Donald Trump considered a presidential run then eventually settled on Mitt Romney as his candidate last fall. Now, Trump is throwing his hat in the Israeli arena, with a new video he recorded touting the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking directly to the camera, he says:
My name is Donald Trump and I’m a big fan of Israel, and frankly, a strong prime minister is a strong Israel, and you truly have a great prime minister in Benjamin Netanyahu. There’s nobody like him. He’s a winner. He’s highly respected. He’s highly thought of by all, and people really do have great, great respect for what’s happened in Israel.
So vote for Benjamin. Terrific guy, terrific leader. Great for Israel.
Trump says: “a strong prime minister is a strong Israel.” That’s likely no coincidence since Netanyahu’s party Likud-Israel Beiteinu is running the slogan “strong prime minister, strong Israel” in its television and print ads.
Will Israelis be swayed by Trump? Elections take place January 22nd, so we’ll know in less than a week.
It’s not only Trump who’s seen in Israel as getting involved from afar. In an article in Bloomberg View on Tuesday, columnist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that President Barack Obama told aides behind closed doors that “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” The article timed precisely one week before Israelis go to polls is being viewed widely in Israel as an attempt by the Obama administration to influence the outcome of the vote.
While Israelis are sensitive to the perception of their country overseas and could be influenced by Obama’s alleged critique of Netanyahu, it’s also a country where polls before the American elections showed Jewish citizens preferred Mitt Romney over Obama 57% to 22%. Thus, Obama’s negative opinion of Netanyahu could encourage more voters to support the incumbent prime minister.
Ironically, the last Israeli public opinion poll on which TheBlaze reported in October asked the question: “In terms of Israeli interests, who would be preferable to win the elections next month in the U.S.”
A poll over the summer found that Israelis felt Romney ‘assigned more importance to defending Israel’s national interest’ than Obama by a 2:1 ratio: 40% for Romney to 19% for Obama.”
In other words, Israelis don’t believe Obama is acting in their national interest. Interesting considering Obama’s alleged choice of words, that is, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.”
If Obama had a negative view of Netanyahu before, Trump’s Netanyahu endorsement will do little to improve his image of the prime minister. As TheBlaze reported last fall, Trump announced he’d give five million dollars to charity if Obama released his college and passport records.
Watch Trump's Netanyahu endorsement video here: