Netanyahu: Trump must ‘condemn’ antisemitism after Kanye and Fuentes dinner

Likely future Israeli PM, who has repeatedly praised Trump, says dinner with rapper and white nationalist ‘unacceptable and wrong’

Donald Trump should be “condemning” antisemitism following his meeting with the rapper Ye and Nick Fuentes, Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

The former and likely future Israeli prime minister told NBC’s Meet the Press the former president’s recent dinner with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who has repeatedly made antisemitic remarks, and Fuentes, a white nationalist and Holocaust denier, was “not merely unacceptable, it’s just wrong”.

Netanyahu was prime minister of Israel during Trump’s time in power and is expected to return to power in the coming weeks.

He has repeatedly praised Trump for his support of Israel, which included controversially recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Speaking to NBC, Netanyahu also praised Trump for formally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move global and regional leaders said could destroy the peace process and strengthen extremists.

But he criticized Trump’s November dinner with Ye and Fuentes.

“On this matter, on Kanye West and that other unacceptable guest, I think it’s not merely unacceptable it’s just wrong. And I hope he sees his way to staying out of it and condemning it,” Netanyahu said.

Trump met with Ye and Fuentes on 22 November at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort where he now lives. The former president has said he did not know Fuentes was attending, but has not condemned either Ye or Fuentes’ antisemitic views and statements.

Asked if Trump’s apparent embrace of antisemitism would “wipe away anything good he did for Israel”, Netanyahu said: “If it’s systemic and continues, and I doubt that it will because I think he probably understands that it crosses a line.”

Netanyahu won a majority in November, aided by ultra-Orthodox parties and an alliance with the far right. He is in the process of forming a government. He was previously prime minister from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2021.

Trump and Netanyahu were close allies but the relationship – at least from Trump’s side – has soured since he left the White House.

In 2021, Trump reportedly told a reporter that Netanyahu “made a terrible mistake” in congratulating Joe Biden on his election win.

“I haven’t spoken to him since,” Trump said of Netanyahu, according to Axios. “Fuck him.”

Last week Netanyahu said in an interview with journalist Bari Weiss: I condemned Kanye West’s antisemitic statements. President Trump’s decision to dine with this person I think is wrong and misplaced. He shouldn’t do that. I think he made a mistake. I hope it’s not repeated.”


Adam Gabbatt in New York

The GuardianTramp

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