Free cookie consent management tool by TermsFeed Update cookies preferences

Allies Of Donald Trump Visit Israel, Trump Speaks On How He Will Approach Israel's Conflict With Gaza

Allies Of Donald Trump Visit Israel, Trump Speaks On How He Will Approach Israel's Conflict With Gaza
Source: Google

A group of former advisers and allies of former American president Donald Trump visited Israel last week to meet with top officials and discuss the ongoing war in Gaza, sources told CNN.

The delegation, led by Keith Kellogg, a former national security adviser to Trump and a co-chair of the America First Policy Institute, a pro-Trump think tank, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's minister of strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, and Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, among others.

The sources said the group expressed their solidarity with Israel and its right to defend itself against Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza and launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, 2024.

The visit came as Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election, has offered few details on how he would handle the crisis, which has killed more than 2,000 people, mostly Palestinians, and displaced tens of thousands more.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that the conflict would not have happened if he was still in office, and that he was the most pro-Israel president in history. He has also criticized President Joe Biden for not being supportive enough of Israel and for calling for a ceasefire.

However, Trump has not outlined a clear strategy or vision for resolving the war, which has entered its fifth month and shows no signs of abating. The current presidential candidate has also not addressed the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where more than 80% of the population depends on aid and basic services are severely disrupted.

The sources said the group that visited Israel did not represent the official position of the Trump campaign or the former president, but rather shared their personal views and insights. They said the group plans to deliver a report on their trip to interested parties, including the Trump campaign, in the coming days.

The sources also said the group did not coordinate their visit with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the former president's son-in-law and daughter, who also traveled to Israel last week for a solidarity tour. The couple, who served as senior advisers to Trump in the White House, visited a border town near Gaza and viewed footage of the October 7 attack, which they called "horrific".

The sources said the two trips were coincidental and not planned together, but that they reflected the strong ties and influence that Trump and his associates have in Israel, where he is widely popular and seen as a staunch ally.

Trump's involvement in the Middle East has been controversial and divisive, both in the region and in the US. He brokered historic normalization deals between Israel and several Arab countries, but also moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and cut aid to the Palestinians.

His policies have been praised by Netanyahu and his supporters, but condemned by the Palestinians and their allies, who accuse him of undermining the prospects of a two-state solution and fueling the conflict.

Biden, who defeated Trump in the 2020 election, has adopted a more balanced and diplomatic approach to the Middle East, reaffirming the US commitment to Israel's security, but also restoring aid and relations with the Palestinians. He has also appointed a special envoy to the region, Hady Amr, who has been shuttling between Israel and Egypt to broker a ceasefire and a political dialogue.

Biden, who is expected to seek re-election as the Democratic nominee, has faced criticism from some progressive and Muslim groups in the US for not being more forceful in pressuring Israel to end its military operation in Gaza and to address the underlying issues of the conflict, such as the occupation, the settlements, and the blockade.

The war in Gaza has emerged as a major foreign policy challenge and a divisive political issue in the US, as the 2024 election campaign heats up. Trump and his allies have sought to portray Biden as weak and ineffective, while Biden and his supporters have accused Trump of being reckless and irresponsible.

The sources said the group that visited Israel did not discuss the 2024 election or the potential impact of the war on the US voters, but rather focused on the current situation and the future of the region. They said the group hoped to contribute to the peace and stability of the Middle East, and to the friendship and alliance between the US and Israel.