Sep 15, 2019

Netanyahu claims Trump peace plan could be presented within days

Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Cabinet ministers the Trump administration is going to present its plan “within days” after the Sept. 17 elections — most likely even next week, ministers who attended the meeting told me.

  • Netanyahu said he was citing new information he got last night from Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the United States.

Why it matters: Netanyahu used the “Trump argument” to convince the attorney general to approve the establishment of a new settlement in the Jordan Valley, which he brought to a vote at the Cabinet 2 days before the elections. Netanyahu needed to pass the move to boost his campaign.

The attorney general was against the move and claimed an interim government doesn’t have authority to take such decisions, but after Netanyahu raised this argument, the attorney general changed his opinion and decided the move was legal due to special and urgent diplomatic circumstances.

Between the lines: There is no indication that what Netanyahu told the ministers and the attorney general is true. White House special envoy for Middle East peace Jason Greenblatt told an audience at a fundraiser in New York last week that the plan is unlikely to be released before there is clarity about the new coalition in Israel — which could take weeks.

  • Greenblatt said the White House “will have to wait and see what happens in the weeks following the election — in terms of what the coalition-building looks like. So no decision has been made yet."

Go deeper

Trump after Netanyahu election setback: Our relations are with Israel

Trump and Netnyahu at the White House. Photo: Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump appeared to distance himself from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today after the latter’s failure to win a parliamentary majority in Tuesday’s elections.

What he's saying: Trump told reporters in California that he hasn’t spoken yet to Netanyahu about the election results and stressed that his administration's relations “are with Israel." Those cool remarks are a blow to Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political survival.

Go deeperArrowSep 18, 2019

Trump's Middle East envoy meets with Netanyahu after election loss

Jason Greenblatt and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's envoy for Middle East peace, met in Jerusalem Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The backdrop: As had been expected, Netanyahu failed to win a parliamentary majority as the final results of Israel's elections were published this morning.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019

Netanyahu cancels trip to UN General Assembly over Israel election results

Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled his planned trip to the UN General Assembly meeting in New York after failing to gain a parliamentary majority in Tuesday's elections, his office announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Netanyahu hasn't missed the UN General Assembly meeting since 2010. He was planning to meet President Trump on the sidelines of the summit to discuss a defense treaty. The fact that Netanyahu decided to cancel the trip shows the depth of the political crisis he is currently in.

Go deeper: Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz deadlocked after election

Keep ReadingArrowSep 18, 2019