Michael Bennett Won't Participate in NFL's Scheduled Trip to Israel

Michael Bennett Won't Participate in NFL's Scheduled Trip to Israel

Citing human rights concerns, Michael Bennett to skip Israel visit

According to reports, Bennett urged Netanyahu "not to miss an historic opportunity" provided by Trump's election and to drop his declared support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Strengthening the alliance with the United States "requires a responsible and considered policy", Mr. Netanyahu said before leaving Israel for Washington.

At Sunday's cabinet meeting, Netanyahu tried to downplay the significance of the meeting a little, insisting that even with a president like Trump, there are limitations.

Given Trump's one-sided Mideast comments during the transition, Netanyahu could be certain that the new United States administration would fully embrace Israel's hardline positions on settlements, the status of the city of Jerusalem, and the Iran deal. Annexing the West Bank will force Israel to either grant Palestinians the vote or deny it to them, neither of which is politically tenable, and Jordan remains completely uninterested in taking back the West Bank through annexation or mandate, either. Earlier this month the White House said in a statement: "While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal".

When the king of Jordan embarked on a trip to Washington recently even though it was uncertain whether he would be able meet with the new U.S. president, it was a sign of the importance of the monarch's mission.

President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York City in September 2016.

"Netanyahu is in a hard position from his Right flank", she said.

While the worldwide community generally opposes settlement building on the grounds it damages the feasibility of a two-state solution, Jewish Home leader and Education Minister Naftali Bennett wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday that even referring to a Palestinian state would be a "historic mistake".

"The voice of the muezzin was heard here long before the racists of the (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu government and will after them", he said.

And then there is Mr Kushner, whose real estate developer father Charles was friendly with Mr Netanyahu before he became prime minister.

The bill would retroactively legalize under Israeli law dozens of so-called settlement outposts built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Needless to say, that doesn't exactly give Trump much reason to press Netanyahu on the issue at their first meeting, especially if doing so will produce a political headache for his longtime friend. Palestinian officials meanwhile have reported that Trump emissaries have assured them that no move is planned.

Netanyahu's worry about increased violence on his watch is compounded by his vulnerability in public opinion following a deepening Israeli police probe into his suspected receipt of illicit gifts from wealthy benefactors.

Probably the most important topic in Netanyahu's talks with Trump is the future of the Iran nuclear deal reached by the USA and five other world powers with Tehran.

Netanyahu will use the sessions in Washington as an opportunity to lobby Trump against Palestinian statehood, according to unnamed sources quoted by the pro-settler outlet Arutz Sheva, which is funded by a charity run by David Friedman, who is Trump's pick for USA ambassador to Israel. Attempting to dampen expectations on his party's right, the Prime Minister said that, ultimately, unlimited construction on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem would not be tolerated. Netanyahu addressed the issue and the Jewish Home party head on, in the hours before he departed for Washington.

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