Disrespecting the prime minister of Israel? That was a big plus for Obama with his buddies around the world and his lunatic Democrat base.
Remember when Netanyahu came to the United States and addressed the joint session of Congress on the danger of the American-Iran deal? That infuriated Obama. He tried to get that speech canceled but he couldn’t because the Speaker of the House is who extends such invitations. The president, White House has nothing to say — separation of powers, after all — about who addresses joint sessions of Congress. That’s totally up to the Speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate. So Netanyahu showed up, and he delivered a stem-winding barn burner, anti-Iran, anti-Iran deal.
It was, without names being mentioned, a huge slap at Obama’s policy. Well, the Netanyahu I just saw watching out of the corner of my eye is a completely different Netanyahu. He just flat-out expressed his appreciation and adoration for Trump. He thanked Trump for the deep commitment Trump and America have to Israel. He openly stated at this joint presser how much he appreciates the change in American policy. He made what was maybe one of the most important observations. He said how much he appreciates the reassertion of America the Middle East and policy.
And he slammed Obama again. It was subtle. I mean, he didn’t come out and say, “Obama sucks” or any of that, but he was very, very clear. He did it in a diplomatic way. I think Netanyahu sees a real opportunity and hope for change in the Middle East, and I think even some of these leaders in Saudi Arabia and some of the other Islamic nations may as well. Trump said that he was deeply moved by his visit to the wall, thanked the Israeli people, spoke of the unbreakable bond of friendship with Israel and America, and expressed his desire for Israel to have peace.
He said many things can happen now that could have never happened before. He spoke of his trip to Saudi Arabia, King Salman expressing his strong desire for peace. Of course, these are things that always happen publicly. You don’t know what went on in the private meetings, but some of this stuff being said publicly is an indication that much the same was said privately. Trump mentioned in his Israeli press conference just now, that the leaders in Saudi Arabia pledged to help eradicate terrorism and are working on the peace process. Wouldn’t it be funny, wouldn’t it just be…?
You know me; I don’t think Middle East peace is possible without somebody surrendering. I just don’t. This has been going how many thousands of years. Peace in the Middle East? I just never believed doctors, nurses, clean water, Red Cross units, and negotiations are gonna solve this. But what if (laughing) the most progress ever made toward peace in the Middle East happened with Donald Trump as president? Can you imagine? It is gonna be unacceptable to these people that some clunky outsider who doesn’t know right from wrong, boorish from polite — somebody so unsophisticated — can come in and command the respect of both sides.
We’ll wait and see.
Time will tell.
(interruption) Pfft! I know they’ll rip it. It won’t be a legitimate peace, but it will. It will be the most amazing thing to see if something like that happens. Anyway, we’ll keep a sharp eye. I’ve even heard… (chuckles) I hope this gets around. How Donald Trump could be a-one-man United Nations. We ought to have somebody start that narrative, get that meme floating around, get some people to start tweeting that out: Donald Trump could be a one-man U.N. You know how that would drive ’em crazy out there. It would literally drive ’em crazy, ’cause then Trump would come out against climate change as a one-man United Nations. Here’s… (interruption)
No, Trump will never get the Nobel Prize! If Trump ever actually oversaw a legitimate peace, a laying down of arms between the Israelis and Palestinians and everybody else, they still would not give him the peace prize. There’s no way. How dare you ask me? Do you think he’d get the Nobel Peace Prize? There’s no way! If they give it to a guy just three months after he’s been inaugurated — if they give a guy like Obama a peace prize on the come — and here’s a guy who expanded every war we’re in, who did not close Club Gitmo (scoffs), and they give him the peace prize? They ought to demand it back. But they won’t.
RUSH: We have some audio now on the joint press conference between Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump, and we kick off with Netanyahu. This was just moments ago in Jerusalem.
NETANYAHU: Mr. President, I appreciate the fact that you went to the Western Wall and you are the first acting president who’s done that. The people of Israel applaud you for it. (applause)
RUSH: What a nut job, what a nut job, doesn’t Trump know that active presidents are not supposed to do that? If active presidents were supposed to do that, doesn’t everybody know Obama would have done it? Anyway, here’s more from — I’m just — no, no, folks. I run the risk here. I was being totally facetious there. I was imagining what the media would say about it, ’cause this can’t stand.
We’re not supposed to have people praising Trump, even Netanyahu, it’s not supposed to happen. The Saudis are not supposed to like Trump. The Egyptians, nobody’s supposed to like Trump. And when they do and they express it, circle the wagons time for the Drive-Bys. Here’s more Bibi.
NETANYAHU: For the first time in many years and, Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change. The Arab leaders who you met yesterday could help change the atmosphere, and they could help create the conditions for a realistic peace. These are all great signs on your historic visit. It’s a visit that I think has echoed down the ages because the great Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said that there was no city on earth he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. Well, Mr. President, Donald, there’s no city on earth where you are more welcome than right here with us in Jerusalem.
RUSH: That may not actually be true, as far as it goes. Trump’s turn to reply.
THE PRESIDENT: I was deeply moved by my visit today to the Western Wall. Words fail to capture the experience. It will leave an impression on me forever. We want Israel to have peace. But we are more than friends. We are great allies. We have so many opportunities in front of us. But we must seize them together. We must take advantage of the situation, and there are many, many things that can happen now that would never have been able to happen before, and we understand that very well.
RUSH: And the final Trump sound bite from that presser.
THE PRESIDENT: I thank the prime minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process. He’s working very hard at it. It’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all. But I have a feeling that we’re gonna get there eventually, I hope. I’m certain we will have very productive discussions, and we’re going to have very productive discussions in my opinion with the leaders of other nations also, and I feel strongly about that, ’cause there’s a lot of love out there, and people from all nations, even nations that you would be surprised to hear, they want to stop the killing. They’ve had enough. America stands ready to assist in every way we can.
RUSH: That’s just such a stark contrast to what we had with Barack Obama. Without commenting pro/con either way, just the stark contrast, just the upbeat optimism, for one thing, the pro-America aspect, the pro-America-Israeli relationship, it’s 180 degrees different, and I think for the good.