Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Trump Asked Netanyahu If He Really Wants Peace

(JTA) — In a phone call last year with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Donald Trump asked him whether or not he genuinely wants peace, according to a new report.

Trump asked the question in the wake of news reports that Netanyahu had planned to build new settlement housing to placate members of his coalition government, Axios reported on Sunday, citing three sources familiar with the call.  The news website did not report on Netanyahu’s answer.

The question came in the middle of a longer conversation that was “mostly friendly and complimentary, according to Axios, which said that Trump thought that Netanyahu was unnecessarily angering the Palestinians. During the course of the conversation, Trump pressed Netanyahu on the importance of arriving at a peace deal with the Palestinians.

During a Netanyahu visit to the White House in February 2018, shortly after Trump took office, the president called on Netanyahu during a news conference to “hold back” on settlement building.

White House advisor Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, and U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, who also is an Orthodox Jew, are leading Israel-Palestinian peace efforts. The announcement of a White House peace plan has been put on hold since Trump announced his recognition of Jerusalem at Israel’s capital and said that he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem next month,

A senior White House official apprised of the details of the conversation told Axios that “The President has an extremely close and candid relationship with the Prime Minister of Israel and appreciates his strong efforts to enhance the cause of peace in the face of numerous challenges.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Axios in response: “The President has great relationships with a number of foreign leaders but that doesn’t mean he can’t be aggressive when it comes to negotiating what’s best for America.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.