update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Trump advisers said to meet with Netanyahu, Israeli officials

The main topic of discussion was reportedly be Israel's domestic political situation.

U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Dec. 13, 2020. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Dec. 13, 2020. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

A group of former Trump administration foreign policy officials met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials on Monday.

The group was headed by former national security advisor Robert O’Brien and accompanied by former U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates John Rakolta and former ambassador to Switzerland Ed McMullen, according to Reuters.

The report quotes an official close to the matter as saying that the trip was not arranged by former president Donald Trump, but that the three have his ear on matters of foreign policy and so he will nevertheless likely be briefed on the conversations.

The main topic of discussion was Israel’s domestic political situation, according to the official. Netanyahu’s coalition is currently embroiled in debates over the “day after” the war in Gaza. 

Trump has recently come out in strong support of Israel’s war against Hamas. At a rally in New Jersey earlier this month, the former president voiced his support for “Israel’s right to win its war on terror,” and claimed Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack would not have occurred under his watch.

Addressing pro-Palestine protests on American college campuses, Trump stated, “When I’m president, we will not allow colleges to be taken over by violent radicals. If you come here from another country and try to bring jihadism, anti-Americanism, or antisemitism to our campuses, we will immediately deport you, you’ll be out of that school.”

The Israel Democracy Institute’s April 2024 Israeli Voice Index showed a plurality of Israelis prefer Trump to Biden.

Asked who would be better for Israel’s interests, 37% said a Trump presidency would be better for the Jewish state, compared to 29% for a second term for Biden. Among Jewish Israelis, 42.5% prefer Trump versus 32% for Biden. Among Arab Israelis, a large majority (68%) said there was no difference between the two, 13% preferred Trump and 14% said Biden would be better.

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