Trump, Haley, Pompeo, DeSantis: How biblical is their view on Israel?

Like the heavens in their height, like the earth in its depth, Is the mind of kings—unfathomable. Proverbs 25:3




(the israel bible)

February 21, 2023

6 min read

It has been three months since Donald Trump announced his intention to run in the 2024 presidential election. There is still at least one full year before the Republican primaries will be held and only one other candidate, Trump’s former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, has announced her candidacy but several other Republicans are waiting in the wings.

As the Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and President of the Israel Allies Foundation, Josh Reinstein has a keen understanding of how US politics affect Israel. He is the author of the book, “Titus, Trump and the Triumph of Israel: The Power of Faith-Based Diplomacy” and understands that supporting Israel is a powerful platform that helps candidates get elected.

Israel365 News asked Reinstein to weigh in on how the Republican presidential race is shaping up.


“It’s too early to tell who’s going to be the front-runner and who’s going to win right now,” Reinstein said as a disclaimer. “There are only two declared candidates; Nikki Haley and Donald Trump. We don’t even know who’s really going to run it.”

Reinstein began by relating to Haley as a candidate.

“I think Nikki Haley is a great candidate when it comes to Israel though I’m not sure what her polling is within the Republican Party,” Reinstein said. “She has a great track record regarding Israel as the UN ambassador. We’ve never seen a more pro-Israel. Ambassador to the UN.”

Reinstein emphasized that her support for Israel preceded her term as ambassador.

“As governor of South Carolina, she signed the first anti-BDS [Boycott Divestment Sanctions] legislation into law, effectively canceling BDS which has been followed by 33 states, financial media, so a lot of people like her.”

Despite her relatively low profile compared to her former boss, Reinstein emphasized that she could not be ignored in a popular election.

“I think that she has more of a mass appeal, not just within the Republican Party, but also in the general population,” Reinstein said. “So it will be interesting to see how she polls and how she does within the Republican Party and, if she succeeds, in the general election.”

Haley was born to immigrant Sikh parents from Punjab, India. While her status as a woman of color and the daughter of immigrants has been emphasized by some politicians to boost their appeal, Reinstein does not believe this will help Haley.

“I don’t know how much identity politics really plays into the Republican Party’s politics,” Reinstein said. “So it probably won’t help her in the primaries. She has to get out of the Republican Party and win the nomination first.  It may help her then, especially since she has a lot of mass appeal in the general population. Her identity could be a big factor. We’re not sure. This hasn’t really been an issue in presidential elections for the Republicans until now.”


Though Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has not officially thrown his hat into the ring, many believe he is gearing up to start his campaign against Trump. Pompeo’s pro-Israel credentials were already strong but in an interview last week, he said that according to the Bible, Israel is  “the rightful homeland of the Jewish people”.

“What he’s doing is basically giving red meat to the Republican base, which is the Christian bible reader,” Reinstein explained. “No one can get elected to the House and Senate or the presidency if they don’t stand with Israel. This is the Republican base. And when these supporters think of Israel, they think of Shiloh, Hebron, Judea and Samaria. This is the Biblical heartland. So for Pompeo to come out and say that Israel has a biblical claim to Judea and Samaria, is really firing up the base before he even announces. It’s a very smart move politically, and also operationally.“ 

Reinstein emphasized that Pompeo has a track record of exceptional support for Israel.

“Mike Pompeo was in the congressional Israeli caucus for many years as a supporter of a united Jerusalem, and a big supporter of canceling the Iran deal when he was in the Trump administration. He’s arguably one of the most pro-Israel candidates out there.”

“And even last year, he went to the Psagot in Samaria, and made the same comments so this isn’t a new position or a passing fad for him. He’s fiercely pro-Israel and people know that about him. That’s why he is an exciting candidate for the Republican Party.”

Reinstein suggested that Pompeo was also a strong candidate for reasons unrelated to Israel.

