Israeli minister criticizes Biden’s leadership, expresses preference for Trump

Former President Trump would better serve the interests of Israel and the Jewish people amid regional tensions with Hezbollah and Iran than President Biden, according to Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli. He said that Biden was “harming Israel” and his policies were weak in the face of growing threats. He also said that if he was allowed to participate in American elections, he would vote for Trump. “The US is not projecting strength under [Biden’s] leadership, and it’s harming Israel and other countries,” said Chikli, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, according to the Times of Israel. “He said ‘Don’t’ at the start of the war — to Hezbollah, as well as Iran. We saw the result,” the minister added, a reference to Iran’s unprecedented attacks with hundreds of missiles and drones. “If I were an American citizen with the right to vote, I’d vote for Trump and Republicans.”

The comment comes as Israel has crossed the 200th day of its war with Hamas in Gaza earlier this week. Biden initially supported Israel’s right to defend itself from the Hamas-led terror attack on Oct. 7, 2023, the deadliest attack in Israel’s history. However, as the number of Palestinian casualties continued to increase, Biden appeared to waver and has criticized Israel. Biden also struggled to negotiate with Congress to quickly approve additional financial and military support for Israel, which ultimately cleared the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law on Wednesday.

The Democratic president has also had a noticeable shift in his language and, on Monday, urged people to learn from the violent antisemitic protests on college campuses, which he also condemned. “I condemn the antisemitic protests. That’s why I have set up a program to deal with that. I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians and how they’re being treated,” Biden told reporters Monday. Biden’s comment was quickly compared to what Trump said in 2017 about the Charlottesville riots, when he cast “blame on both sides” and said there were “very fine people, on both sides.”

Chikli’s comment on Wednesday drew a rebuke from Israel’s opposition leader, which gave him a moment to clarify his remark. “Biden is a friend of Israel, but he’s under intense pressure that is affecting him and creating real damage to relations between the countries,” Chikli said, per Times of Israel. On Tuesday, Trump also commented on the anti-Israel protests happening at universities and colleges. “What’s going on at the college level… Columbia, NYU and others is a disgrace,” Trump said ahead of entering Manhattan court on Tuesday. “And it’s really on Biden,” Trump said Tuesday morning outside the courtroom.

“Trump also addressed Biden, saying: “He’s got the wrong words. He doesn’t know who he’s backing. And it’s a mess.””What’s going on is a disgrace to our country. And it’s all Biden’s fault, and everybody knows it. He’s got no message, he’s got no compassion and doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Trump continued, adding Biden is the “worst president in the history of our country.” During a monologue last week, ’ Sean Hannity also bashed Biden and said the Oct. 7 attack “might not have happened without Joe Biden’s policy of appeasement and the enrichment of Iran.””Iran has also rapidly accelerated their nuclear program, and now they have attacked Israel directly for the first time in history, only two days after Biden issued this very tepid warning, before shuffling off to the beach for what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend,” Hannity said.