PM Benyamin Netanyahu is departing for Washington today, for his first official meeting with President Trump since the elections. Netanyahu and Trump have formed a warm relationship in the past, especially since Netanyahu recently tweeted support for Trump over the contested wall Trump plans to build at the U.S-Mexican border.
His meeting comes at a time when the world is dealing with a disobedient Iran, which conducted a ballistic missile tests last week, and the PA-Israeli peace talks that haven’t seen much progress since 2008, but are expected to get a new boost with the new President.
Netanyahu spoke to his cabinet yesterday, informing them of the purpose of his trip and what he wishes to achieve in Washington. Avoiding the sticky topic of the peace talks, Netanyahu stressed that he was going “To strengthen the steadfast alliance with the U.S., and to strengthen our other national interests which are fundamentally connected to the strength of ties with the U.S.”.
Although the peace process is bound to come up, Netanyahu will try at all cost to steer clear of them. The matter currently poses Netanyahu with a diplomatic entanglement he hopes to avoid. In the past, Netanyahu has kept to the ‘two-state’ solution which has been the policy of previous U.S. administrations, and is also the widely-accepted solution around the world today.
Netanyahu clearly stated his support for a ‘two-state’ solution in an address he gave in Bar-Ilan university a few years ago.
Since there hasn’t been much peace talks going on since 2008, Netanyahu has been avoiding talking about the ‘two-state’ solution, which is frowned upon by many in the right-wing camp.
While PM Netanyahu is going to meet President Trump on friendly terms, and to strengthen the already existing ties between good friends, when the peace talks do come up, Netanyahu knows he has no easy way out.
When the ‘two-state’ solution makes its way into the discussions, it will be assumed that he is pro, as he himself stated in the past. In reality though, if he sticks to it he knows it’s the end of his coalition.
MK Naftali Bennet said last week that if Netanyahu advances the ‘two- state’ solution on his upcoming Washington trip “the earth will shake” Implying that it will be the end of the coalition and he will dissolve the government.
Oddly, Netanyahu seemed to get some Support from the head of the opposition MK Herzog, that said “Netanyahu has to choose if he is going to Washington as the PM of Israel, or as MK Bennet’s Personal foreign minister”
By Eli B.