Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just celebrated the publication of U.S. President Donald Trump's much-awaited Middle East peace plan, touting it alongside the American president in Washington on Tuesday as a day that will go down in history.
Haaretz Weekly Ep. 58
But just two years ago, the premier was heard on record saying that he would not push for a diplomatic plan ahead of an Israeli election.
Netanyahu spoke in 2018 during a visit to Brazil in December of that year. When he was asked about statements he made concerning former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – that "a prime minister neck-deep in investigations has no moral or public mandate to determine fateful things for the State of Israel."
Netanyahu answered: "The quote referred to a diplomatic plan or diplomatic steps that Olmert intended to carry out on the eve of the election. You can't bring a diplomatic plan on the eve of the election without a mandate." Netanyahu added that he still believes that: "I do not intend to bring a diplomatic plan on the eve of an election."
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On Tuesday, when the blueprint was unveiled, Trump said his plan is "a win-win" for both Israel and the Palestinians. Netanyahu congratulated Trump for becoming the "first world leader to recognize Israeli sovereignty over areas of Judea and Samaria that are vital to our security and vital to our heritage."
Netanyahu went as far as saying the Israeli government will discuss applying Israeli law to West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley. On Wednesday, however, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin contradicted him, saying a delay was necessary due to technical issues and that bringing the proposal to a vote “requires time to prepare and work on the different documents.”