(JNi.media) Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump told an audience member at a Wednesday rally in Manassas, VA, who asked about his thoughts on Israel, that he plans to visit Israel soon and intends to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I love Israel, and Israel is our real strong supporter,” Trump said, then revealed that even though his people are against making it official, “I’m going to Israel, and I’ll be meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, who’s a great guy.”
He made the announcement on the eve of the Sheldon Adelson-supported Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum in Washington, that will feature 14 candidates. Although Trump does not need Adelson’s money, he has sought his endorsement.
In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney also came to Israel to meet with Bibi, who at the time did not hide his preference for all candidates who weren’t named Barack Obama. Two current candidates, Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, have already visited Bibi in Israel.
Trump mentioned to his audience that he had shot a campaign commercial for his pal Bibi in 2013, possibly implying that he’d be expecting a returned favor. In the ad, Trump spoke directly to the camera and said, “My name is Donald Trump and I’m a big fan of Israel, and, frankly, a strong prime minister is a strong Israel, and you truly have a great prime minister in Benjamin Netanyahu, there’s nobody like him,” Trump said in the commercial, adding, “He’s a winner.”
Ben Carson, who made his first visit to Israel last December, visited Jordan last week and did not make a stop in Jerusalem to meet with Israel’s prime minister.
“He’s a good man, he’s worked very hard, he has absolutely no support from President Obama — absolutely none,” Trump said, omitting the part about the $3.1 billion in annual foreign aid to Israel, and the Iron Dome project, which was started under the Obama Administration and has received $900 million since 2011. Trump, whose daughter has converted to Orthodox Judaism, then described himself as “very, very pro-Israel.”