Netanyahu drops Trump from Twitter account

Paul Shindman

President Donald Trump has been dropped from the Twitter [account] homepage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after having been featured there for most of the past 14 months.

With president-elect Joe Biden due to be sworn in next week, the Twitter feed now features a picture of Netanyahu getting his second shot of coronavirus vaccine this past weekend.

A check of the Wayback Machine web archive website shows that the picture of the premier and Trump during a meeting in the White House seems to have made its first appearance in October, 2019 and stayed there most of the time since.

In December, the Netanyahu-Trump photo was replaced with a Chanukah holiday-themed image, Ynet reported, sparking media speculation that with the election results confirmed Netanyahu was distancing himself from Trump.

However, after the holiday the Chanukah picture was replaced with a photo of Trump, Netanyahu and Arab leaders at the signing of the historic Abraham Accords at the White House last August at which the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, under Trump’s mediation efforts, agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Netanyahu is one of the few world leaders who has had an excellent relation with Trump, who changed several longstanding American foreign policies towards Israel including the watershed move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

As Trump continued to reject the results of the U.S. presidential election, Netanyahu stayed out of the controversy. Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters last week, Netanyahu tweeted that “The rampage at the Capitol … was a disgraceful act that must be vigorously condemned. I have no doubt that American democracy will prevail – it always has,” but did not mention Trump specifically.

A day later, he hosted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Jerusalem, taking the opportunity to praise Trump’s efforts on behalf of Israel.

“I want to thank President Trump and all of you in the administration for all you have done and are doing for peace. You’ve made a real difference, achieving one breakthrough after another, bringing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan into the circle of peace,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu and Biden have a long-standing friendship that goes back to the 1980s when Netanyahu was Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. With Trump still president until January 20, Netanyahu has said little about Biden’s election victory and incoming administration, tweeting only once in November and nothing since.

“I would like to start with congratulations for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Netanyahu tweeted at the start of the Nov. 8 cabinet meeting. “I have a long and warm personal connection with Joe Biden for nearly 40 years, and I know him as a great friend of the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu gave no indication as to why he changed the picture, which came after Twitter announced it “permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence” following the incident at the Capitol Building.

This article first appeared in the World Israel News

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