Add Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s name to the list of politicians denouncing Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s call to bar all Muslims from entering the U.S.
In a series of tweets Wednesday, the prime minister’s office said he “rejects” Trump’s remarks on Muslims, but will still meet with Trump when he visits Israel in two weeks. The office added that Israel “respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.”
“At the same time,” it added, “Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.”
Trump last week said he planned an end of the year trip to Israel to meet with Netanyahu. The prime minister said he adopted a policy earlier this year to meet with any presidential candidate from either party who visited Israel and wanted a meeting.
The policy, his office said, is instead “an expression of the importance that PM Netanyahu attributes to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.”
Trump in 2013 taped a campaign ad for Netanyahu:
President Barack Obama delivered what sounded like a rebuke to Trump as he marked the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
“We betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms,” Obama said during his address at the U.S. Capitol, adding that the current generation must “remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others – regardless of what they look like or where they come from or what their last name is or what faith they practice.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama has long endorsed those principles, but added, “I'm not going to wave you off consideration of the idea that that message stands in quite stark contrast to the rhetoric that we hear from a variety of Republican candidates for president.”
A university in Scotland didn’t mince words, revoking an honorary degree it had bestowed on the golf course builder: