- Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes Donald Trump will condemn anti-Semitism after his dinner with Ye and Nick Fuentes.
- In an NBC interview, Netanyahu avoided blanket criticism of the former president and praised his policies towards Israel.
- Netanyahu, a longtime Trump ally, won re-election last month and is set to regain power as prime minister.
Israeli Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes former President Donald Trump, his longtime ally, will condemn anti-Semitism following Trump’s controversial dinner with outspoken white supremacists.
Trump faced backlash from his own party after his Mar-a-Lago dinner with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who has made anti-Semitic threats, and white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
Speaking on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC News, host Chuck Todd asked Netanyahu, who will return to power after winning the election last month, about his “unique relationship” with the former president.
“He’s been flirting constantly with some really marginal characters who are spreading this anti-Semitic behavior, who are preaching white supremacy and white nationalism, things like that. And he doesn’t denounce it. He has yet to denounce Kanye West at all. He’s about to quit dating a white supremacist a few days ago,” Todd said. “Why do you think he’s having this trouble?”
“In that matter, Kanye West and that other unacceptable guest, I think it’s not just unacceptable, it’s just plain wrong. And I hope he sees his way to step out and condemn it,” Netanyahu said after listing the “great things he believes Trump has done for Israel during his tenure, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 4, 2022
Todd questioned whether Trump’s “behaviour sparks death threats against Jews” by inspiring anti-Semitism, citing the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people.
“You want to commend him for what he has done for you. It’s an ‘end justifies the means’ argument,” Todd said, asking if Trump’s rhetoric “wipes away all the good he’s done for Israel”?
“If it’s systemic and it’s going to continue, and I doubt it will be because I think he probably understands it’s crossing a line,” Netanyahu said.
Todd said Netanyahu was “more critical of some Democrats in Congress who are critical of the Israeli government than you are of a Donald Trump exalting people who praise Hitler.”
“Does it get to that kind of transactional nature when it’s like, ‘But they’re helping Israel. And if they help Israel, does that have to come first?’” Todd asked.
“Sorry Chuck, I just smashed that argument on this very program and on previous programs when I spoke out very strongly against this meeting with those anti-Semitic swearwords, which in the case of at least one of the participants is such a thing seemed, how shall I put it, probably more related to personalities than views,” Netanyahu said. “But they’re bad enough either way. You don’t excuse them. Whoever says that, for whatever reason, is wrong. You’re praising Not Hitler.”