Netanyahu and his wife Sara depart for the US
Netanyahu and his wife Sara depart for the USAvi Ohayon/GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu departed early Monday morning for the United States, where he will address the UN General Assembly in New York this weekend and before that meet with US President Joe Biden.

At the start of his trip, Netanyahu will visit California and meet with the owner of X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk.

Before departing, the Prime Minister blasted the opponents of the judicial reform who plan to demonstrate against him in the US, saying, "Nothing surprises me. The organizers of this protest are equipped with a lot of money.These are sponsored and organized demonstrations that cross all boundaries. They led to the fact that blocking roads became a normal thing, that violent harassment of public figures is an apparently normal thing, that refusal to serve is a normal thing.Therefore, when they go and slander Israel before the other nations, it also seems normal to them.It's not normal to me, when I was the head of the opposition, I never did such a thing."

Netanyahu also said, "This is the 12th time, I believe, that I am going to appear at the United Nations as Prime Minister, there have always been demonstrations in favor of Israel and against Israel. But this time we are seeing demonstrations against Israel by [Israeli] people joining up with the PLO, Iran and others. Nothing is surprising anymore, but that will not prevent me from representing Israel proudly and in the best way I can for all its citizens."

On his trip to the US, Netanyahu said, "I am now leaving for the UN General Assembly where I will represent Israel before the nations of the world. I will also meet with many world leaders, especially President Biden, with whom I will discuss – first and foremost, but among other topics – Iran and expanding the circle of peace."

“I will also meet with the German Chancellor, the President of Ukraine, the President of Türkiye, and many additional leaders from Asia, Europe and Africa. I must say that it is moving to see the many requests for meetings. Unfortunately, I cannot meet with all the leaders who made requests but I hope to meet with most of them,” added Netanyahu.

“Today, the world is seeing – and I will certainly emphasize this – that Iran is violating all of its commitments, that it brazenly lies, and that it intends both to develop nuclear weapons and continue its aggression in the region. We will confront both of these together. I heard the threats from an official of the Iranian regime today; I suggest that he not threaten us. He and this regime need to know that we will respond forcefully to any attack on our people and our citizens.”

On his upcoming meeting with Musk, Netanyahu said, “I will start this visit in California where I intend to meet the current leader of the most dramatic development in the new age and perhaps in general, Elon Musk. I will discuss artificial intelligence with him and I will also work toward encouraging him to invest in Israel in the coming years. He is, to a large degree, paving the way that will change the face of humanity and also the face of the State of Israel. Israel needs to be a leader in artificial intelligence. Just as we turned it into a leader in cyber, so we will do in this field as well.”

The "Kaplan Force", which is leading the protests against the government, responded to Netanyahu and said, "Netanyahu connects Israel to Poland, Hungary, Turkey, and Iran - dark dictatorial regimes. Netanyahu has destroyed Israel's image in the world, and the only thing that is still saving it are the demonstrators who preserve Israel's democratic values."

National Unity chairman MK Benny Gantz condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements: "Netanyahu's attack, while accusing protesters in the US of joining our enemies, is severe and deserves to be condemned. Even if you don't agree with the way they are acting, they are patriots, they love the country. Even a thousand fiery speeches at the UN can't fix the damage that Netanyahu is causing to Israeli society through his conduct. The time has come to stop the judicial coup and to make order in the government instead of blaming the protesters."