Israeli Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back over the weekend on recent comments by rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West.
Earlier this month, West threatened fellow rapper Sean Combs, better known by his stage name “P. Diddy”, in text messages later shared via Instagram, writing: "Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me."
After West’s account was subsequently suspended, he took to Twitter, threatening to go "death con 3 on the Jews,” while denying his comments could be antisemitic "because black people are actually Jew."
"You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda."
During Friday night’s segment of Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher interviewed Netanyahu via satellite, asking the former premier to comment on antisemitic social media posts by prominent figures, beginning with West.
“Antisemitism is the longest hatred in history. It goes back thousands of years. We’ve dealt with bigger problems than these stupidities,” Netanyahu said in response to West’s tweets.
“The communists blamed the Jews for being capitalists. The capitalists blamed the Jews for being communists. You have a problem, blame the Jews. It is old stuff, it shouldn’t have a place in civilized discourse.”
“That is the reason we established the Jewish state, so that the Jewish people would have defense against these absurdities – and sometimes they’re coupled with violence. We won’t let that happen again.”
When asked to respond to tweets by anti-Israel lawmakers, including Ilhan Omar, Netanyahu said Israel’s critics “should wake up to reality.”
“But I think that is a far too great a hope. It is not going to happen. We just have to defend ourselves against these people because they purvey lies.”
“Ever heard of ‘fake-news’? This is fake old news. We’re not impressed by it.”