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Trump Only Wants To Hear Two Words: ‘Yes, Sir’

Ma’ariv, Israel, March 5

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had a few rough weeks. It began when his new coalition partner, the extremist right-wing Kach Party, angered leaders of the Jewish community in the United States and led to public denunciations issued against Netanyahu by bodies such as AIPAC and the Jewish American Council. Then there was a scandal with one of the videos Netanyahu’s team released, which included footage of a military cemetery as the backdrop of a warning message against the rise of a Leftist government. Finally, this shaky patch culminated with the decision of the Israeli Attorney General to indict the prime minister on three corruption cases. Netanyahu knew what was coming. He prepared for this week like a grizzly bear preparing for its winter hibernation. He gathered all of the “fat” he could in preparation for the cold. He hoped that even if these developments lead to the Likud’s decline in the polls, the party’s starting point would be high enough to provide some wiggle room. This, however, is not entirely the case. Even if Netanyahu succeeds in forming the next government and appointing himself as the premier, U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan awaits him just around the corner. This is the kind of plan that will require Israel to make grave concessions, not only in the West Bank, but also in Jerusalem. Netanyahu will struggle to pass these kinds of decisions through his coalition. But Trump doesn’t care. After recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, cutting off aid to Palestinian prisoners, and increasing his country’s support for Israel, Trump considers his side of the deal done; now it’s Netanyahu’s turn. The U.S. president may be a fan of Netanyahu’s but he won’t be willing to take “no” for an answer. He is not like Clinton, Bush or Obama. Trump will only accept two words from Netanyahu. Those are “yes, sir.” Any other response will send Netanyahu into a direct confrontation with the U.S. president. –Yoav Krakovsky

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