(RepublicanJournal.org) – With war raging in Israel and the Gaza Strip, former president Donald Trump has made a controversial intervention. Blasting President Joe Biden and his former ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah, who are threatening to launch their own attack on the Jewish state, were “very smart.” While Trump has a reputation as a staunchly pro-Israel president, his latest comments are drawing heavy criticism.
Hamas Attacks — Who Is to Blame?
Predictably, there’s huge anger in Israel after the October 7 terrorist attacks that left at least 1,200 people dead and an estimated 150 hostages in the hands of Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization that controls the 25-mile-long Gaza Strip. Everyone is angry at Hamas; many are also angry at their own government. Some Israelis think Prime Minister Netanyahu, a member of the right-wing Likud party, has provoked Hamas with his hard-line policies on Jewish settlements and other issues.
Others believe Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant neglected Israel’s border defenses. Although the border fence is fitted with intrusion detection systems, Hamas insurgents were able to get over it in paragliders — and then seize the main crossing point used by Israeli troops — without being intercepted by the Israeli military. Some survivors also say they were besieged by terrorists for up to eight hours before the army came to rescue them. In Israel’s often lively democracy, there will be big political battles ahead.
Trump Criticizes US, Israeli Leaders
However, on October 11, Trump stepped in and added fuel to the fire. At a rally in Palm Beach, Florida, the former president and 2024 candidate criticized both the Biden administration and Netanyahu’s government. On Netanyahu, he said the Israeli leader had “let us down” by not involving Israel in the 2020 assassination of Iranian terror chief Qassim Soleimani. He then turned on Minister Gallant and US officials, blaming them for attacks on Israel’s northern border by Hezbollah.
Like Hamas, Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed terror group, but it’s Shi’ite while Hamas is Sunni. They don’t like each other much, but both like Israel even less. The US and others have already warned Hezbollah to stay out of the latest war, but the group has been exchanging fire with Israeli border guards.
According to Trump, that’s Gallant and Biden’s fault. He said “Biden’s security people” had worried that Hezbollah might attack northern Israel, and added, “I said, ‘Wait a minute.’ You know, Hezbollah is very smart. They’re all very smart.” Then he claimed Gallant had also said he hoped Hezbollah wouldn’t attack — “So the following morning, they attacked.”
There are already indications that the reason Israel didn’t know the Hamas assault was coming is that it was planned in unusual secrecy. Iran denies being directly involved, and Hamas sources have said only a few top leaders knew what was going to happen and when. As for Hezbollah, they are smart — smart enough that they aren’t going to launch an attack because an Israeli minister said something on TV news. So what’s the real plan behind the attacks? A lot of Israelis want an answer, but they might not appreciate Trump’s input right now.
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