Officials: Netanyahu Intends to Act on Plan ‘Courageously, Like Ben-Gurion’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, Pool)

Details on President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan are expected to be released Monday. Both Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz will meet with Trump Monday afternoon Israel time, with the prime minister conferring with the president before the Blue and White head. Afterwards details of the plan will be released, the report said. Netanyahu will again meet with Trump Tuesday at noon, Washington time.

The meeting was apparently a spontaneous idea that was hatched last week, the report said, which was why details of the order of the days and events had not been fully hammered out. Netanyahu and the Israeli delegation traveling with him are expected to stay at Blair House, the official presidential guest house, largely because arrangements for secure accommodations in a hotel could not be made in the several days since U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence invited Netanyahu to Washington.

Before leaving for Washington Sunday, Netanyahu said that he and Trump “will make history together.” The report quoted officials traveling with Netanyahu as saying that the prime minister is determined to take advantage of whatever permissions Israel is given in the plan regarding sovereignty over areas of Yehudah and Shomron. The officials said that Netanyahu has been comparing the opportunities presented by the plan as equivalent to the founding of the state itself – and like David Ben-Gurion, Netanyahu needed to overcome the many voices of opposition and naysayers who will protest those Israeli moves.

The report also quoted American officials as saying that it would be “a good idea” for Israel to implement those actions sooner rather than later. With that, it said, officials close to the prime minister said that he planned to “take into account all diplomatic and security issues that would result from any major policy changes.” They also dismissed claims by the opposition that as head of a transfer government, Netanyahu did not have the authority to make changes, saying that anything done would be within the “consensus” of policy – for example, both Netanyahu and Gantz agree that the Jordan Valley should be annexed to Israel, as Gantz himself expressed support for that just last week.