Thanks to Donald Trump, we may now have the first agreement between Israel and Hamas since their short-lived August 2014 ceasefire.
Late Wednesday evening, after it was announced that Trump would visit Israel before the end of 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement distancing himself from the firebrand Republican’s plan for “complete and total shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” the statement said. Muslims constitute roughly 20 percent of Israel’s population.
“The state of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens,” Netanyahu continued. “At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.”
Bibi went out of his way to clarify that the upcoming visit was allowed under a “uniform policy” of hosting presidential candidates from either party, upon their request.
That same evening, right-wing news site Breitbart.com spoke to Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan, who similarly condemned Trump: “We do not estimate that the current U.S. administration, any administration, will implement these racist suggestions. This is a pathetic attempt to attribute terror exclusively to Muslims.”
The statement—from a group designated by the U.S. State Department as “terrorist”—prompted conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh to mock Trump’s critics: “That puts the Republican Party, the Democrat Party, and everybody else in the establishment and Obama on the same side Hamas is on.”
He apparently did not realize Netanyahu is also in that camp.