A new book on the final days of the Trump presidency reports that former US President Donald Trump felt he had suffered “ultimate betrayal” at the hands of then-Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Author Michael Wolff writes in his new book Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency that Trump believed that Netanyahu “owed” him, but that instead he had been “sold out.”
According to quotes from an advanced copy of the book published by the Forward, Trump saw himself as having “singularly done more for Israel than any American president.” During his four years in office, Trump:
- Officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy there;
- Officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights; and
- Refocused the Israeli-Palestinian peace process on Israeli security concerns, rather than Palestinian national aspirations.
In return, according to Wolff and the former White House aides he interviewed, Trump apparently expected Netanyahu to stand with him to the bitter end as he contested the results of the 2020 US presidential election.
Still, the book notes that aides were surprised by Trump dumping his rage on Netanyahu. The Israeli leader waited a conspicuously long time (over 12 hours) to congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their electoral victory, a move that earned Netanyahu scathing criticism in Israel.
Yair Lapid was then leader of the opposition and today serves as foreign minister and heads the largest party in Israel’s new unity government. At the time, he slammed Netanyahu for unnecessarily straining Israel-US relations by making them a partisan issue.
As one of America’s closest allies, Lapid and others felt Israel should have been among the first foreign nations to congratulate Biden and Harris. Lapid has since vowed to repair Israel-US relations after suggesting that Trump and Netanyahu had turned the relationship into one exclusively between the Republican Party and Likud.