Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to return soon as Israel’s prime minister, condemned former President Trump’s recent dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes in an interview with the Common Sense Substack newsletter.
Netanyahu praised Trump’s contributions to Israel in the interview with Bari Weiss, a former New York Times columnist, but he called last week’s dinner at Mar-a-Lago, which also included Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, “wrong and misplaced.”
“I condemned Kanye West’s antisemitic statements,” Netanyahu said. “Straight away, I thought that was just wrong and misplaced. And I think that that’s what I would say about President Trump’s decision to dine with this person — I think is wrong and misplaced. I think it’s a mistake. He shouldn’t do that.”
Trump has acknowledged the dinner but claims he didn’t know Fuentes, who has been labeled a white supremacist by the Justice Department and has consistently promoted antisemitism.
“I had never heard of the man — I had no idea what his views were, and they weren’t expressed at the table in our very quick dinner, or it wouldn’t have been accepted,” Trump told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.
Ye has also caused a firestorm after making a series of antisemitic comments this fall, leading multiple prominent brands to end their partnerships with the rapper.
Trump’s dinner, which came days after he formally entered the 2024 presidential race, was met with criticism from many Republicans, including other rumored presidential contenders.
In the Fox News interview, Trump defended himself, saying “there’s nobody that has proven to be more of a friend of Israel than Donald Trump.”
Despite his condemnation, that sentiment was shared by Netanyahu, who praised the Trump administration’s moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and its decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
“He has been a tremendous supporter of Israel, and I’m unabashedly appreciative of what he did for Israel,” Netanyahu told Weiss of Trump.
Netanyahu is poised to return as prime minister for the third time in a governing coalition with far-right groups after his conservative bloc won a majority in elections held earlier this month.
When asked in the new interview to describe Trump in one word, Netanyahu chose “irreverent.”