Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu were the closest of political allies during the four years they overlapped in office, at least in public. Not anymore. “I haven’t spoken to him since,” Trump said of the former Israeli prime minister. “F**k him.”
What he’s saying: Trump repeatedly criticized Netanyahu during two interviews for my book, “Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East.” The final straw for Trump was when Netanyahu congratulated President-elect Biden for his election victory while Trump was still disputing the result.
“The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with. … Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.”
— Donald Trump
Why it matters: Now opposition leader, Netanyahu is waging a continuous campaign to win back the Prime Minister’s Office while on trial for corruption.
One of his primary political calling cards is his close relationship with key players in U.S. politics, and with one man in particular who remains hugely popular in Israel: Trump.