During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House in February, the premier was reportedly taken by surprise when Trump gently prodded – ahead of their meeting – for Israel to “hold back on settlements for a little bit.”
Since their meeting, Trump’s prod that Israel curtail the property rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria has been the central issue Trump’s chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt has discussed with Netanyahu and his representatives.
From the moment Netanyahu returned from Washington, his government ministers have been asking him to brief them on his discussions with Trump. He has refused. But on Thursday, Netanyahu finally agreed to update his security cabinet.
His agreement is long past due. It is vital for Netanyahu to tell his cabinet ministers what is happening in his conversations with the Americans about Judea and Samaria. It is imperative that the cabinet determine a clear response to Trump’s apparent demand for a full or partial freeze on Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria.
Such an agreed response is urgent because Trump’s position is antithetical to the position of the vast majority of Israelis. If the government caters to Trump’s demands it will breach the trust of the public that elected it.
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