Trump Takes Flak Over Bibi Criticism, Hezbollah Praise

Former President Donald Trump stirred controversy with remarks he made about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the terror group Hezbollah. Trump’s comments, made during a campaign event in West Palm Beach, Florida, came in the wake of recent actions by Hamas that have resulted in over 1,300 Israeli casualties.

Many, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Representative Liz Cheney, and officials from the Biden administration, criticized Trump’s comments. In particular, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressed his concerns on the matter.

During his speech, Trump criticized Netanyahu for retracting from the planned assassination of the late Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani in 2020. Trump further emphasized that Israel was caught off guard by the recent attacks. Moreover, he described Hezbollah, a recognized terrorist organization from Lebanon, as “very astute.”

Pence, in response to Trump’s remarks, said on WGIR radio, “Describing Hezbollah as smart doesn’t mean they’re commendable. It’s essential for American leaders to firmly support Israel.” He went on to acknowledge the strained relationship between Trump and Netanyahu but affirmed his own strong ties with Israel.

Andrew Bates, White House deputy press secretary, questioned the rationale behind Trump’s praise for the terror group. “How can one commend a terrorist organization supported by Iran?” he queried.

Governor DeSantis, too, took issue with Trump’s stance, noting the inappropriateness of criticizing Israel and commending Hezbollah, especially in the current climate.

In response to the criticism, Trump’s campaign released a statement suggesting that his comments highlighted the Biden administration’s lack of foresight. They clarified that calling someone or a group “smart” doesn’t mean endorsing their actions.

During his speech, Trump further elaborated on Israel’s unpreparedness for the Hamas threat. He noted that Israel’s adversaries are both cunning and ruthless.

Shlomo Karhi, Israeli Communications Minister, expressed his disappointment in Trump, stating that such remarks undermine the morale of Israeli citizens and soldiers.

Liz Cheney, formerly a Republican Representative from Wyoming, labeled Trump’s remarks as perilous. She took to social media, questioning the Republican party’s wisdom in endorsing Trump for the presidency given his recent comments.