Did Donald Trump unfollow Israel's Netanyahu for congratulating Biden?

Did Donald Trump unfollow Israel's Netanyahu for congratulating Biden?
Concerns have been raised over the virtual relationship between staunch allies Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu after rumours suggested an unexpected Twitter 'unfollowing'.
3 min read
10 November, 2020
Relations between the long-term allies enhanced under Trump [Getty]
Rumours alleging a rift between Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have surfaced this week after a Twitter response on the US election from one of the president's staunchest international allies.

A Twitter user claimed Trump had allegedly unfollowed Netanyahu in an angry response to the latter's congratulatory message to president-elect Joe Biden.

The message was soon shared on social media and even landed in a pro-Trump forum where many staunch supporters of the current president supported his alleged move to unfollow the Israeli PM for "disloyalty".

While Netanyahu's account does not show up on Trump's "following" list, this obviously does not mean the Israeli PM was recently unfollowed.

According to a Business Insider article published in 2018, Trump has never followed Netanyahu on Twitter.

This may come as quite a shock to many considering the close relationship between the two officials, especially considering Netanyahu's Twitter account still dons an image of the Israeli leader and Trump.

The rumours surfaced after Netanyahu sent a tweet to congratulate Biden for his victory after the 2020 elections on Sunday.

"Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Joe, we've had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the U.S. and Israel," the Israeli leader said on Twitter.

"Thank you @realDonaldTrump for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally, for recognizing Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights."

Netanyahu's well-wishes for Biden followed several messages from other world leaders and even ministers in his own government.

It also came several hours after Trump refused to concede the election and announced the launch of legal challenges to the result.

Trump has has consistently and baselessly slammed the election as "fraudulent" since Biden started taking the lead in the vote count.

Relations between Israel and its long-term ally moved even closer during the Trump administration, who adopted a more reckless approach to his predecessors in terms of domestic and foreign policy.

Trump notoriously pulled the US out of a landmark and historic Iran nuclear deal.

He also sparked global and regional outrage after moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested holy city of Jerusalem - a move seen as highly detrimental to the peace process.

Trump also green lighted the expansion of Israel's illegal annexation of Palestinian land and refused to condemn the expansion and building of settlements.

Most recently, Trump coordinated between several Arab states to normalise relations with Israel.

Read also: Yousef Munayyer: 'Palestine activism will continue to grow in the US'

An agreement to form ties between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain was formally signed at the White House on 15 September. 

Several weeks later, Sudan also followed suit, with a number of countries expected to normalise, according to Trump.

Though he has previously professed to being a proud supporter of the Israeli state, the incoming US Democrat president has vowed to restore the Iran nuclear deal and get tough on the annexation of Palestinian land.

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