Trump ‘aggressively’ pursuing Netanyahu to attend inauguration — report
search
President-elect: 'I listened to Secretary Kerry's speech... It's very unfair to Israel, what happened'

Trump ‘aggressively’ pursuing Netanyahu to attend inauguration — report

Sources say PM considering traveling to Washington for swearing-in ceremony of US president-elect; Trump says Jewish state 'very, very important' to him

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump meeting at Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump meeting at Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

US president-elect’s White House transition team has been “aggressively” pursuing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend the inauguration ceremony in Washington, DC later this month, the New York Post reported on Sunday.

“There’s a plan for Trump to meet with Netanyahu,” a source close to the transition team said, according to the paper.

“They’re talking all the time. And Netanyahu is talking about possibly going to the inauguration,” the source was quoted as saying.

The report said Trump staffers, led by son-in-law Jared Kushner, were “aggressively courting” the Israeli prime minister in an effort to persuade him to attend the January 20 ceremony.

Jared Kushner, son-in-law of of President-elect Donald Trump walks from Trump Tower, Monday, November 14, 2016, in New York. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Jared Kushner. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Netanyahu’s tense relationship with outgoing US President Barack Obama was exacerbated in recent weeks, after the White House publicly clashed with Israel over its West Bank policy and later declined to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements.

Trump has assured Israel that things will be different after he takes office, and last week lamented that the Jewish state was “being treated very, very unfairly” by the international community.

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about Israeli-Palestinian policy, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about Israeli-Palestinian policy, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Speaking to reporters outside his Mar-a-Lago estate on Thursday, Trump lambasted the UN for condemning Israel, saying that “horrible places, that treat people horribly, haven’t even been reprimanded” by the international body.

He refused to directly answer specific questions regarding Israeli policies, but Trump called himself “very, very strong on Israel.”

On Saturday evening, Trump told reporters Israel is “very, very important” to him.

“Look, we have to protect Israel, Israel to me is very very important, we have to protect Israel, and I disagree with what he’s done with Israel,” Trump said, referring to Obama. “I listened to Secretary Kerry’s speech, I think it’s very unfair to Israel, what happened.” On Wednesday, Kerry delivered a 70-minute address highlighting the settlement enterprise as a central obstacle to peace, denouncing Israel’s right-wing coalition, and warning that the two-state solution was in jeopardy. Netanyahu castigated Kerry for what he argued was an unjustified assault; Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May also publicly criticized the secretary’s address as unfair and inappropriate.

After the US abstained from last week’s Security Council vote on Resolution 2334, thus allowing the anti-settlement resolution to pass, Trump lashed out at the Obama administration for treating Israel with “with such total disdain and disrespect.”

Taking to his preferred medium of Twitter, the Republican president-elect urged Israel to “stay strong,” as January 20, Inauguration Day, “is fast approaching!”

Trump also implied that under Obama, the US was no longer “a great friend” to the Jewish state.

read more:
comments