Trump Set To Meet Netanyahu As Israel Visit Ignites Political Firestorm

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Donald Trump when the presidential candidate visits Israel at the end of the month, according to multiple reports.

Asked for confirmation of the meeting, David Baker, an aide to Netanyahu, told Breitbart Jerusalem, “We have nothing to offer you at this point.”

An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that a Trump-Netanyahu meeting was scheduled two weeks ago, before Trump’s proposal to shut down Muslim immigration to the U.S. until the vetting process is investigated.

The AP wire reported:

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.

Israel’s Army Radio quoted Israeli sources saying “every presidential candidate that wants to may meet briefly with the prime minister.”

“Netanyahu does not agree with every statement made by every candidate,” the sources were reported to have said.

The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday cited a source “closely connected to organizing the trip to Israel” as saying that Trump’s campaign is looking into the logistics of visiting the sensitive Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, Arab Knesset Member Issawi Frej of the far-left Meretz party reportedly sent a request to Interior Minister Silvan Shalom asking him to block Trump from entering Israel.

“As an Israeli citizen, I ask that the state treat the racism against me in the same way it would relate to racism against Jews. Just as it is obvious that Israel wouldn’t allow an anti-Semite to use it to advance his political goals, so too, should be the case of Trump,” Frej wrote, claiming banning Trump would be the “moral” thing to do.

“He is a man who incites against 20 percent of Israel’s population, a man who wants to fan the flames of hatred everywhere he visits,” wrote Frej.

Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi, an Arab anti-Zionist who opposes Israel’s status as a Jewish state, was quoted calling Trump a “neo-Nazi” who should not to be admitted to the Knesset.

Knesset Member Omer Bar-Lev of the opposition Zionist Union party took to Twitter to slam the Republican frontrunner as a “racist.”

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Energy and Infrastructure Minister and a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said he opposed Trump’s call for a shutdown of Muslim immigration to the U.S.

Steinitz told Army Radio:

“I recommend fighting terrorist and extremist Islam, but I would not declare a boycott of, ostracism against, or war on Muslims in general.

“We in the state of Israel have many Muslim citizens who are loyal. On the contrary, the extremists and the terrorists should be distinguished from the loyal citizens, and in the United States, too, there are loyal Muslim citizens.”

On the Palestinian front, terrorist organizations here did not take kindly to Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Yesterday, Breitbart Jerusalem spoke with Ismail Radwan, a Hamas leader and spokesman in Gaza, who stated: “We do not estimate that the current U.S. administration, any administration, will implement these racist suggestions. This is a pathetic attempt to attribute terror exclusively to Muslims.”

Radwan, whose group’s charter calls for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel, lectured Trump: “Islam is a religion of peace, a religion which opposes bloodshed.”

Radwan glossed over Hamas’ own long and sordid history of bloodshed in the name of Islam, including thousands of terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds of Israelis.  Hamas has been responsible for suicide bombings, shootings, and rocket attacks targeting Israeli neighborhoods.

Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a senior Salafi jihadist in the Gaza Strip, also sounded off to Breitbart Jerusalem on Trump’s remarks.

Supporters might argue that Trump’s shutdown could stop future terrorist attacks. Ansari, however, claimed that, because of leaders like Trump, “the American people are risking more terrorist attacks from our brothers, fighters of the Islamic State.”

“We Muslims have grown used to these types of statements, which prove that the U.S. under any president will continue to be hostile towards Muslims,” added Ansari.

The jihadist went on to claim that Trump’s sentiments exposed the “truth” about American leaders. “They claim to stand for human rights, while in actuality they carry out the same policy as that of the infidel crusading West, which oppresses the Muslims.”

“Trump should know that a new generation of Muslims has risen, a generation that is capable of handling people like him and countries like the U.S.,” Ansari added.