Trump was impressed with Gantz’s willingness to reach out to the Palestinians, deeply unhappy with Netanyahu’s moves towards annexation, wrote Jared Kushner in his new book.
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
Former U.S. President Donald Trump mulled endorsing Benny Gantz for Israeli Prime Minister, according to a memoir written by Trump’s advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner’s book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir” is due to be released on August 23.
Kushner wrote that Trump was very close to endorsing to Gantz ahead of Israel’s March 2020 elections. The frustration dates back to the White House’s January 2020 unveiling of Trump’s peace plan. That was where Netanyahu announced plans to annex Israeli settlements and large swathes of Judea and Samaria.
“I had walked them through the peace proposal and given [Arab diplomats] my word that Trump would present a dignified and balanced proposal – one that required compromises on both sides. But that certainly wasn’t the deal Bibi was describing”
Kushner wrote that his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, “went rogue,” and, without White House authorization, told Netanyahu that Trump would support annexation. Friedman was subsequently ordered to tell Netanyahu that Trump would not support annexation.
Several days later, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer visited the White House demanding U.S. support for annexation in a conversation Kushner described as heated.
“I couldn’t believe it. Trump was still fuming over Bibi’s speech. In fact, he had asked me whether he should take the unusual step of endorsing the prime minister’s political rival, Benny Gantz,” Kushner wrote.
“Had I walked twenty feet down the hall to the Oval and asked Trump to go forward with annexation, the president would have thrown me out,” he wrote.
Trump, according to Kushner, was very impressed with Gantz’s willingness to reach out to the Palestinians.
“Later on, Trump told me what he thought of Gantz: ‘I like this guy,’” Kushner wrote.
Other revelations from the memoir include Netanyahu’s indifference to the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Kushner’s intervention to prevent Trump from a Twitter attack on Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, and Kushner’s West Wing battles with Steve Bannon.