Report: In the book, Kushner says Netanyahu is not enthusiastic about the recognition of Jerusalem

Report: In the book, Kushner says Netanyahu is not enthusiastic about the recognition of Jerusalem

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to former US President Donald Trump, reveals in a forthcoming book that then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted when Trump decided in 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there downright lukewarm, according to The Forward.

Citing excerpts from the book posted online by a Saudi official, the outlet reported that according to Kushner, Netanyahu’s cool reaction nearly sabotaged the plan.

Kushner’s book, Breaking History: A White House Memoir, is slated for release on August 23.

The book reportedly states that Trump briefed Netanyahu on the move in a phone call prior to the official announcement, but the former prime minister only replied, “If you choose to do so, I will support you.” Kushner wrote that a confused Trump, expecting an ebullient response, repeated, to which Netanyahu again “reacted with less than expected enthusiasm.”

“Trump began to question his decision… [he] wondered out loud why he was taking that risk if the Israeli PM didn’t think it was that important,” Kushner wrote, claiming Trump then told the former PM, “Bibi, I think you’re the problem.”

Netanyahu countered “coldly” by declaring he was part of the solution. However, Kushner wrote that he could see that Trump was visibly “frustrated.”

Kushner apparently did not say why he thought Netanyahu reacted the way he did.

A statement from Netanyahu’s office said: “Contrary to claims, Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has repeatedly asked President Trump to move the embassy, ​​has expressed great appreciation for this decision.

“President Trump said to Prime Minister Netanyahu before making the decision: ‘Some of my people are saying that this move will be dangerous for the US. What do you think?’ Netanyahu replied that he saw no real danger and that there was no reason not to move the embassy.

“It is doubtful that the embassy would have been moved if Netanyahu had answered the President differently.”

Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since its founding in 1948, although much of the international community does not recognize this, as the United Nations’ original partition plan intended Jerusalem to be an international city.

Senior Advisor to the U.S. President Jared Kushner (right) speaks as U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman observes the official opening ceremony of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem May 14, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 when he announced plans to move the embassy there. In May 2018, his administration opened the new facility — a move that drew much controversy in both Washington and the Middle East.

After the move, the Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, cut ties with Washington and called the Trump administration biased towards Israel.

At the time, Trump said the decision was made to further US interests and peace in the region, and out of respect for Israel’s sovereignty.

Kushner’s book also revealed that Trump was upset over an extended three-hour meal with Netanyahu during his 2017 visit.

“It was beautiful, but every time I thought the meal was going to end, another course would come out,” Trump apparently told Kushner, complaining that the then-Prime Minister was “talking my ear off.”

Netanyahu and Trump maintained a good relationship throughout his tenure, until Trump felt betrayed by Netanyahu when he congratulated current US President Joe Biden on his 2020 election victory.

Kushner is married to Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka and has served as a White House adviser. He played a significant role in the previous government’s Middle East policy and was involved in a diplomatic push that led to the Abraham Accords – a peace deal that saw Israel establish diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Join our Israeli cooking experience!

Israeli cuisine is taking the world by storm. Here is Your chance to join…

The Times of Israel Community is excited to introduce our new virtual cooking series, B’Teavonwhere world-renowned chefs will show you how to prepare classic and modern Israeli dishes.

Find out more Find out more Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

You are an engaged reader

That’s why we launched the Times of Israel ten years ago, to provide discerning readers like you with essential coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news agencies, we have not set up a paywall. However, as the journalism we do is expensive, we invite readers who have found The Times of Israel important to support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For just $6 a month, you can support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREEas well as access exclusive content only available to members of the Times of Israel Community.

Many Thanks,
David Horovitz, founding editor of the Times of Israel

Join our community Join our community Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.