Trump defends criticism of Netanyahu, calling Israeli Defense Minister a ‘jerk’

Former president fires back at fellow Republicans who took aim at him for criticizing Israel’s prime minister and defense minister in the midst of war with Hamas.

By World Israel News Staff

Former President Donald Trump defended his criticism of Israeli leaders Thursday, pushing back on the White House and his Republican rivals who took him to task for comments at a campaign rally in Florida Wednesday.

Speaking to supporters in West Palm Beach, Trump blasted President Biden’s handling of foreign affairs, in particular the prisoner exchange in which the U.S. agreed to unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian assets.

The former president also took aim at Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud), calling him a “jerk” for supposedly highlighting Israel’s vulnerabilities on the Lebanese border.

“They have a national defense minister or somebody saying, ‘I hope Hezbollah doesn’t attack us from the north.’ So the following morning, they attacked… If you listen to this jerk, you would attack from the north because he said, ‘That’s our weak spot.’”

Trump also criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the premier “let us down,” and accused Netanyahu of trying to take credit for the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in 2020.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates called Trump’s remarks “dangerous and unhinged,” while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took to X to blast Trump’s comments.

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“Terrorists have murdered at least 1,200 Israelis and 22 Americans and are holding more hostage, so it is absurd that anyone, much less someone running for President, would choose now to attack our friend and ally, Israel, much less praise Hezbollah terrorists as ‘very smart.’”

He concluded by vowing, “As President, I will stand with Israel and treat terrorists like the scum that they are.”

On Thursday, Trump penned a brief op-ed in response to the criticism, defending his comments and touting his record on Israel.

“There was no better friend or ally of Israel than President Donald J. Trump. Under my leadership, the United States stood in complete solidarity with Israel, and as a result, Israel was safe, America was safe, and for the first time in decades, we made historic strides for Peace in the Middle East.”

“Crooked Joe Biden’s weakness and incompetence has empowered and emboldened our enemies all over the World, and now, many lives have been so needlessly lost. What a horrible failure Biden has been in sending 6 Billion Dollars to Iran, in a simple hostage swap, when Iran is the state sponsor of terrorist groups, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others.”

“Biden’s massive loosening of sanctions allowed 80 – 100 Billion Dollars of Iranian oil sales—much of which the regime poured into financing its bloody campaigns of terror around the globe.”

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“When I was President, and exclusively because of me, Iran was BROKE, and wanting to make a deal. No wonder the World is in absolute chaos! With President Trump back in office, Israel, and everyone else, will be SAFE AGAIN!”