A former adviser from the Trump administration to the U.S. representative in Israel has urged Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, to step down following her remarks related to the terrorist incidents in Israel.
On a Sunday morning social media update, Aryeh Lightstone, previously a key consultant to the then U.S. envoy to Israel, David Friedman, criticized Whitmer for her statement on the events following the attacks led by Iranian-supported Hamas against Israel.
Whitmer had posted, “I’ve connected with communities affected by the recent developments. It’s deeply disturbing. My thoughts are with all those affected. The region needs peace.” Notably, she didn’t specifically refer to Israel.
Reminding Whitmer of a past occasion, Lightstone commented, “You were my guest for Thanksgiving in Israel some time back. Your recent comments disappoint and embarrass me, considering I once welcomed you into my home.”
Expanding on his perspective while observing the turmoil in Israel, Lightstone expressed to Fox News Digital his astonishment at what he perceived as Whitmer’s insincere reply.
“A true leader differentiates right from wrong. Sadly, Whitmer has proven she’s more politician than leader,” he remarked.
He further criticized Whitmer by saying, “Having seen the atrocities with her own eyes, her inability to condemn them suggests she should step down.”
Recalling a past occasion, Lightstone mentioned he had hosted Whitmer and several Michigan citizens in Israel for a Thanksgiving dinner in 2019. On that visit, she had seen the ongoing disturbances in the country.
“She had firsthand experience of the situation, met locals, and yet her response seemed inadequate,” he said. “Despite our political differences, I had welcomed her, emphasizing the need for every American to feel at home on Thanksgiving.”
During this meeting, the two had discussed enhancing U.S.-Israel ties.
After receiving some backlash for her initial post, Whitmer later acknowledged Israel in another statement.
Describing the tragic visuals emerging from Israel on the Yom Kippur War’s anniversary, she condemned the violence and reaffirmed her support for Israel.
Lightstone, however, felt Whitmer’s subsequent statement was damage control, remarking, “She’s trying to salvage her image. But it’s clear which side she initially picked.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Whitmer’s office but received no immediate feedback.
In his discussion with Fox, Lightstone emphasized his role in fortifying the U.S.-Israel bond during his tenure alongside Friedman. He particularly highlighted the Abraham Accords, orchestrated during Trump’s era, which facilitated diplomatic ties between Israel and four Muslim-majority nations.
Pointing out Israel’s current challenges, Lightstone stated, “It’s imperative to portray the current scenario accurately. It’s a dark day for Israel.”
He stressed that Israel wouldn’t request U.S. military presence and emphasized the shared challenges faced by both nations.
Additionally, Lightstone dismissed claims of internal division in Israel, emphasizing the nation’s unity. He also insisted that the U.S. public holds a strong affinity for Israel.
Lastly, he emphasized the clear distinction in the ongoing situation in Israel, comparing its gravity to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.