Netanyahu Tells Israelis to Calm Down Over Trump Meeting

‘There are limitations, even in the Trump era,’ Netanyahu tells cabinet ahead of trip to US

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday.

Right-wing Israelis especially are anxious over the gathering, hoping that Netanyahu will take advantage of Trump’s sympathy for Israel to end the charade of the land-for-peace process.

And if he doesn’t, Netanyahu could be in for a political firestorm at home.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Facebook that if Netanyahu and Trump come out of the meeting and mention a commitment to the two-state solution, “it will impact us directly for years to come. It will be an earthquake.”

Like many Israelis, Bennett sees in Trump an opportunity for Israel to wrest itself free from a destructive peace process that has only brought decades of escalated conflict and bloodshed.

At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu tried to downplay the significance of the meeting a little, insisting that even with a president like Trump, there are limitations.

“I understand that there is great excitement in advance of this meeting, driven by various motivations. But I only have one motivation: My utmost consideration is to ensure Israel’s security and strengthen our relationship with the United States as well as the joint interests that stand behind it,” Netanyahu told his ministers.

“To think that there are no limits with Trump is a mistake,” he added. “After eight years of complicated maneuvering in the Obama era, we need to continue to act judiciously during the Trump era.”

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