Netanyahu advises against making controversial statements ahead of his Washington meeting

In response to the attack from right-wing politicians trying to get him to reject the idea of a Palestinian state at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli government needs to continue to make wise decisions when it comes to the relationship between Jerusalem and Washington, DC.
Netanyahu Photo Credit: Alex Kolomoisky/Flash 90

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to fly to Washington, DC ahead of his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, he recommended that coalition members avoid making controversial statements. “There aren’t really any major debates within the Likud regarding Trump,” Netanyahu told Likud ministers in the meeting that took place before this week’s government meeting.

“I’ve known Trump for years but this will be the first time I will meet with him in our official capacities,” added Netanyahu. “After eight years of complicated navigation, we also need to continue to make wise decisions now and we will continue to discuss this issue during the cabinet meeting.”

Despite Netanyahu’s statements, right-wing officials continue to call on the Israeli prime minister to present a plan for the West Bank that does not include two states. At the end of the meeting, Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said: “This is a meeting that is a historic opportunity for Israel. The Trump administration talks differently than [the talk] of the last eight years and is saying that the settlements are not an impediment to peace.

“The Republican Party has removed the establishment of a Palestinian state from its agenda,” stated Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. “There’s no reason why a right-wing Israeli government should attack from the left. I’m calling on the prime minister to back down from the idea of a Palestinian state and present a different alternative.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog also commented on Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Washington, DC and said: “Netanyahu needs to decide whether he is flying to the U.S. as the Israeli prime minister or Naftali Bennett’s foreign affairs minister.”

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