The Trump administration’s decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem was almost scrapped due to then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indifference toward the move, Jared Kushner wrote in his upcoming memoir.
In his new book, the senior adviser to president Donald Trump recounted a 2017 phone conversation in which Trump told Netanyahu he was “part of the problem” after receiving a less-than-enthusiastic response to the news of the embassy relocation, The Forward reported on Friday.
"You are part of the problem"Former US president Donald Trump to Benjamin Netanyahu, December 5, 2017
“Trump began to second-guess his decision,” Kushner reportedly wrote in Breaking History: A White House Memoir, set for publication on August 23.
Netanyahu's disappointing response
According to Kushner, Trump was furious after Netanyahu told him that “if you choose to [move the US Embassy to Jerusalem], I will support you,” expecting a less apathetic approach from the then-prime minister.
Kushner recalled that at first, Trump thought Netanyahu did not fully understand the implications of the embassy move, which would also see the United States officially recognize Israel’s capital.
“Again, Bibi responded with less-than-expected enthusiasm,” Kushner continued.“I could tell that Trump was frustrated.”
The tense phone call recounted by Kushner was dated December 5, 2017, a day before the president authorized the move.
Kushner shared another instance of tension between the former leaders. During the president’s 2017 visit to Israel, Netanyahu kept him up “for three hours and was talking my ear off” during dinner, Trump told his son-in-law.
“It was beautiful, but every time I thought the meal would end, another course would come out,” Trump reportedly said. In the book, Kushner jokingly added that Netanyahu “should have known his audience better” and should have “simply served him a hamburger and allowed him to go to the hotel to relax.”
The Netanyahu-Trump relationship
Since the two leaders left their respective offices in 2021, more details have been revealed of their personal relationship, which was once considered strong.
In a series of explosive comments made in December, Trump accused Netanyahu of deceiving him and his administration about his sincerity to make a peace deal with the Palestinians.
The president also accused the prime minister of being "one of the first" leaders to congratulate US President Joe Biden on his November 2020 election victory, simply saying "f*** him," in reference to the former Israeli leader.