Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani praised Israel’s resilience in the face of terrorism, saying it left him inspired in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
“I came to Israel thinking I would lift morale, but I came back uplifted,” he said Sunday at a meeting of the World Jewish Congress and the Israel Council on Foreign Relations in Jerusalem.
Giuliani said the U.S. and the Jewish state’s struggle against terrorism is one and the same.
Israel is “fighting our battle on the front lines against Islamic terrorism,” Giuliani told the audience, which JNS News Service reported included Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Israeli government representatives. “It is almost unpatriotic not to love Israel.”
Giuliani was hailed as “America’s Mayor” for his leadership following the September 11 attacks. He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 but later withdrew from the race, endorsing nominee John McCain.
During his visit Giuliani also reiterated his close ties to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, calling himself a “friend and informal advisor” to the real estate mogul.
“Trump has very strong views. I agree with most of them, not all of them. But he is a very good man. He has been an enormously successful businessman,” Giuliani told the daily Israel Hayom.
Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.