Rabbi who crowned Netanyahu warns against Trump plan

“Somehow [Trump] has been misled to come to believe that a demilitarized Palestinian state is acceptable,” said Australian mining tycoon Joseph Gutnick.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Joseph Gutnick (photo credit: EZRA LANDAU)
Benjamin Netanyahu, Joseph Gutnick
(photo credit: EZRA LANDAU)
The Australian mining tycoon who helped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win his first election for prime minister in 1996 came out strongly against Netanyahu’s endorsement of US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan on Sunday.

Netayahu trailed incumbent Shimon Peres in that race but received a last-minute boost from the “Netanyahu is good for the Jews” campaign that was funded by Joseph Gutnick, a Chabad rabbi who made a fortune from taking the advice of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to mine diamonds in Australia’s Northern Territory.

“With all the respect, recognition and appreciation to President Trump for all he has done for Israel and the Jewish people, somehow he has been misled to come to believe that a demilitarized Palestinian state is acceptable,” Gutnick said. “It would be catastrophic for the security of Israel, much worse than the Gaza Strip withdrawal and its terrible consequences. The Lubavitcher rebbe warned for more than 40 years and 101 times the enormous dangers of any type of Palestinian state and even talking about such a possibility. The prime minister must realize that he is leading Israel into a dangerous trap if he continues talking about a Palestinian state in any form.”

Gutnick has maintained a close relationship with Netanyahu. He warned that if Netanyahu did not clarify the Palestinian state issue immediately it would cause him “serious damaging results” in the March 2 election, because he will lose the support of opponents of a Palestinian state to other parties on the Right.

Asked if he has relayed that message to the prime minister, Gutnick said he spoke to him a few weeks ago and he has warned him about the dangers of even a demilitarized Palestinian state many times. He questioned Netanyahu’s motivations.

“How do you stop Islamic radicals from entering such a state?” he asked. “What stops another prime minister from making it into a militarised state, like we saw with Oslo? We have discussed all the dangers at length. I can’t fathom what he is doing and why? Will that be his legacy?”

When asked if Netanyahu will lose the election if he keeps promoting the Trump plan, Gutnick said he is “not a prophet.”

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