Netanyahu asks Israeli ministers not to comment on Trump win

Some of Israel's right-wing politicians are hoping the US presidential election result will signal the end of a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Netanyahu was among the first leaders Trump spoke to after his election victory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for ministers not to comment on Donald Trump's winning of the White House after right-wing politicians said his election will put an end to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Despite the US president-elect's unpredictability, many analysts see his win as likely leading to a far more favourable US policy toward Israel.

Netanyahu has been cautious in his comments since Trump's surprising US presidential victory on November 8, sending congratulations and pledging to work with him.

But other right-wing politicians have used Trump's win to promote their cause, with some calling for the end of the idea of a two-state solution with the Palestinians, the basis of years of negotiations.

Outside Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem last week, many people took part in a rally, the closing event of the March of Hope. The March was a 2-week-long event organised by Women Wage Peace, a non-political movement calling for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and women's participation in such a solution. (Reuters)


Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the religious nationalist Jewish Home Party, said last week "the era of a Palestinian state is over".

Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting: "President-elect Trump and I decided to meet soon in order to discuss all of the important issues on the agenda between the US and Israel.

"I request that all ministers, deputy ministers and (lawmakers) allow the incoming administration to formulate — together with us — its policy vis-a-vis Israel and the region, through accepted and quiet channels, and not via interviews and statements."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was critisised for shaking hands with Netanyahu at the funeral of former President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem in September. The two leaders have been at loggerheads in the past over plans for a two-state solution which would see the creation of a Palestinian state. (AP)


Trump's win is seen as likely leading to a far more favourable US policy toward Israel, though many analysts have cautioned that his thinking remains unclear and he has proven himself to be unpredictable.

At the same time, Israel is concerned that President Barack Obama may seek a UN resolution in its conflict with the Palestinians — a resolution that the Jewish state adamantly opposes — before he leaves office on January 20.

Obama's administration has intensified its criticism of Israeli settlement-building in the occupied West Bank. (AP)

"In recent years we have wisely and responsibly managed our relations with the United States — the greatest and most important of our allies — and we will continue to do so in the coming months and years," Netanyahu said.

The premier also said Trump had "expressed very deep friendship for Israel, a friendship which has characterised him and, I must add, also the team around him, for many years".

The US grants Israel more than $3 billion per year in defence aid.






TRTWorld and agencies