Combined Trump and Netanyahu on phone Photos Twitter and Israeli GPO LOGOTwo days after taking the office of the Unitied States presidency, Donald Trump was on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The PM asked to "work closely" with Trump, especially in matters that relate to Israel's security, including Iran, the Palestinians and "other issues." He also asked for restoration of the US policy, abandoned by Obama, of "no daylight" between Israel and the US.


Last night in Jerusalem the President of the United States, Donald Trump, called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump said the call was "nice" and Netanyahu called it "warm." 

Netanyahu himself was first to report news of what was said. Posting to his official Facebook Page at about 11pm Israel Standard Time, he said the exchange with Trump was "a very warm conversation."

As for things the two men talked about, the Prime Minister said he "expressed his desire to work closely with President Trump to forge a common vision to advance peace and security in the region, with no daylight between the United States and Israel."

Somewhat more to the point, he added that "the two leaders discussed the nuclear deal with Iran, the peace process with the Palestinians and other issues."

Whether or not "other issues" included Trump's campaign promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem is unknown. Another possible topic, mentioned by the President in his inauguration speech, was uniting "the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism," something Trump pledged to "eradicate completely from the face of the earth."

There is indirect evidence that the latter topic was discussed. On his side of the world, the revamped White House said Trump discussed the fight against Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS, "and other radical terrorist groups."

It did not specify, however, policy shifts vis-a-vis Iran or the Palestinian peace process. 

The stated reason for Trump's call was to invited Netanyahu to meet in the White House in early February. Presumably, all of these matters, and more, will be addressed.

The priority the new American president gave in making contact with the Israeli Prime Minister, along the invitation itself and "very warm" tone of conversation, indicate a significant shift in the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem.

Under Obama, the tone was anything but warm.

One expression of the former president's cool relationship with Israel was his choice to introduce "daylight" between the two countries. The reference is to US determination to give Israel a full heads-up about all of its Israel-related discussions and actions that, directly or indirectly, impact the Jewish state. During his last four year term in office, Obama actively negotiated with Israel's sworn enemy, Iran, without briefing Jerusalem.

As Netanyahu has requested, will Trump restore the "no daylight" policy? Will the president, as promised and in spite of thinly veiled threats from the Palestinian Authority, move the US embassy to Jerusalem?

In the broader sense, will his "America first" pledge include all aspects of Israel's security as a matter US self-interest? Jerusalem is hoping that he will. It is likely to find out in a matter of weeks, if not days.


Brian Schrauger is the Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Journal. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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