'What the Hell Was That?': Trump Was Furious With Bibi Over Move to Push Into West Bank, Author Says
04:43 GMT 14.12.2021 (Updated: 16:27 GMT 08.12.2022)
© AP Photo / Pablo Martinez MonsivaisPresident Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.
© AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Former US President Donald Trump recently blasted Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with Axios, slamming the former Israeli prime minister as disloyal for congratulating Joe Biden on his 2020 presidential election victory. During the same interview, Trump expressed doubt about whether Bibi actually intended to make peace with the Palestinians.
As details continue to emerge from Trump's colorful Axios interviews, journalist Barak Ravid is providing the public with even more background on the complicated relationship between Bibi and Trump in another excerpt from his book: "Trump's Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East."
Speaking to The Forward about his forthcoming book, Ravid detailed that Trump was irate after the White House's unveiling of its Middle East Peace plan on January 28, 2020, was interpreted by Netanyahu's government as a green light to extend sovereignty to the West Bank.
"What the hell was that?" 45 reportedly yelled at his aides.
At the time, Trump's relationship with Netanyahu was already strained, as Trump was annoyed that Netanyahu refused to make an "ultimate deal" with the Palestinians and had delayed the release of the proposal, drafted by senior presidential adviser and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The delay was largely due to the Israeli prime minister's inability to gain a majority to form a government following the second election in 2019.
"That was the beginning of a change of attitude by Trump," Ravid said, suggesting that Trump felt that the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem, recognition of Golan Heights and the peace plan were major political moments for his campaign.
"There’s no way you are doing this," Kushner reportedly told Netanyahu regarding plans for the West Bank.
One administration official recounted to Ravid that Trump was treated "like a flowerpot" by Netanyahu during the rollout, and did not rebound, according to Middle East peace envoy Avi Berkowitz, who informed former Israeli Ambassador to the US Ronald Dermer that "the president doesn't like you guys now."
About a month later, Dermer met with Kushner and claimed Netanyahu was questioning whether he could trust the Trump administration.
"Don’t be mistaken to think that everything that happened in the past three years was for you. We did it because we were serious about peace," Kushner yelled at Dermer, according to Ravid. "To say such a thing about us is disgusting. Get out."
Judging by excerpts from Trump's interviews with Ravid, there was no love lost between the two leaders.
10 December 2021, 11:37 GMT
"I don't think Bibi ever wanted to make peace," Trump told Ravid, speaking of the Israeli prime minister's desire to make a peace agreement with the Palestinians during his 12-year reign.
"My whole life is deals. I'm like one big deal. That's all I do, so I understand it," Trump asserted.