Europe

Trump Says Little on Gaza, and Nothing About What He’d Do Differently

In the nearly five months since Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, igniting the most divisive foreign policy crisis of the Biden presidency, Donald J. Trump has said noticeably little about the subject.

He criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, before quickly retreating to more standard expressions of support for the country. And he has made blustery claims that the invasion never would have happened had he been president. But his overall approach has been laissez-faire.

“So you have a war that’s going on, and you’re probably going to have to let this play out. You’re probably going to have to let it play out, because a lot of people are dying,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with Univision a month after the attack. His main advice to Mr. Netanyahu and the Israelis, he said then, was to do a better job with “public relations,” because the Palestinians were “beating them at the public relations front.”

Mr. Trump’s hands-off approach to the bloody Middle East conflict reflects the profound anti-interventionist shift he has brought about in the Republican Party over the past eight years and has been colored by his feelings about Mr. Netanyahu, whom he may never forgive for congratulating President Biden for his 2020 victory.

Mr. Trump has offered no substantive criticisms of Mr. Biden’s response to the Hamas invasion and Israel’s retaliation in Gaza. Instead, he has pinned the blame for the entire crisis on Mr. Biden’s “weakness,” in the same way he often does when violence or tragedy occurs.

“You would have never had the problem that you just had, the horrible problem where Israel — Oct. 7, where Israel was so horribly attacked,” the former president told a crowd in Rock Hill, S.C., on Feb. 23, before switching to more practiced attack lines against Mr. Biden.

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