Donald Trump’s Accomplishments for Israel
First of all, let’s look at some of the amazing things that former President Donald Trump did for Israel.
- He recognized Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights
- He recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy to Jerusalem.
- Mike Pompeo, under the Trump administration, declared that Israel’s settlements are not illegal per international law.
- He facilitated the Abraham Accords, which led to Israel finding many new partners for peace amongst Arab nations.
- He defunded the PLO and UNRWA
The only thing that Trump wasn’t able to accomplish was the “Deal of the Century.” Perhaps this is the root of the contention which appeared in the news this week.
Trump’s Spat with Benjamin Netanyahu
Barak Ravid, a senior Israeli journalist, and also a contributor to Axios, recently interviewed President Trump for a book he is releasing. Trump made some very revealing and controversial statements during the interview. Here are a few of the highlights:
“Nobody did more for Bibi. And I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi.”
“But I also like loyalty. The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape. And it was on tape.”
Regarding Joe Biden’s election, Trump said:
“The first person who congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with…Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.”
He went on to say:
“Early, okay? Let’s use this. He was very early. Like earlier than most. I haven’t spoken to him since. F**k him.”
Breaking Down Trump’s Accusations Against Netanyahu
Both accusations are false. Netanyahu was not the first one to congratulate Joe Biden, he was actually one of the last. Even if he was the first one, what else was he supposed to do? Do you think cold silence to the new president of Israel’s strongest ally, the United States, would have been a good idea?
The Real Rift
When the Deal of the Century was announced in the White House, Netanyahu immediately embraced the deal and started making plans to annex the parts of Judea and Samaria that the deal called for (probably knowing that the Arabs would never accept their part of the deal).
When Trump found out about Netanyahu’s plans, he was livid:
“I got angry and I stopped it because that was really going too far.”
There’s more to this story, which you can listen to on this Axios podcast.
Breaking it Down Further
This shows us that Trump’s intention all along was to create a Palestinian State, a two-state solution. His true intention was to go down in history as the president that solved the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, even if suicidal concessions had to be made on the Israeli side.
Regarding peace, Trump said:
“Netanyahu did not want to make peace. Never did”
“I think he [Benny Gantz] wanted to make a deal… if he won, I think it would be a lot easier”
“I had thought the Palestinians were impossible, and the Israelis would do anything to make peace and a deal. I found that not to be true.”
Stopping the Creation of a Terrorist State
It’s unfair to accuse Netanyahu of never wanting to make peace because Israelis have tried for decades to make peace with their Arab neighbors. They gave away more than 90% of the land that they took in 1967 and accepted deals that gave essentially all of the West Bank to the Arabs.
Thankfully the Arabs refused those deals. Israel would and will not ever create a terrorist state within its borders.
In this recent interview, Trump said:
“Even most recently, when we came up with the maps, Netanyahu’s reaction was ‘Oh this is good, good,’ everything was always great, but he was never… he did not want to make a deal.”
Thank God that Netanyahu played this off! A deal would have meant a Palestinian state in the heart of Israel’s most important territory.
Netanyahu’s Response to Trump’s Remarks About Him
Netanyahu said that he
“greatly appreciates President Trump’s great contribution to the State of Israel and its security. He also greatly appreciates the importance of the strong alliance between Israel and the United States, and therefore it was important for him to congratulate the incoming U.S. President.”