During a speech in Adel, Iowa, on Monday, former President Trump highlighted his strong support for Israel, pointing to significant decisions he made during his presidency, despite recent criticism of the country’s prime minister.
“I’ve stood with Israel stronger than any other president, acknowledging Jerusalem as their capital, a major move. Plus, I affirmed Israel’s rights over the Golan Heights, a gift they didn’t anticipate,” Trump emphasized.
This assertion follows shortly after Trump faced backlash for his public disapproval of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He accused Netanyahu of failing the U.S. during a critical military operation aimed at a high-ranking Iranian official. As per reports by The Associated Press, Trump was disappointed when Israel withdrew its participation in the mission.
Furthering his critique in a discussion with Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade, Trump stressed the necessity of defending Israel. “We’re obligated to safeguard Israel. Why? Netanyahu’s been significantly weakened due to recent events. He wasn’t ready, nor was Israel. They wouldn’t have needed to be if I were still in charge,” he asserted.
However, following criticism, Trump shifted his tone last Friday, commending the Israeli military’s prowess in a Truth Social post, stating, “The Israeli Defence Forces have always demonstrated remarkable skill and resolve.”
Yet, his initial comments provided ammunition for his opponents in the 2024 presidential race.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, for instance, took to X, the platform previously known as Twitter, to condemn Trump’s stance. “With terrorists claiming the lives of over 1,200 Israelis and 22 Americans, and more held captive, it’s outrageous for a presidential candidate to criticize our ally, Israel, or to commend Hezbollah terrorists as ‘very intelligent,'” DeSantis posted.
In his speech on Monday, Trump was alluding to his presidential tenure’s pro-Israel actions, which had received Netanyahu’s endorsement.