Netanyahu defends meeting with Trump

While PM 'rejects' US presidential candidate's remarks about Muslims, he will meet with Trump to stress importance of US-Israel alliance.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The Prime Minister's Office defended on Wednesday Binyamin Netanyahu's upcoming meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

Trump sparked controversy this week after calling to bar Muslims from entering the United States, prompting nearly 40 Knesset members to write Netanyahu demanding he cancel the meeting. 

In its statement, the Prime Minister's Office noted that Netanyahu "rejects Donald Trump's recent remarks about Muslims," but said the meeting would continue as scheduled.

"The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens," it said. "At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world."

Netanyahu's office reiterated that the meeting with Trump was scheduled two weeks ago - before the incendiary comments were made. 

It added that the "Prime Minister decided earlier this year on a uniform policy to agree to meet with all presidential candidates from either party who visit Israel and ask for a meeting."

"This policy does not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views. Rather, it is an expression of the importance that Prime Minister Netanyahu attributes to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States."