'The US and Israel are discussing a mutual defense treaty that would further cement the already “tremendous” alliance between the two countries, President Donald Trump has revealed.
"I had a call today with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the possibility of moving forward with a Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Israel, that would further anchor the tremendous alliance between our two countries," Trump tweeted.
Trump voiced not-that-veiled support for Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Israel.
“I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month!” Trump wrote.
The support surely comes in handy, as Netanyahu’s backing appears to be quite shaky. The September 17 polls are the second snap legislative elections this year after Netanyahu failed to form the government back in April.
The outcome of the upcoming vote is hard to predict, as Netanyahu’s party, Likud, has almost equal support as their main opponent the Blue and White led by Benny Gantz, opinion polls show.
Netanyahu was quick to respond to Trump’s announcement, lauding the prospects of the alliance and managing to call the US president a “friend” twice in a single tweet.
Forging a proper US-Israel alliance won’t be that great a step, since the standing agreements already oblige Washington to protect Tel Aviv in case of a war, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof believes. Still, such a deal somewhat increases the chances of the US being “lured into a conflict we don’t want.”
“In one sense, it would commit the United States to Israel’s defense, even if Israel decides to attack, let’s say, for example, Iran, then we will be committed to back them up without any hesitation. Already we have what amounts to a defense arrangement,” Maloof told RT. “Even without a piece of paper, the United States would come to Israel’s assistance, if it was physically attacked en masse.”'
Read more: US, Israel talk about mutual defense treaty – Trump
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