“He’s also a Washington insider,” Reinstein said. “He ran the CIA and was a congressman. He was Secretary of State and so he comes with a lot of bona fide raises. He is a very viable candidate. He has a great track record when it comes to Israel which only adds to his appeal.”

“As the campaign picks up steam and if he gets traction, other candidates might follow suit and become even stronger supporters of Israel,” he added. 


Reinstein suggested that the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is seriously considering a run for the White House and would be a strong candidate. After his landslide gubernatorial victory last year, DeSantis was left with a sizable war chest of campaign funds that he can repurpose for a presidential run.

Reinstein said that DeSantis was also strongly pro-Israel.

“When he was in congress, DeSantis was a member of the Israel Caucus and made an undivided Jerusalem one of his major issues and was at the event to celebrate the Jerusalem embassy opening,” Reinstein said. “As governor, he brought the largest state legislative delegation to Israel as his first act and made Israel a central theme of his foreign policy as part of his political track record.”

“This is all part of why he’s very strong with evangelical Christians,” Reinstein said, emphasizing that his pro-Israel stance is only part of DeSantis’ appeal.

“He’s done a phenomenal job in Florida and people are moving there and in droves,” Reinstein said. “So he’s really the one to watch at this point. But again, it’s very early. We don’t know what’s going to happen in a year and a half when things start heating up. But right now he’s definitely the most prominent challenge to former President Trump for the nomination.”


Reinstein then addressed President Trump who is currently leading the very small crowd of Republican candidates who are formally running.

“He’s definitely the front runner and he’s got the appeal of his track record as president,” Reinstein said. “He has the support of the pro-Israel voters since he was the most pro-Israel president of all time.”

But Reinstein warned that despite having a multitude of die-hard “ever-Trumpers” supporting him, the former president has a long road before he can become the second president (after Grover Cleveland) to serve two non-consecutive terms as Commander in Chief.

“His campaign has crumbled in places,” Reinstein said. “He’s had a lot of hiccups like his lunch with Kanye West and Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes. Trump tried to play that off, but that definitely had a big effect on the Jewish support for him. It is still strong but it used to be much stronger.” 

“Trump can be unpredictable,” he added. “Sometimes that is part of his appeal but sometimes it hurts him. So even though he’s the frontrunner right now, it’s very hard to tell what will happen with Trump in a year and a half.”

Reinstein said that in one regard, Trump is predictable.

“When it comes to Israel, he is the only one who’s really been proven in the presidential role to be pro-Israel,” Reinstein said. “Even more than that, in all of the issues that are important to evangelical Christians, Trump is the only candidate who can say that he has stood firm. He actually appointed the justices that repealed Roe v. Wade.”

Reinstein emphasized that while the other potential Republican candidates can claim to be pro-Israel, Trump is the only candidate who has proven himself to be so while in the Oval Office.

“He was the person who moved the embassy to Jerusalem,” Reinstein said. “The Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed in 1995 and every President claimed they would move the embassy but they all chose to defer it every six months. Trump was the only one who promised to move the embassy and then actually did it. He also recognized our sovereignty in the Golan Heights. He defunded UNRWA and some of the UN organizations that were there fairly antisemitic. He passed the Taylor Force Act and stopped the funding of Palestinian terror. He shut down the Palestinians’ so-called embassy in Washington. He pulled the US out of the disastrous Iran deal., and the list goes on and on.” 

“No one has even come close when it comes to productivity than Donald Trump,” he added. “But a lot of people are skeptical of his candidacy. The reason so many people are talking about running is that they believe they actually have a shot at beating Donald Trump.”


“So it will be interesting to see how the primaries shape up,” Reinstein said. “But so far, all of the potential Republican candidates have impeccable pro-Israel records.”

Reinstein predicted that in the upcoming presidential election, faith-based politics will play a larger role than ever before. 

“What we’re seeing is the Christians getting involved in the political process like never before. They’re making clear and serious demands from their candidates, actually, when it comes to Israel politically. And that’s the strength of faith-based diplomacy. Faith-based diplomacy is the most effective weapon that Israel has in its diplomatic arsenal today.”

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