The fact that the treaty has been discussed is only surprising in the sense that the two countries already have a close military partnership. It appears, then, that Trump's statement might be linked to Israel's election which is set next week.
And here it is. Trump's traditional pre-Israeli election Netanyahu boost. True, it's no more than a vague promise for a vague treaty, not in the scale of the Golan Heights or the Jerusalem embassy announcements, but still something Bibi can use as he heads to Tuesday's elections https://t.co/fFBDTKSJzm
Is this Pres. Trump’s pre-election “helping hand” to his ally Benjamin Netanyahu? If so, it’s a curious gift. Hard to see how a “Mutual Defence Treaty” could make the US & Israel any closer in military terms. But Bibi will use this regardless. https://t.co/fUuHGAVOMN
Axios reports that Trump's announcement was "exactly the kind of support" Netanyahu has long been seeking from Trump as he looks to hold on to his post. In response, Netanyahu thanked the president, saying Israel has "never had a greater friend in the White House." Tim O'Donnell