Carson Turns to ex-Netanyahu Adviser to Bolster Foreign Policy Credentials

George Birnbaum served as chief-of-staff to Netanyahu during his first term as prime minister in the 1990s.

George Birnbaum
Daniel Tchetchik

Ben Carson has added a former chief-of-staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to his campaign staff, the U.S. Republican presidential candidate announced on his website on Tuesday.

Carson's Republican rivals have questioned his foreign policy and national security credentials. Carson announced the appointment of political strategist George Birnbaum, who served under Netanyahu for 18 months during the prime minister's first term in the late 1990s, as a foreign policy adviser.

"He will work with Dr. Carson to present bold strategies to bolster America’s presence in the world and confront the challenges facing the country in 2016 and beyond," according to the website.

“Having worked with several Israeli prime ministers, I have seen firsthand how important the U.S.-Israel relationship is," the website quoted Birnbaum as saying. "Dr. Carson has a deep understanding of the challenges facing this country and a clear vision for her future. Dr. Carson will be an excellent leader for America, her allies and all those who cherish freedom.”

“Whether defeating ISIS and other global terrorists or confronting Russian antagonism in Europe and the Middle East, I am committed to creating a stronger, more engaged United States, as well as rebuilding our vital and honored relationship with Israel," commented Carson on the website. "Mr. Birnbaum’s expertise will be invaluable in our push to restore America’s strength and prominence globally.”