Israel’s Netanyahu rejects Trump comments on Muslims
10 December 2015, Nirapad News: Israel’s prime minister has rejected Donald Trump’s recent statements about Muslims, saying Israel “respects all religions.”
Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement late Wednesday, hours after it was announced that Trump will be visiting Israel at the end of the month.
Netanyahu says his meeting with Trump was scheduled two weeks ago. He says he meets all presidential candidates who visit the country, and the meeting does not represent an endorsement of Trump.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
Donald Trump will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Israel at the end of this month, an official said Wednesday amid growing condemnation of the American Republican presidential candidate’s remarks about Muslims.
The meeting was scheduled two weeks ago, said the official, before Trump caused an international uproar with incendiary comments about Muslims. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said the Trump-Netanyahu meeting is set for Dec. 28.
The official added that Netanyahu does not agree with every comment made by every candidate he meets, without elaborating.
Trump sparked widespread outrage this week after he proposed temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the United States in the wake of a mass shooting by a husband-and-wife pair of Islamic militants that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
Members of Israel’s opposition condemned the visit.
Israel Radio reported that Arab parliamentarian Issawi Frej of the dovish Meretz party has asked the interior minister not to let Trump in the country. “Imagine that a country or a candidate would say entrance to Jews is forbidden, the whole world would stand up in protest, saying this is a racist anti-Semite. A racist like this has no place here among us,” Frej told the station.
Israel’s Arab minority makes up about a fifth of Israel’s population. They enjoy full rights but complain of discrimination in areas like jobs and housing.