Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he wasn’t bothered by former US president Donald Trump’s remarks nearly two years ago, in which he cursed the premier for congratulating Joe Biden on his 2020 presidential election win.
“I don’t care about it,” he told CNN Friday.
Trump continues to maintain to this day, without evidence, that the election results were illegitimate. His refusal to accept the vote’s outcome has been directly tied to supporters’ January 6, 2021 assault on the US Congress, and led to his second impeachment by Congress as well as multiple charges he now faces for allegedly trying to overturn the election results.
In a December 2021 interview with Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, Trump said Netanyahu’s congratulatory message to Biden came too quickly after the election results were announced: “He was very early. Like earlier than most. I haven’t spoken to him since. Fuck him.”
Netanyahu expressed appreciation for Trump’s policies on Israel and added that the former president recently wrote him a congratulatory note after he won the November 2022 election in Israel.
“I appreciate what President Trump did. He moved the embassy to Jerusalem, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he recognized our sovereignty over the Golan Heights, he went out of what I thought was a disastrous Iran agreement,” Netanyahu said.
“I’ve been long enough in political life, to put aside the periodic ebb and flow of emotion, and look at the substantive positions that leaders and allies have [taken], and I respect what was done,” he stated.
Netanyahu was actually quite late in congratulating Biden after his win, conspicuously doing so long hours after many other world leaders.
Prime Minister Netanyahu says he heard from former President Trump in recent months, notable given Trump blasted his former ally to @BarakRavid after he acknowledged President Biden's win, saying, "F**k him." I asked Netanyahu about that: pic.twitter.com/Q5tmn4uJLa
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) September 23, 2023
Netanyahu had built a close relationship with Trump and his administration, which reversed decades of US policy by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and removing opposition to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.
Israel applauded Trump when he pulled out of the 2015 Iranian deal limiting Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief — an agreement that Jerusalem long campaigned against.
Some critics of the Israeli leader have alleged that the pullout had negative results, bringing Iran closer to a bomb today than ever before.