In an interview about his upcoming book, “Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East”, Israeli journalist Barak Ravid claimed that former President Donald Trump had harsh, even pejorative criticism laced with profanity for former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with,” Trump said, in a 90-minute interview with Ravid. “Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.”
In an article about his book, Ravid claimed that in a renewed attempt to regain the position of prime minister, Netanyahu is leveraging his close relationships with foreign leaders like Trump. If this is true, this claim would be misplaced, at least regarding Netanyahu’s relationship with the former president of the US.
“…By the end of his presidency, Trump had concluded that Netanyahu didn’t really want peace with the Palestinians and was using him on Iran,” Ravid concluded.
“I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi. But I also like loyalty. The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape,” Trump told Ravid, complaining that Netanyahu didn’t even wait until the highly contested election was truly settled. “”He was very early — like, earlier than most. I haven’t spoken to him since. F**k him.”
Trump compared Netanyahu to Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who he claimed held off because “they felt the election was rigged.”
“For Bibi Netanyahu, before the ink was even dry, to do a message, and not only a message, to do a tape to Joe Biden talking about their great, great friendship — they didn’t have a friendship, because if they did, [the Obama administration] wouldn’t have done the Iran deal,” Trump said. “And guess what, now they’re going to do it again.”‘
Though it is true that Netanyahu was one of the first leaders in the region to contact the new US president, his call came nearly a month after Biden’s election, after calls had already come in from the leaders of France, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
Yair Lapid, the opposition leader at the time and now the foreign minister, was the first Israeli politician to congratulate Biden. He said then that it was “cowardly and shameful” that the country’s top leadership remained silent, and “hurts Israeli interests.”
Trump claimed that he had done more for Israel than any other US president, a claim that is arguably true. He noted that his recognition of the Golan as sovereign Israeli territory gave a boost to Netanyahu during an Israeli election.
“That [move] was a big deal. People were saying at the time that it was a gift worth a million bucks,” Trump claimed. “I did it before the [Israeli] elections, and that helped him [Netanyahu] a lot – maybe he would have lost the election without me, the Golan Heights affair raised him 10-15% in the polls.”
Trump also spoke about his pulling out of the Obama-brokered Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. He emphasized the ongoing effort by the Biden administration to revive the deal.
“They [Biden/Obama and Netanyahu] didn’t have a friendship, because if they did, they wouldn’t have done the Iran deal,” Trump said. “And guess what now they’re going to do it again. And if they do it again, Israel is in very grave danger.”
“I’ll tell you what – had I not come along I think Israel was going to be destroyed,” Trump said. “Okay. You want to know the truth? I think Israel would have been destroyed maybe by now.”
Asked if he may try to run again in 2024, the former president said: “We’ll see, Maybe I will have a second term. We’ll see what happens. I am not making any plans.”