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Former Trump official meets Netanyahu in Israel

One of former President Donald J. Trump’s closest foreign policy advisers, Robert O’Brien, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Monday as part of a delegation of visiting former Trump officials some Israeli leaders.

Mr. O’Brien, who served as national security adviser to Mr. Trump and is expected to play a key role in any second Trump administration, participated in meetings with two former officials Trump’s other names – former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, John Rakolta, and former ambassador to Switzerland, Ed McMullen. The members of the delegation were described by Marshall Wittmann, a spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group whose affiliate, the American Israel Educational Foundation, funded and organized trip organization.

In a brief phone interview, Mr. O’Brien said he had wanted to visit Israel since the Hamas-led attack on October 7 to express “solidarity for Israel and the Jewish people.” Thai”.

Mr. O’Brien said Mr. Trump knew about his trip to Israel, but he said the former president did not ask him to go or direct him to say anything to Mr. Netanyahu. He said he went there as an “ordinary citizen,” adding that he expressed his view to Netanyahu that the Hamas terrorist attack would never have happened if he Trump is still president.

Asked whether Mr. Netanyahu expressed these views about Mr. Trump, Mr. O’Brien said: “He is a professional and he understands that he needs to have good relations with the Biden administration. But those are my feelings.”

Former Trump administration officials and Mr. Netanyahu met on Monday shortly after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Karim Khan, sought an arrest warrant for Mr. Netanyahu, his defense minister and three Hamas leaders accused of crimes against humanity.

Mr. O’Brien said he told Mr. Netanyahu that Mr. Khan’s decision was a “disgrace” and that he reminded the Israeli leader of the Trump administration’s decision to impose. punitive measures to the International Criminal Court in 2020.

“I have spent my entire career as an international lawyer and I am disgusted by this prosecutor,” Mr. O’Brien said. “If he is really concerned about genocide then he should look at the Chinese Communist Party and the Uyghurs,” he added, referring to the Chinese Communist Party’s repression of Muslims in the far western region of China. Xinjiang.

Mr. O’Brien and other former Trump officials met with several other Israeli policymakers, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s war cabinet, who are increasingly at odds with Mr. Netanyahu.

The delegation also visited two sites of a Hamas terrorist attack on October 7: the Nir Oz kibbutz and the field in southern Israel, near the Gaza border, where young Israeli men were murdered while walking. dancing at a music festival.

Mr. Wittmann, the AIPAC spokesman, said the trip was planned several months ago and that the organization has arranged and sponsored visits to Israel for former officials of both Democratic administrations. Democrats and Republicans.


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