trump talk

Trump to Israel: ‘You’re losing a lot of the world’

The former president criticized Israel’s conduct in Gaza in an interview with Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at 40 Wall Street after a pre-trial hearing on March 25, 2024 in New York City.

Former President Donald Trump warned Israel that it is losing global support as it continues its war against Hamas in a wide-ranging interview with right-wing Israeli daily Israel Hayom. The former president used the interview to cast himself as a strong friend of Israel — and said President Joe Biden “supports the enemy.” 

“Israel has to be very careful, because you’re losing a lot of the world, you’re losing a lot of support, you have to finish up, you have to get the job done,” Trump said. 

Trump’s comments bear similarities to language used by Biden administration officials in recent days, even as Trump’s backers in Congress have argued that the former president would be a stronger supporter of Israel than Biden. Last week, after a meeting in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Tony Blinken cautioned Israel that a major ground operation in Rafah “risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardizing its long-term security and standing.” 

Speaking to Israel Hayom reporters at Mar-a-Lago, Trump praised Israel’s response to the terror attacks that killed more than 1,200 people, saying “I would say I would act very much the same way as you did. You would have to be crazy not to.”

But he also suggested that Israel has gone too far in its campaign against Hamas in Gaza since the Oct. 7 terror attacks.

“I think Israel made a very big mistake. I wanted to call [Israel] and say don’t do it. These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, Oh, that’s a terrible portrait. It’s a very bad picture for the world,” Trump said of imagery released by the IDF over the course of the war. “I think Israel wanted to show that it’s tough, but sometimes you shouldn’t be doing that.”

He blasted Israel’s handling of the public relations aspect of the war, stating that “Israel has to get better with the promotional and with the public relations, because right now they’re in ruin.” 

Despite his criticism of Israel’s war effort, Trump cast himself in stark opposition to Biden, arguing that not only is he more supportive of Israel, but that Biden is at fault for the Oct. 7 attacks.

“It [Oct. 7] was an attack that I blame on Biden because they [Hamas] have no respect for him. He can’t put two sentences together. He can’t talk. He’s a very dumb person,” said Trump. He repeated a claim he has made several times since October, claiming that “they [Hamas] would have never done that attack if I were there.”

Biden traveled to Israel a week and a half after the attack to meet with Israeli leaders and survivors of the terror attack, pledging U.S. support for Israel’s quest to eradicate Hamas and bring home the hostages. Since then, the White House’s support for Israel has grown more complicated, with sharp disagreements between Washington and Jerusalem on issues including the looming IDF operation in Rafah. 

Biden and Netanyahu “haven’t in the past agreed on everything and they don’t agree on everything right now. But they both agree on one really important thing, and that is the importance of the State of Israel,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday.

“Biden is not a friend of Israel. Because if Biden was a friend of Israel, October 7 would have never happened,” Trump told Israel Hayom. “Forget about what happened after October 7. October 7 would have never happened if you had a friend named Biden, because if you had the proper president, that would have never happened.” 

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