After One-month Rift Over Iran Issue, Peres, Netanyahu Meet in Private

The meeting was an effort to mend the rift between the President and the Prime Minister, after Peres said that Israel must not strike Iran’s nuclear facilities without U.S.support.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

After almost a month of near-silence between them, President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday morning at the president's official residence in Jerusalem.

The one-on-one meeting was an effort to mend the rift between the two, which erupted after Peres told television interviewers last month that Israel must not attack Iranian nuclear installations without prior coordination with the United States.

"It's clear to us that we can't do this alone," Peres said in the interviews on August 16. "We can only postpone [Iran's nuclear project]. Therefore, it's clear to us that we have to go together with America."

Netanyahu and his advisers were incensed by Peres' statements and went on a no-holds-barred attack on the president, which more than anything else indicated that they had lost their cool. "Peres forgot what he's supposed to do as president," Netanyahu's advisers told the media at the time. "It's the same Peres who thought that after the Oslo Accords there would be a new Middle East. In practice, we got more than 1,000 dead Israelis in terrorist attacks, which came out of the areas he handed to the Palestinians."

In the last four weeks, Peres and Netanyahu neither met face-to-face nor spoke on the phone. Similarly, Netanyahu's advisers also severed almost all ties with Peres' advisers, apparently at the direct behest of Netanyahu. Until a month ago, Peres and Netanyahu had been getting together at least once a week, and sometimes twice, for breakfast or dinner. The prime minister's wife, Sara Netanyahu, would sometimes be invited to these dinners. In addition, Peres and Netanyahu maintained ongoing phone contact and updated one another about political meetings.

It is unclear how Peres and Netanyahu agreed to manage their disagreement on Iran and restore proper working relations. A short time after yesterday's meeting, Peres held a reception for the foreign diplomatic corps in Israel and praised U.S. President Barack Obama's policy on Iran.

In his address to the foreign ambassadors, Peres stressed that he "very much respects the position of the United States, which leads the coalition and has decided to increase its military presence in the Persian Gulf."

President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, July, 2009.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer