On Annexation, Netanyahu and the Settlers Have Never Been on the Same Page

The weeks after Donald Trump’s election were a period of ecstasy in Judea and Samaria. Along the roads leading to the settlements thousands of posters were plastered with the slogan “Sovereignty Now!” Yesha Council members were spotted in the corridors of the Trump Plaza in New York and among the crowd at the inauguration in Washington. Real and imagined confidants of the new president promised them ‘just wait until our guy gets the nuclear codes.

– LISTEN: High priests, holy smoke and cannabis in the Temple

LISTEN: High priests, holy smoke and cannabis in the TempleHaaretz

Everything will be different then.’ In every interview, the settler leaders demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu go ahead and annex. It was a God-given opportunity. Netanyahu heard and asked them just to wait until his first meeting with Trump.

When he finally arrived at the White House in mid-February, Trump was full of incoherent ideas about his preferred solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such as “I’m looking at two-state and at one-state and I like the one that both parties like.” But he had one clear request – “I’d like to see you holding back on settlements for a little bit,” until he came up with a plan.