“I think Israel has to do a better job of public relations, frankly, because the other side is beating them at the public relations front,” Mr Trump said in an interview with Univision, obtained by Semafor.
The former president previously bashed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he “was not prepared” for the Hamas attack on 7 October, in which hundreds of people were kidnapped and more than 1,000 were killed. He also said Mr Netanyahu “let us down” before the killing of Iranian Gen Qassem Soleimani in 2020.
In the latest interview, Mr Trump refined his take, calling the Israeli leader “strong.”
The former president also suggested that if he were president, he would have pushed for a negotiation with Iran and could have prevented the deadly attack. “We would have had a deal with Iran,” he said. “Iran was broke, I say respectfully, they were broke.”
Mr Trump bolstered this statement by adding, “We were actually getting along well with Iran” when he was president.
The 2024 frontrunner then shifted gears to another controversial allegation: both Palestinians and Israelis are conditioned to hate one another, as that learned hatred is entrenched in society.
Palestinians “learn to hate the Jewish people in the earliest forms of school, whatever their form of school is, but you know, Israel hatred,” he said.
“There is no hatred like the Palestinian hatred of Israel and Jewish people. And probably the other way around also, I don’t know. You know, it’s not as obvious, but probably that’s it too,” Mr Trump continued. “So sometimes you have to let things play out and you have to see where it ends.”
Even aside from the content, this Univision interview is steeped in controversy. It’s reportedly the first interview the former president has had on the network since he kicked out one of its anchors – Jorge Ramos – from a 2015 campaign event.
The interview took place in at Mar-a-Lago and will air at 9.55pm ET on 9 November.