Jared Kushner, son-in-law of former US President Donald Trump, revealed in an upcoming book that when Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there in 2017, then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted. It was completely lukewarm, according to straight ahead.
Citing excerpts from the book posted online by a Saudi official, the outlet reported that, according to Kushner, Netanyahu’s kind response nearly sabotaged the plan.
Kushner’s book “Breaking History: A White House Memoir” will be released on August 23.
The book reportedly stated that in a phone call prior to the official announcement, Trump informed Netanyahu of the move, but the former prime minister simply replied, “If you choose to do it, I will support you.” Confused Trump, anticipating a prolific reaction, Kushner wrote, repeated himself, to which Netanyahu responded again “with less enthusiasm than expected.”
Trump began to question his decision… [he] “Bibi, I think you’re the problem,” Kushner wrote, wondering aloud why he would take that risk if the Israeli prime minister didn’t think it mattered, noting that Trump told the former prime minister.
Netanyahu “responded calmly,” explaining that he was part of the solution. However, Kushner wrote that he can see that Trump is visibly disappointed.
Kushner does not seem to say why he thought Netanyahu responded in this way.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office read: “Contrary to allegations, Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has repeatedly asked President Trump to move the embassy, highly appreciates this decision.
Before making the decision, President Trump told Prime Minister Netanyahu: ‘Some of my people are saying that this move would be dangerous for the United States. What do you think?’ Netanyahu responded that he saw no real danger and there was no reason not to move the embassy.
“It is doubtful that the embassy would have moved if Netanyahu had responded to the president differently,” he added.
Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since its founding in 1948, although it is not recognized by much of the international community, as in the initial United Nations partition plan, Jerusalem was supposed to be an international city.
Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, when he announced plans to move the embassy there. In May 2018, his administration inaugurated the new facility, a move that was met with intense controversy, in both Washington and the Middle East.
After the move, the Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, cut ties with Washington, describing the Trump administration as biased against Israel.
At the time, Trump said the decision was made to advance US interests, peace in the region, and out of respect for Israel’s sovereignty.
Kushner’s book also revealed that Trump was annoyed by the three-hour extended meal he attended with Netanyahu during his 2017 visit.
“That was great,” Trump told Kushner, “but every time I thought the meal was going to end, another came out.”
Netanyahu and Trump have maintained a good relationship throughout their tenure, until Trump heard about it betrayal Netanyahu wrote it when he congratulated current US President Joe Biden on his victory in the 2020 election.
Kushner is married to Ivanka, Trump’s eldest daughter, and has served as a White House adviser. He played an important role in the previous administration’s Middle East policy, as he participated in a diplomatic push that led to the Ibrahim Accords, a peace agreement that led Israel to establish diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
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