Donald Trump really put his foot in his mouth again this week when he blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, blaming him for the Hamas attack on Israel last week.
“[Netanyahu] has been hurt very badly because of what’s happened here,” Trump said during an interview for Fox News Radio’s “Brian Kilmeade Show” Wednesday night. “He was not prepared. He was not prepared, and Israel was not prepared.”
Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel last Saturday, prompting Israel to officially declare a state of war and begin extensive military operations in Gaza. The latest death toll counts from this conflict are over 3,200.
During a speech later that day, Trump continued his criticism of Netanyahu, claiming that Netanyahu had “let us down” just before the U.S. carried out the 2020 operation that led to the death of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Trump also urged Israeli leaders to “step up their game” before describing Hezbollah as “very smart.”
Trump’s remarks were met with a strong rebuke from both Democrats and Republicans and by Friday, Trump was singing a different tune, posting #IStandWithIsrael and #IStandWithBibi on Truth Social Friday afternoon.
Trump’s campaign also went on damage control, sending out statements in support of Israel. But all the statements in the world can’t change the way this was an unforced error by Trump, who once again let his ego do all the talking for him. Trump and Netanyahu had a great relationship when Trump was in office, but Trump has never forgiven Netanyahu for the crime of congratulating Joe Biden after the 2020 election.
“The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with,” Trump reportedly said, according to the book “Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East,” by Barak Ravid. “Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.”
“I haven’t spoken to him since,” Trump also said. “F—k him.”
Trump’s entire perspective on virtually every issue is through the lens of the 2020 election. In fact, on Friday, Trump also said the attack on Israel would never have happened had the 2020 election not been stolen from him.
“THE ATTACK ON ISRAEL WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED, ZERO CHANCE, IF THE ELECTION OF 2020 WAS NOT RIGGED AND STOLLEN [sic],” he wrote in a post on Truth Social. “IT SHOWS THE WORLD HOW IMPORTANT ELECTIONS ARE. IRAN WAS BROKE AND TALKING, NOW THEY ARE RICH AND WATCHING, WAITING TO MAKE THEIR MOVE, AND IT WILL BE A BIG ONE! HOW COULD CROOKED JOE BIDEN, THE WORST AND MOST INCOMPETENT PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN? WE WENT FROM THE ABRAHAM ACCORDS AND PEACE, TO UNPRECEDENTED DEATH AND DESTRUCTION. NEVERTHELESS, THIS BIG AND VERY DANGEROUS PROBLEM IS SOLVABLE. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!”
While Trump certainly has a point that if he were still in office Iran wouldn’t have been appeased and his own efforts to achieve peace in the region would have continued, but he doesn’t have to always make it about the 2020 election. This is a symptom of a larger problem with Trump and his inability to dwell on the past and to trash people who he sees as insufficiently loyal to him.
His attacks on Netanyahu are no different than the way he’s attacked Ron DeSantis. Trump has previously taken credit for DeSantis’s 2018 victory in the Florida gubernatorial race, trashing him with lies about his record because DeSantis dared to run for president.
And I’m getting tired of it.