Trump to Netanyahu: Do you care about peace or not?

Trump's direct and unscripted question to Israel's leader shocked advisors present for the call.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, MAARIV ONLINE
April 23, 2018 08:38
2 minute read.
US President Donald Trump congratulates Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland, during a phone call

US President Donald Trump congratulates Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland, during a phone call at the Oval Office, June 27, 2017. (photo credit: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

In a telephone call last year, US President Donald Trump bluntly asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whether he was genuinely interested in peace with the Palestinians, Axios reported Sunday.

The question, which shocked those in the room, came in the midst of a longer, and largely friendly, conversation between the two leaders. According to three sources familiar with the call, Trump had recently read news reports that said Netanyahu was planning to expand Jewish settlement construction in order to shore up support among his right-wing base. The president believed such a move would unnecessarily anger the Palestinian leadership and endanger his much-touted “deal of the century” to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The report did not include Netanyahu’s answer to Trump’s direct query.

“The president has an extremely close and candid relationship with the prime minister of Israel and appreciates his strong efforts to enhance the cause of peace in the face of numerous challenges,” a senior White House official responded to the Axios article.

“The president has great relationships with a number of foreign leaders but that doesn’t mean he can’t be aggressive when it comes to negotiating what’s best for America,” added White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

A Related Video You May Like:
 


The revelation of the unvarnished exchange between the two leaders comes only a month before the implementation of Trump's controversial decision to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a recent State Department press release.
Trump tells Israel to 'hold back on settlements' during meeting with Netanyahu at White House on Feb. 15, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)

The new embassy will open in May to “coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary,” the press release states. The embassy will be located in the building that now houses the US Consulate General in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood.

“This is a great day for the people of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued by the Israel Embassy in Washington.

“President Trump’s decision to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem on the coming Independence Day follows his historic declaration in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This decision will turn Israel’s 70th Independence Day into an even bigger celebration.

Thank you President Trump for your leadership and friendship."

Trump's decision to move the American embassy came on the heels of his December announcement that the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Palestinian response to the embassy relocation announcement was swift. The move showed a “determination to violate international law, destroy the two-state solution and provoke the feelings of the Palestinian people as well as of all Arabs, Muslims and Christians around the globe,” said Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, in a February interview with Reuters.

“Trump and his team have disqualified the US from being part of the solution between Israelis and Palestinians. Rather, the world now sees that they are part of the problem,” Erekat said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

November 16, 2018
Islamic Jihad publishes picture of new rocket allegedly fired on Ashkelon

By ANNA AHRONHEIM