Just two days after a bombshell revelation that Israel planted electronic spying devices around the White House and in other areas of Washington, D.C., as reported by Politico, Donald Trump declared that he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently discussed signing a United States-Israel "mutual defense treaty."
Last month, Trump fended off claims that he is anti-semitic after labeling any American Jew who did not support him as "disloyal," leading one Israeli newspaper editor to condemn Trump as the "greatest anti-Semite of our age," as The Inquisitr reported. But Trump and Netanyahu have forged a close relationship, apparently driven by their mutual disdain toward Iran.
Trump's close ties to Netanyahu and the current Israeli government, however, have been unaffected by the controversy, and with Israeli elections now scheduled for Tuesday, Trump's announcement of a supposedly possible "mutual defense treaty" was likely intended to strengthen support for the 69-year-old Israeli leader's re-election bid, according to a report by The Guardian. The upcoming elections see Netanyahu in danger of losing his 13-year grip on power, a term that has lasted longer than that of any prime minister in Israel's 72-year history.
Netanyahu responded to Trump's announcement, saying that Israel has "has never had a greater friend in the White House" than Trump, as quoted by The Guardian, and also said that Israel and the United States would develop a Defense Treaty.
Netanyahu earlier denied the report that Israel had installed the electronic surveillance devices near the White House, according to The Washington Post.
Even though the devices were reportedly discovered within the last two years, during Trump's term, the Trump administration did not issue a reprimand to Israel, though in cases of spying, sanctions or some sort of reprisals are put into place. According to the Washington Post report, Israel was allowed to get away with planting the surveillance devices "because of the exceptionally close ties" between Trump Netanyahu.
Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party face a strong challenge from the Blue and White party, a centrist group led by Benny Gantz, a former chief of Israel's military, who has made ongoing corruption charges against Netanyahu the centerpiece of his campaign.
Trump earlier helped shore up Netanyahu's chances when he backed the Likud leader's plan for Israel to annex the Golan Heights, a strategically important region of Syria that Israel has held since 1967, but never formally made part of Israeli territory.
While Trump is now openly attempting to aid Netanyahu's re-election chances, Israeli spies may have participated in covert operations to help Trump win the 2016 election. At a secret meeting at Trump Tower in October of 2016, one Israeli social media specialist offered to help manipulate U.S. public opinion in favor of Trump, as The Inquisitr reported.