Fuming Netanyahu orders ministers to attend Trump's reception after most refuse to show up

During a Sunday meeting of coalition heads, Netanyahu was notified that there would be a sparse attendance of ministers at the reception and that most party heads wouldn’t participate in it. Netanyahu was furious and blew up the meeting, a senior official who attended the meeting said. Immediately afterwards, the Prime Minister’s Bureau issued an instruction to all government ministers according to which they must participate in the airport reception.

Over the last two weeks the plans for Trump’s reception at Ben-Gurion Airport have seen many changes. The first plans called for a long ceremony, which included speeches and handshakes with all cabinet ministers and other senior state officials who would welcome Trump on the tarmac. But the plans were cut per the White House’s request, which noted that they wanted the reception to be as short as possible due to the warm weather and to include only the two countries’ anthems, handshakes between Trump and Netanyahu, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, as well as a guard of honor.

In light of those changes, the ministers were at first disinvited from the reception. However, on Saturday evening the plans changed again, and the ministers were informed that they are in fact invited, but that they must arrive two and a half hours in advance and that they will have to undergo a security check. In addition, they will only view the ceremony from the sidelines and will not shake hands with Trump. The Foreign Ministry told the ministers that attendance was not mandatory.