Donald Trump is set to arrive in Israel in just under two weeks, and reportedly wants to deliver a major speech at Masada. A draft of the speech was leaked in advance, and we are pleased to publish it here.
Obtained by Idan Landau
What a tremendous view! I’m sure the Jews had a fantastic feeling when they chose this location 2,000 years ago, amazing location. And the fact that I’m speaking to you today in the place where the Jews defeated the Romanian Empire, it’s unbelievable. Look at where you are today, and where the Romanians are. Just look at yourselves.
I know — there was some unpleasant stuff with suicide here. I’m gonna get to the Palestinians in a minute. My point is that with enough desire, and a pile of money, you can make peace even with the worst enemy. Everyone tells me that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unsolvable. Terrible. And I say: If the Jews and the Romanians managed it, why can’t we do it today? If Titus and Eleazar Ben Yair could make a deal, why can’t Bibi and Abbas?
I know. This business 2,000 years ago ended in a terrible massacre. So what? You haven’t had it easy up until now either. You’re normal, you have experience, and most important — you have a business plan. And you’re patient, like me. Did you know that I waited 30 minutes at the bottom of the mountain while they cleared up all the broken guitar strings from this singer, Broza? David, the guy’s called — like your king, the guy who built Masada. So I’m patient, and I know the history, folks.
I want to say something to the Palestinians now. Look — I understand that the occupation isn’t very nice. Not just for you, for us as well. You have no idea how many millions of dollars a year we pour into this place. It hurts, it really hurts. But suicide isn’t the answer. Suicide is for losers. And here’s where you can learn something from the Jews: When they fought heroically against the Romanians, and everything seemed hopeless, did they kill themselves? No way, folks. They carried on. Because they knew that this is a fantastic place, with an unbelievable view, and tremendous opportunities for development, business and tourism. Love it. You know, 750,000 tourists come here every year. How many go to Nablus? Just saying. And Nablus isn’t even in the West Bank. Think about that.
I want to say something to the Jews, too. Now, you did defeat the Romanians, you beat the Bulgarians — but you get a check at the end of every month, and you need to make good with it. Look at this desert here. On one side you have Syria. Putin’s got his missiles pointing at you. Turkey’s to the south. Erdogan’s a tremendous guy, he’s doing an amazing job, but he’s a tough cookie. I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him. You gotta understand that I’m about to shut off the faucet here. Millions of dollars, year after year, and what am I looking at here? It’s still a desert wasteland. Sad! Where are all the hotels Eleazar Ben Yair dreamed about? What did the Romanians kill themselves for?
These are tough questions. For you and for the Palestinians. But these are the real questions you have to focus on. Forget about the lies. On my way here I heard on the news that the Palestinians aren’t allowed to draw water from their own land, that Israel controls their population registry, and that it’s building settlements on their land. Fake news, fake news, fake news. You know how I won the election? I ignored all the fake news. Not even one tweet. You should ignore it too.
Mainly, you should concentrate on how to cancel national health insurance here, and in Ramallah. And how to include as many American companies in your economy as possible. That’s the only way you’ll make peace, folks: cooperate in order to advance American interests. Make America great again. You’ve done it once already: the Jews launched our movie business in Hollywood, and the Palestinians established the peace industry in Washington. When you’re determined you get results, and the American economy blooms.
The Israelis and the Palestinians have been fighting for 700 years — every kid knows this. It started right after the Romanians were expelled. And the Palestinians — a lot of people don’t know this, but not all of them are Muslims. People have a lot of prejudiced views about them. When I was on my way to meet Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah we flew over your great wall. And I said to my aides: “What a great example of regional cooperation.”
The Jews and the Palestinians both suffered from illegal immigration for many years. Mexicans, Koreans, thousands of infiltrators. Terrible. So what did they do? They sat down together — this was in Begin’s and Nasser’s time — and thought: “How do we solve this problem?” And in the end they came up with this genius solution — we’ll build a wall. It stopped the influx, and the Palestinians became happier. What worked in Texas works here too.
So I’m saying that peace is possible. This fantastic place, Masada, is the proof. From here came tidings of peace and reconciliation, which spread all through the Romanian Empire. Jews and Arabs lived here together and committed suicide here together, for hundreds of years. This is your heritage, and you should honor it. And America will do all we can to make sure this legacy will never fade away. Thank you.
Idan Landau is an Israeli academic at Ben-Gurion University. This post was originally published in Hebrew on Idan’s blog, “Don’t Die a Fool.”