Trump: ‘Not happy’ about ‘messed up’ Israeli politics

Associated Press
President Donald Trump speaks to the media on departing the White House, Sunday June 2, 2019, in Washington, en route to London.

Washington — President Donald Trump says Israel has got to “get their act together” after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a new governing coalition and a second election was set for later this year.

Saying the political situation in Israel is “all messed up,” Trump adds, “We’re not happy about that.”

Meanwhile, Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may be right in assessing that the administration’s forthcoming Mideast peace plan may not go anywhere. A Washington Post report quoted Pompeo as telling a group of Jewish leaders in New York that the long-delayed plan may not “gain traction.”

Trump told reporters, “I think we have a good chance, but we’ll see what happens.”

Trump spoke Sunday as he prepared to fly to Europe.

Days after parliament voted to hold new elections, Netanyahu fired his education and justice ministers.

An official in Netanyahu’s office confirmed that Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, two hawkish former allies, were dismissed from the interim government. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

There was no explanation for Sunday’s firings.

Last week Israel’s parliament voted to hold early elections, less than two months after April’s polls, as Netanyahu failed to muster a governing coalition.

Shaked, the justice minister, and Bennett, the education minister, have not said if they are running in September’s election. Their New Right party failed to enter parliament in April, but they remained on the job pending formation of a new government.