U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Netanyahu’s big hopes for US visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he hopes to “make history” during his upcoming trip to the White House for the expected unveiling of President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan.

Addressing his Cabinet shortly before departing for Washington on Sunday, Netanyahu described the current environment, characterised by close ties with Trump, as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Israel that “we must not miss”.

Trump’s plan is expected to be extremely favourable to Israel.

“We are in the midst of very dramatic political events, but the peak is still ahead,” Netanyahu said.

“For three years I have discussed with President Trump and his team our security and national needs – dozens of discussions and hundreds of hours.

“In all of these talks, I found a receptive ear in the White House for the essential needs of the state of Israel.

“I am going to Washington with a great sense of purpose, great responsibility and great chance, and I am hopeful we can make history.”

The plan’s release has been repeatedly delayed and it seems to have little chance of success. The Palestinians, accusing Trump of being unfairly biased toward Israel, have already rejected it.

However, the plan could give Netanyahu, who is in the middle of his third re-election campaign in under a year, a lift as he tries to remain in office while fighting criminal charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes.

Read the article in the Cairns Post (PA).