The Prime Minister’s Office issued a directive Monday, ordering cabinet ministers not to initiate contact with members of the incoming Trump administration. This comes just two days after Jewish Home chief and Education Minister Naftali Bennett met with aides to President-elect Donald Trump.
“In accordance with the Prime Minister’s directive,” the coalition secretary wrote regarding the order, “ministers and deputy ministers are obliged to initiate any contacts [they may wish to have] with the Trump administration only through the Prime Minister’s Office or the Israeli embassy in Washington.”
Prior to the issuance of the directive, the Prime Minister ordered cabinet members to avoid public statements on the US presidential campaign, and after the election, refrain from commenting on the results or the president-elect.
On Sunday, Bennett met with three Trump staffers, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
During the meeting, the Education Minister called upon the incoming administration not to endorse the two-state solution, but to carefully consider alternative proposals, including his own.
Under Bennett’s plan, Israel would annex Area C, which amounts to roughly 60% of Judea and Samaria, but is home to only a small percentage of the area’s Arab population. Areas A and B would remain under Palestinian Authority control. The Gaza Strip would be transferred to Egyptian control.
While the Prime Minister has made no official comment on Bennett’s meeting, inside sources told Arutz Sheva Netanyahu was infuriated by the Education Minister’s initiative, and that the directive Monday was issued in response.