As both men grappled with the fallout from major political scandals on their home turfs, President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in D.C. this Monday, where they appeared side-by-side for a press conference and Trump signed an official proclamation recognizing Israeli control of the globally contested Golan Heights.
Trump tweeted a link to the pair’s press conference, at which they propped up each other’s public images.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2019
At one point, Netanyahu shared, addressing the president directly:
‘It was so kind of you to invite me to come here. It was so important for me to come here to the White House and to thank you. Mr. President. over the years, Israel has been blessed to have many friends who have sat in the Oval Office, but Israel has never had a better friend than you.’
Besides the Golan Heights proclamation — which flies in the face of established global standards — Netanyahu also cited Trump’s decision to formally recognize Israel’s capital as Jerusalem and his withdrawal from the controversial Iran nuclear deal as evidence for him being the greatest friend Israel ever had.
Despite Netanyahu’s comments feeling pulled from some kind of handbook on how to offer the most hyperbolic nonsense fluff possible, Trump stood back and grinned while he spoke.
The long allied leaders fit together nicely. Recently, Netanyahu has faced allegations of corruption back in Israel that culminated in their Attorney General announcing indictments on multiple charges including breach of trust and bribery. Repeatedly, he pushed policy changes in the Israeli government that would benefit his friends in exchange for favors from them, like favorable media coverage.
He’s facing an election just within the next couple of weeks, which CNN calls the “toughest” re-election battle he’s ever faced. Trump boosting Netanyahu with a visit to the White House breaks with past precedent of keeping American hands out of Israeli elections. Netanyahu’s primary opponent Benny Gantz was also in D.C. this week, where he addressed the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Netanyahu had been scheduled to stay in the U.S. longer and also address the conference, but he cut his trip short in light of a rocket attack from Gazan militants targeting central Israel.
Check out Twitter’s response below…
Featured Image via screenshot