Only Damage Control after the Wrecking Ball

If Donald Trump would run for election in Israel, he would win by a landslide. According to a survey conducted for the i24News channel, two thirds, or 63%, of Israelis prefer him to win the presidential elections on November 3, compared with less than 19% for his rival Joe Biden.

“You have been the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his ally during a Washington visit this year. “Frankly, though we’ve had some great, outstanding friends in these halls, it’s not even close.”

Netanyahu has every reason to shower Trump with praise. While it is debatable whether the US president has actually been the Jewish state’s best friend, he has fulfilled nearly every political wish of his Israeli counterpart. Netanyahu is standing trial on multiple counts of bribery and breach of trust; he also faces mounting opposition for his government’s botched Covid-19 reaction. In the past four years, the Trump administration has thrown him lifelines time and again, by implementing policies that for decades seemed unthinkable in the Middle East.