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Netanyahu-Trump Bromance Tested for First Time

This article originally appeared at Antiwar.com [1]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in trying to placate his far-right coalition on delaying an effort to annex the West Bank, made what analysts are calling a “gaffe,” [2] saying the process needs to be coordinated with President Trump, and that he’s been talking to Trump and other US officials about it for some time.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in trying to placate his far-right coalition on delaying an effort to annex the West Bank, made what analysts are calling a “gaffe,” [2] saying the process needs to be coordinated with President Trump, and that he’s been talking to Trump and other US officials about it for some time.

The problem is, he wasn’t. The White House quickly called out Netanyahu for falsely claiming this, and Israeli officials too said the discussions never took place [3]. Such talks would obviously be a huge deal, and would also do massive harm to the peace process.

This has all proved a massive public embarrassment for Netanyahu, with opposition MPs criticizing him for lying, and the US clearly upset by being dragged into the scandal by the lies, while Netanyahu’s supporters desperately try to save face.

The US wants Netanyahu to backtrack [4], but in trying to get the Israeli press on to something else risks making the matter even worse, with Deputy FM Tzipi Hotovely saying she’s positive Israel can convince Trump to accept annexation [5], even if they haven’t actually tried yet.

Jason Ditz is news editor at Antiwar.com [6], a nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of non-interventionism. His work has also appeared in Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Daily Caller, Washington Times and Detroit Free Press.

11 Comments (Open | Close)

11 Comments To "Netanyahu-Trump Bromance Tested for First Time"

#1 Comment By Some Wag On February 13, 2018 @ 2:07 pm

I don’t understand why this is so awful for Netanyahu or Trump. It seems to be a statement of fact, or if a lie, a lie completely in line with the public image of the Trump/Netanyahu relationship since at least the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It’s impossible to imagine the core constituency of Likud or the GOP being upset by it.

#2 Comment By Daniel (not Larrison) On February 13, 2018 @ 2:42 pm

Netanyahu lied, dragging the US into something? Say it ain’t so, Bibb! [7]

#3 Comment By Whine Merchant On February 13, 2018 @ 3:43 pm

” Deputy FM Tzipi Hotovely saying she’s positive Israel can convince Trump to accept annexation, even if they haven’t actually tried yet.”

Of course they can – AIPAC will instruct the White House and Congress that this has already been paid for in contributions, and Jared can erect another Trump Tower in ‘greater Israel’, so what’s the problem, eh??

#4 Comment By Clyde Schechter On February 13, 2018 @ 4:23 pm

“Such talks would obviously be a huge deal, and would also do massive harm to the peace process.”

Seriously? There is no peace process, and there hasn’t been for a long time. The Israeli government is interested only in conquest, not peace. The Palestinians understand this and will not make “peace” with the Israelis. And the US has stopped even pretending that it is an honest broker.

That the Israeli government wants to annex the West Bank is about as surprising as hearing that the sun will set in the west tonight. This has been their clear goal since Menachem Begin started creating “facts on the ground.” There is perhaps something newsworthy in their admitting it in so many words.

But if you thought the Israeli government is seriously interested in peace, or that there is any peace process going on, I suggest you yank a tooth out of your mouth and put it under your pillow tonight, to see what the tooth fairy brings you.

#5 Comment By touch up don’t cut it On February 13, 2018 @ 5:13 pm

Netanyahu was a notorious liar long before Trump got into the game. Reports out today have it that Israeli police just referred him for indictment on corruption, bribery, and fraud charges. That’s actually not too bad by Israeli standards, with their convicted rapist president etc. Still, with all the stinky stuff going on in DC, hanging with an indicted Israeli PM isn’t a very good look for Trump. Thing is, Trump really doesn’t care. He’s been heedlessly dragging America’s name through the mud by associating with scum like Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s MBS since he took office.

#6 Comment By gutter ball On February 14, 2018 @ 7:08 am

Agree with Claude Schecter above. There is no peace process, and it’s past time that the US got over it.

Game over. We have had no constructive role to play in the Mideast for a very long time. We should cut our losses and get out. Stop the Israelis, Saudis, Egyptians and other parasites from using us as a ATM, and disentangle ourselves from their endless wars and hatreds.

#7 Comment By b. On February 14, 2018 @ 11:41 am

Who are we going to believe, Netanyahu or Kushner? Who does Netanyaho believe, Kushner or the White House?

#8 Comment By Saldin On February 15, 2018 @ 1:13 am

@gutter ball

“We have had no constructive role to play in the Mideast for a very long time.”

Constructive? I am not sure if the obfuscation was intentional, but your point will be more accurate as;

We have only had a destructive role to play in the Mideast for a very long time.

#9 Comment By talk of the town On February 15, 2018 @ 8:41 am

“Who are we going to believe, Netanyahu or Kushner? Who does Netanyaho believe, Kushner or the White House?”

Between the Trump White House and the Netayahu government there are enough liars involved to test one of those Phil 101 paradoxes, e.g. “All Cretans are liars” …

“Deputy FM Tzipi Hotovely saying she’s positive Israel can convince Trump to accept annexation, even if they haven’t actually tried yet.”

Thing is, Trump is in some ways a random factor. He has a way of doing as he pleases, including the opposite of what he has said he would do. So yes, he could be persuaded to approve Israeli annexation of the West bank, for example, but he could almost equally easily be persuaded to take out Israel’s outlaw nukes with a few of those bunker-buster air strikes he likes so much, and then send in US troops to liberate the Golan, West Bank, and Gaza from Israeli occupation. (Won’t happen, but he would unquestionably become the most popular American president in history, internationally at least. Of course in one fell stroke we’d go from having an Islamist terror problem to having a Zionist terror problem.)

To a frightening degree, it all depends on who has got his ear, who has put a bee in his bonnet, who’s been stroking his ego, and who’s been abrading it.

#10 Comment By PAX On February 15, 2018 @ 10:33 am

Imagine if? “Dear President Trump – My wife and I are resigning as special ambassadors from Israel and your close advisors. (signed) Jared Kushner.”

#11 Comment By Saldin On February 15, 2018 @ 4:04 pm

talk of the town says:
“…Islamist terror problem to having a Zionist terror problem.”

There is an Islamist terror problem only because of the White terror problem.

Try to keep up.