While Naftali Bennet and members of his Bayit Yehudi party are calling on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to annex areas of Yehuda and Shomron and to address these matters with President Trump in his upcoming White House meeting, Mr. Netanyahu has a different agenda.
Prior to his departure for his first meeting with US President Donald Trump, the cabinet met on Sunday 16 Shevat for hours, discussing many matters of urgency. For the Prime Minister, the matter that tops his agenda with the new US administration is the Iranian threat, and this is the message he plans to deliver to Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Mr. Netanyahu is hoping to make the Iranian threat a matter of top priority for the US administration in the Mideast. Realizing the matter of the PA (Palestinian Authority) will be on the agenda, Mr. Netanyahu will agree to resuming talks without preconditions. Over recent years PA Chairman Abu Mazen however has refused, explaining decisions that have been made in previous negotiations must be the starting point.
Regarding the communities in Yehuda and Shomron, Mr. Netanyahu is more likely to learn what the new president’s agenda and rather than handing over a list of demands including annexation and other demands. There is no doubt the passing of the new Regulation Law to legalize over 4,000 buildings throughout Yehuda and Shomron was not timed to take this upcoming meeting into consideration. While the Trump administration did not outright condemn the passing of the law as other countries did, the White House did make it clear the passage of the law was not advantageous to peace-making efforts.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)