The American Independence Day celebration in Jerusalem, July 2, 2019. Photo: Haim Zah / GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday attended an American Independence Day celebration hosted by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

“A few days ago, David and Tammy (Friedman’s wife) and Jason Greenblatt and my wife Sara went to a place that is the wellspring of our existence,” Netanyahu remarked. “They went to a place that leads from the Siloam pool to Har Habayit where our ancestors celebrated the various festivals of Jerusalem and where the last Jews fighting the Romans, fighting this greatest power on earth, submitted and where Jewish independence was extinguished.”

“Well we’re back, and we’re back standing for the truth, for our history, for our rights and it’s wonderful to have the greatest power on earth not opposing the Jewish state but supporting the Jewish state,” he went on to say. “What a twist.”

Referring to the Palestinian Authority’s decision to boycott the US-organized economic workshop in Bahrain last week, Netanyahu noted, “The worst thing you can do in a speech is repeat a cliché. I’m going to repeat a cliché. The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They just did another one. Again the Palestinian leadership held the prosperity of their own people hostage to their ideology against Israel.”

“I hope the Palestinian leadership chooses a different course,” he continued. “I hope that instead of rejecting President [Donald] Trump’s peace initiative, even before they’ve seen it, they should keep an open mind about it. That’s certainly what I’m going to do.”

“I look forward to work with President Trump and his administration to advance peace, prosperity and security,” Netanyahu added. “Security comes first, but peace and prosperity can come too if there’s a willingness finally on the Palestinian side to abandon the goal of destroying Israel and once and for all to recognize the Jewish state. That’s the problem and that’s the solution.”