Netanyahu—a charismatic native English speaker who is revered on the American right for his fervent opposition to Barack Obama and his nuclear deal with Iran—is all too willing to be a political asset for Trump. And making the Republican Party the champion of Israel, particularly given the divisions among the Democrats, is smart politics. Then there’s the personal factor. Trump doubtless identifies with Netanyahu’s legal predicament, and vice versa; both have used identical language to combat their adversaries: witch hunt, leftist plot and so on.
Between now and April 9, we’re likely to see the Washington chapter of the Reelect Bibi campaign ramp up. Netanyahu will be here for the March meeting of AIPAC, the chief pro-Israel lobbying group, only two weeks before the Israeli elections. A White House meeting is virtually guaranteed.
Can Trump save Netanyahu from his domestic travails? There’s no way to know. But one thing is certain: Another U.S. president is about to try his hand at playing favorites in Israeli politics.