Melania Trump told Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s prime minister, on Saturday that relations between the US and Israel, and between their two families, “will be wonderful,” and that she and President-elect Donald Trump are looking forward to hosting them in the United States “at the first opportunity.”
Detailing the conversation in a Facebook post on Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the evening’s phone conversation between the two wives as “heartfelt and warm.”
“Mrs. Trump said that she looks forward to our visit at the first opportunity and that there will be wonderful relations between our countries and our families,” Netanyahu said.
He wrote that Melania and Sara also “discussed the great challenge of raising children under the spotlight that accompanies their fathers who were elected as world leaders. Additionally, they discussed the great importance of emphasizing family time as part of their role as mothers in order to enable their children to grow up in a normal way like all their friends.”
Sara Netanyahu and Melania Trump could find that they have much in common, as the wives of prominent and often divisive leaders who are themselves figures of controversy. Melania Trump made headlines during the campaign for plagiarizing parts of a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama, for having posed nude in her previous modeling career, and as she defended her husband against allegations relating to his treatment of women.
Sara Netanyahu has faced court battles over the treatment of employees, and is at the center of an ongoing row about her professed intervention in her husband’s running of the country. A TV documentary on her controversial role last week prompted a response so bitter and lengthy from Netanyahu as to overshadow the documentary itself and prompt allegations that he was inciting against the media.
On Friday, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he hopes to orchestrate “the ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians that would resolve “the war that never ends.” Days after winning the US presidential election, the Republican victor said that “as a deal maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”
The telephone conversation between the two wives came three days after Trump spoke with Netanyahu and invited the Israeli leader to Washington at the “first opportunity.”
Trump and Netanyahu, “who have known each other for many years, had a warm, heartfelt conversation,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.
Netanyahu responded by saying that he and his wife Sara were looking forward to meeting Trump and Melania.
Earlier on Wednesday, Netanyahu congratulated Trump on his election victory, saying the Republican is “a true friend of the State of Israel.”
“We will work together to advance security, stability and peace in our region,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“The bond between the US and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared future. I am sure that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the special alliance between Israel and the US and we will bring them to new heights,” he added.
Later Wednesday, Netanyahu released a video congratulating Trump.
Netanyahu met with both Trump and rival Hillary Clinton in New York in September, but refrained from expressing support for a particular candidate. Following the September meetings, the prime minister said “it doesn’t matter which of them will be elected, US support of Israel will remain strong, our pact will remain strong and will even get stronger in the coming years.”
The prime minister’s statement on Wednesday came on the heels of statements expressing a mix of optimism and wariness by Israeli politicians, many of whom joined Netanyahu in stressing the continued strengthening of the US-Israel ties.
President Reuven Rivlin congratulated Trump on his victory, which he said demonstrated that the US is the “greatest democracy.”
“There are many challenges that lie before you as president — at home and around the world. Israel, your greatest ally, stands by you as your friend and partner in turning those challenges into opportunities,” he said in a statement.