Leaked Transcript of Trump's Phone Call With Netanyahu During Temple Mount Crisis - as If

On Druid policemen, Muslim golfers and excellent Kone elevators with golden doors that will save the day ■ SATIRE

U.S. President Donald Trump speaking his mind,June 27, 2017.
CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS

Following the Israeli decision to place metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount that sparked unrest in the West Bank and throughout the Middle East, U.S. President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer help. This is the (imaginary) transcript of their conversation:

TRUMP: Hello Bibi. Good to speak to you. How are you doing?

NETANYAHU: Just great Mr. President. Couldn’t be better, especially now that you’ve called. Our talks always inspire me. If it weren’t for the fake news about “crimes” and those overzealous prosecutors trying to appease the left, things would be perfect. I don’t have to tell you how annoying this is. These people are frustrated because we’re both great leaders so they want to bring us down by any means.

TRUMP: So true, so true. I have that with Putin. Such a nice guy. Not like that insufferable snob Turnbull. Anyway, make sure you say they should investigate Hillary Clinton instead, like I do. Will you do that for me?

NETANYAHU: You mean Yair Lapid? Or the new Labor guy Avi Gabbay?

TRUMP: Who? No. Never heard of them. Just ask the press why they’re investigating you and not Hillary Clinton. It’ll make me look good. You know, like when you praised the wall with Mexico and said it was just like Israel? (Laughs) Just do the same with Clinton. Maybe it will convince this guy, what’s his name, Rosencrantz at Justice, to move his toches. (Trump is heard whispering to someone: Hey guys, is Mueller a Jewish name?)

Now, Jared tells me I need to do something about these disturbances you’ve got going on there in Jerusalem. King Abdullah also talked to me about it but I was just watching reruns of the Miss Universe contest in Moscow so I couldn’t concentrate. But the liars in the media are saying that Obama would have intervened by now, so I need to get ahead of this, otherwise I’ll look bad. I’m better than him. Tell me what the problem is and what I can do to fix it.

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NETANYAHU: Well, it’s a bit complex, but everyone knows what a sharp mind you have so I’m sure you’ll get it in a jiffy. Basically, there was a terrorist incident in which three Israeli Arabs killed two Israeli Druze policemen, so we decided to increase security and put metal detectors and now the Waqf is inciting Palestinians to riot on the pretext that we are violating the status quo. So we...

TRUMP: Whoa, hold your horses. Let me get this straight. You have Druids over there in Israel? Thought they lived in Ireland. My mother, who’s from Scotland, you know, told me about Druids. She spoke Gaelic. But you learn so much by talking to foreign leaders. Amazing. Jewish Druids.

NETANYAHU: I’m sure something’s wrong with this line. It’s Druze, Mr. President, not Druids.  They’re like Muslims, only different. But it’s a common mistake. A lot of people get mixed up between Druids and Druze. Especially the smarter ones.

TRUMP: So you have Muslim Druids in Israel? And you use them as policemen? Like in that movie with Tom Cruz, Minority Report, where they know in advance who’s going to commit a crime? Amazing. What will they think of next? I’ll tell Jeff Sessions to get right on it. We need something like that over here. But if it’s Muslims shooting Muslims, why is that any concern of yours?

NETANYAHU: Because the incident took place on the Temple Mount, which we control, which is why we placed the metal detectors. But now the Waqf is refusing to let people go up to pray.

TRUMP: Listen, I can fix that. Nobody does mounts like Donald Trump. Everybody knows that. We use these guys from Finland, Kobe or Kone or something. They make beautiful machines. And they’re fast. You can have them make the doors in gold. Mine even say TT on them. You can use that, or even put BB on yours. I don’t mind. It’ll be great. I’ll even get you a good price. Talk to Donald Jr. He could use a lift. So you can solve this Temple Mount thing in no time. But don’t talk about it just yet. Let me be the one to make the announcement...

NETANYAHU: (coughs) Just hold on a second, Donald, I have something stuck in my throat. (Long silence, unintelligible whispers in background). Listen, that is indeed an ingenious solution that only a master builder like you could come up with. I’m sure we’ll use it someday. We’ll call it the Donald Mount (More whispers, something about grabbing someone pushy). Or maybe not. But you see the Mount in this case means mountain, not the actual apparatus to climb up there. We’ve got that covered for now. The issue is that the Waqf won’t agree to go through the metal detectors because they say it changes the status quo.

TRUMP: The what? The Wokf? Is that like Jewish golf?

NETANYAHU: Ha, you are so funny. People don’t appreciate your humor enough. No, the Waqf are the Muslim religious authority that runs the Temple Mount.

TRUMP: You let Muslim golfers run the Temple Mount? Oh man, you guys really bend over backwards. What’s their handicap? Or are they the caddies? Anyway, just take it back from them. I can help. I have a problem like that now at Balmedie, in Scotland. Great place, by the way, we should go there for a month or something. You’ll love it. Anyway, the locals there are causing problems, they won’t let me expand my amazing golf resort but I’ll show them. I’ll get my lawyer to call yours. Just don’t make any announcements before I do.

NETANYAHU: What beautiful thoughts you have. You remind me of my father, only more learned. But you see the Temple Mount is very sensitive. Our friend Abdullah is also involved. And the Muslims – well I don’t have to tell you what they’re like, you know it better than anyone in the world– they can get very agitated about these things. It’s been like this since 1967, when Moshe Dayan...

TRUMP: Listen, don’t give me a history lesson now. Time is money. As Jared said, we want solutions, not problems. We fix things. You know what? I’ll send him over there. Along with Friedman and Greenblatt. I’m sure the three of them together will convince that guy Mahmoud – boy was he a disappointment – that you are just perfect and the Arabs are to blame. He’ll tell his guys to lay off. I’ll see to it.

NETANYAHU: That sounds great Mr. President. So decisive. So manly. So presidential. And you are our best friend ever. By far. Reagan was an anti-Semite compared to you. Even Bush is way behind you. He supported the Gaza Disengagement, after all. I’ll tell Sara. She adores you. As does my son Yair. He’s even starting to talk like you.

TRUMP: Yeah. Just make sure you let me announce it, OK? I’ll say you called me in despair and I saved the day, OK? Then you’ll respond. I need this. And don’t forget about crime lady Clinton.  Hey, that’s good. I’m a genius. You think you can use that?  “Crime Lady Clinton?”

(Crackles on the line, which sound suspiciously like plastic wrap).

NETANYAHU: The line’s gone bad, Mr. President. Can’t hear you. Such an honor talking to you. Really. Love to Melania and Ivanka. Shalom. Have a good vacation