Sep 14, 2019

Days before Israeli elections, Trump says he'll pursue U.S.-Israel defense treaty

Donald Trump; Benjamin Netanyahu. Photos: Getty Images

Three days before the Israeli elections, President Trump tweeted on Saturday that he spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and agreed to work on a U.S.-Israel defense treaty after the election is over.

Why it matters: By making this statement, Trump directly intervened in the Israeli elections and sided with Netanyahu. Netanyahu has long sought a gesture from Trump that would help him win his reelection campaign. Trump's announcement was exactly the kind of support Netanyahu was looking for.

What they're saying:

"I had a call today with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the possibility of moving forward with a Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Israel, that would further anchor the tremendous alliance between our two countries. I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month."
— Trump tweeted Saturday

Netanyahu issued a statement, praising Trump in response to the tweet, writing: "Thank you my dear friend President Trump. The Jewish State has never had a greater friend in the White House. I look forward to our meeting at the UN to advance a historic Defense Treaty between the United State and Israel. We will continue together with full force [against] our common battle against terrorism. Congratulations on your latest success against Bin Laden's son. God bless America. God bless Israel."

Go deeper: Trump won't release peace plan before Israel's election

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

Israeli election: Netanyahu says he won't concede, blames media bias

Netanyahu addresses supporters on election night. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he'll still fight to keep power despite exit polls from today's elections showing his Likud party trailing the center-left Blue and White party and his right-wing bloc falling short of a majority.

What he's saying: Netanyahu accused the media of biased coverage during the campaign and insisted that after waiting for the final results, he'd attempt to form a governing coalition. Netanyahu also said Israel needs a Zionist government committed to Israel's identity as a Jewish state, adding: "No government can be based on support from Arab parties." Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, also stressed that he's the man to deal with President Trump's peace plan and the Iranian nuclear threat.

Go deeper: Early election results.

Keep ReadingArrowSep 18, 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