Netanyahu’s Blue and White Challengers Signed Letter Charging Trump with ‘Disgraceful Racism’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks with Finance Minister Yair Lapid during a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on October 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL /DAN BALILTY (Photo credit should read DAN BALILTY/AFP via Getty Images)
DAN BALILTY/AFP via Getty

TEL AVIV – Members of the Knesset for the ruling Likud party’s main challenger, Blue and White, signed a letter in 2015 aimed at pressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a meeting with then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The letter in question, a copy of which was rehashed on Twitter by Netanyahu’s son, Yair, demanded the Israeli prime minister cancel a December 2015 meeting with Trump over the latter’s “disgraceful racism” with his so-called “Muslim travel ban” campaign promise.

“Trump this week declared that all Muslims must be banned from entering the U.S.,” the letter stated.

“In light of such a shameful, racist declaration, which received harsh condemnation in the U.S. and around the world, it is unthinkable to consider that the meeting go ahead as planned.”

“We call on the prime minister to publicly condemn the statement and cancel the meeting with Trump until there is a retraction,” the letter concluded.

At the time, 37 MKs signed the letter, the majority of whom were in the opposition.

One of the signatories was Israel’s former health minister, Yael German, today a Blue and White MK.

Six Yesh Atid MKs signed the letter against Trump, including Aliza Lavie, Mickey Levy, Yael German, Karin Elharar, Haim Yellin, and Yaacov Peri. Peri stepped down from the Knesset amid allegations of misconduct, Yellin resigned from political life after not making it into the 21st Knesset under his new party Labor, and Lavie also left politics.

The other three, Elharar, Levy and German, are still lawmakers in the Blue and White party.

In a tweet, Yair Netanyahu blasted MK Yair Lapid, then-head of Yesh Atid, which since merged with Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience party to become the Blue and White party.

He called Lapid’s party “a total dictatorship” and noted that unlike Likud, there were no party primaries.

“Yair Lapid and ‘Yesh Atid’ are the main backbone of ‘Blue and White’ party today,” Netanyahu wrote.

“Benny Gantz is simply the puppet of Lapid, which [sic] make all the decisions for him,” he continued.

He then went on to note that German was “handpicked and reselected by Lapid” after the signing of the letter to become a top official in his party.

 

Of the other 31 signatories, ten were from the Arab majority Joint List party, including Ahmad Tibi who called Trump a “racist, neo-Nazi” who should be barred from entering the Knesset.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office at the time released a statement defending the decision to meet with Trump, saying the sit-down had been planned two weeks before the presidential hopeful made his Muslim ban remarks, and that “the prime minister was willing to meet with any candidate from any party who asks.”

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