During his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the proposed appointment of former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to sereve as the UN envoy to Libya: “Several days ago, I was informed of the possibility of the appointment of Salaam Fayyad to a UN position. I said that the time has come for reciprocity in the UN’s relations with Israel and free gifts cannot be constantly given to the Palestinian side.”
Then, ignoring the headline news he couldn’t possibly not be aware of, regarding UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ offer to former Israeli Justice Minister, MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) to serve as one of his deputies, Netanyahu added calmly that “the time has come for positions and appointments to be made to the Israeli side as well. Should there be an appropriate appointment, we will consider it.”
Sometimes a statement is all about what one does not say…
“Tomorrow I will leave for Washington to meet with President Donald Trump,” the PM told his cabinet earlier in the meeting. “We have known each other for years, but this will be his first meeting since being elected President of the United States and mine as Prime Minister of Israel. This is also a very important meeting for Israel’s security, Israel’s strengthening international position and our overall national interests.”
Netanyahu told his cabinet of his prep work for this, possibly his most important White House meeting – and his first with a Republican president in office, he only faced Democrats until this year. “Ahead of the meeting, I have held many discussions in recent days with the heads of the security establishment, the National Security Council, the Foreign Ministry and, of course, I have also held additional consultations,” the PM said.
“I hear and understand that there is great excitement ahead of this meeting, with all different kinds of motivation behind it, but I have only one motivation: my supreme consideration is to be concerned, first of all, for the security of the State of Israel, to strengthen the steadfast alliance with the US, and to strengthen our other national interests which are fundamentally connected to the strength of ties with the US,” Netanyahu said. “This requires a responsible and considered policy – and thus I intend to act. I have navigated Israeli-US relations in a prudent manner and I will continue to do so now.”