Donald Likes Bibi

The Donald is backing Bibi.

Trump, the flaxen-haired publicity hound last seen pushing birther conspiracy theories in the U.S. presidential race, made what he likely considered a major announcement this afternoon (then again, he thinks everything he says is a major announcement).

He’s backing Benjamin Netanyahu in the January 22 Israeli elections.

“Vote for Benjamin. Terrific guy. Terrific leader. Great for Israel,” Trump said in a web video published January 15.

The endorsement is short on policy but high on praise for the incumbent prime minister. “You truly have a great prime minister in Benjamin Netanyahu. There’s nobody like him,” Trump said. “He’s a winner.”

Trump is a real estate and casino mogul who is also the star of the TV reality show The Apprentice. He toyed with making a Republican run for president last year, punctuated by his latching onto discredited questions about President Obama’s birth certificate.

Netanyahu is projected to come out on top in next week’s electoral contest, though he’s facing pressure on his right flank from the settler candidate Naftali Bennet and frustration from the religious Sephardic party Shas over his alliance with the Russian party Yisrael Beitanu.

What does Trump think of all this? He hasn’t said. He sure does like Netanyahu, though.

“He’s highly respected,” Trump says of Netanyahu. “He’s highly thought of by all.”

Written by

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Donald Likes Bibi

Thank you!

This article has been sent!