Reports emerged recently in Israel on a rift in relations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, on the eve of the visit of the US special envoy for the peace process, Jason Greenblatt, to Tel Aviv.
Political sources revealed that Greenblatt has suddenly asked to meet with Benny Gantz, head of Kahol Lavan party, which has become the largest political party following the elections.
These sources said that the meeting with Gantz was evidence of Trump’s shift in Israeli relations, not only because Gantz could become prime minister, but because of a rift in his relations with Netanyahu.
They added that Trump has avoided on several occasions to talk to Netanyahu last week, and no one knew whether his attitude was due to political or personal reasons.
But an Israeli diplomat, who has long served in the United States said: “Even if there are no real differences between them, Trump is an American who doesn’t like the defeated. And that’s all the problem. Since the failure of Netanyahu to form a government… Trump has begun to reduce the level of admiration for Netanyahu and question his leadership capabilities.”
Following the recent election results, in which Netanyahu appeared to have failed to achieve his goal, Trump decided to approach Netanyahu’s rival. Therefore, Greenblatt requested to meet with Gantz, news that angered Netanyahu, who tried to abort the meeting, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
Greenblatt arrived in Israel on Thursday to meet with Netanyahu and his aides on the one hand, and Gantz on the other, to discuss with them the timing for the announcement of the so-called US “deal of the century”.
The sources said that the US administration was considering publishing the plan before the formation of a new Israeli government, in order to influence the coalition negotiations and ensure the approval of the largest number of Israeli parties.