Netanyahu Praises Trump’s ‘Friendship’ Toward Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chimed in for the second time on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, telling The Jerusalem Post that Trump’s support for Israel should not be questioned despite canceling a scheduled trip to Israel.

“His friendship toward Israel is not in question and never was,” Netanyahu told The Jerusalem Post after being asked whether Trump’s cancelation raises questions about his friendship toward Israel. “Israel is fortunate to enjoy broad support and friendship among the candidates running for president.”

Earlier this month, the Republican presidential frontrunner announced he’ll be traveling to Israel before New Year’s and meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

But following Trump’s call to bar entry from all Muslims, Netanyahu issued a statement rejecting his remarks and stressing that “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.” The next morning, Trump announced on Twitter, “I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with @Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the U.S..”

Republican presidential candidate Bush, during an appearance in New York, claimed that “Netanyahu is freaking out” from everything Trump has been saying post his proposed trip to Israel since it “puts Israel in a very paralysis position.”

On Sunday, during an interview with CNN’a State of the Union program, Trump called the Israeli Prime Minister’s statement inappropriate. “That was sort of interesting. He modestly condemned them. And I thought it was somewhat inappropriate that he condemned them, but that’s OK. He wanted to condemn them. That’s what he does, OK?” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

But apparently the brief back and forth did not affect what Trump suggests is a close relationship between the Republican presidential frontrunner and the Israeli leader. Responding to a question posed to him on Monday, Netanyahu said he “absolutely did not” ask Trump to cancel his trip to Israel.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.