From Netanyahu’s Mouth To Trump’s Ears: What Israelis Think Was Said On Peace
The Axios news site made waves Sunday with a report that U.S. President Donald Trump bluntly asked Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a telephone call last year whether or not he was truly interested in making peace with the Palestinians. The off-script question, which shocked American officials in the White House, was prompted by revelations that Netanyahu was planning to approve additional construction in Jewish communities in the West Bank—a move President Trump believed would unnecessarily anger the Palestinians at a time when he was trying to bring both sides back to the negotiating table.
While the article did not address Netanyahu’s reaction to the direct query, it did elicit a response from the White House, with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stressing that the two leaders have an “extremely close and candid relationship” and that President Trump “appreciates [Netanyahu’s] strong efforts to enhance the cause of peace in the face of numerous challenges.”
She nevertheless qualified that this does not mean that the U.S. president “can’t be aggressive when it comes to negotiating what’s best for America.”
The question thus begs: Was Netanyahu’s retort equally assertive?
Moreover, does Netanyahu indeed feel close enough to the leader of the free world to truly “come clean” by outlining his ideas on the peace process?
To paraphrase Einstein, while it is impossible to know Netanyahu’s thoughts, The Media Line took to the streets of Jerusalem to find out what ordinary citizens believe the prime minister told President Trump.