WASHINGTON – This was a low-profile visit that might turn out to be more significant than one would initially guess.Avi Berkowitz, assistant to US President Donald Trump and special representative for international negotiations, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Residence on Monday to discuss the Trump administration’s peace plan, The Jerusalem Post has confirmed. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was also in attendance at the meeting. The visit has marked Berkowitz’s first trip to Israel since he formally succeeded Jason Greenblatt in November.On Tuesday, Berkowitz and Friedman also met separately with Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, a meeting that lasted nearly two hours.At the center of discussion was the Trump administration’s peace plan – and specifically, whether the administration should release it before Israel’s upcoming elections in March. It was not immediately clear what Netanyahu and Gantz told Berkowitz and Friedman regarding a possible roll out of the plan before March 2.The US peace team originally planned to roll out the political part of the plan last summer but decided to wait until a new government in Israel was sworn in. Since then, Israel has been experiencing an unprecedented political deadlock, and now faces a third round of elections.The peace team is, therefore, facing a decision between two difficult choices. The first is releasing the plan despite the political stalemate in Israel, which could hurt the prospects of its success. This option is reportedly under serious consideration. The second is to wait until after Israel’s elections in March, which could result in a deadlock yet again. In that case, it might be too late to release the plan, so close to US presidential elections in November.
If the Trump administration releases the #DealOfTheCentury#PeacePlan before Israel's March 2 election, would you consider it election interference? #Israelex2020— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) January 7, 2020