Trump cancels Israel trip after Netanyahu 'defends' Muslims

Trump cancels Israel trip after Netanyahu 'defends' Muslims
4 min read
10 Dec, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has attacked Donald Trump's latest anti-Muslim outburst. The presidential hopeful subsequently cancelled his planned December trip to Israel.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been attacked for anti-Muslim comments [AFP]

Donald Trump has cancelled a trip to Israel after receiving a diplomatic lashing from right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over recent Islamophobic comments.

Trump is currently frontrunner in the race to represent the Republican Party in next year's presidential election.

However, the Apprentice star has been in the firing line from both left and right-wing opponents for highly divisive comments about disabled people, gay people and women.

On Monday, Trump outdid himself, warning that if he were to become president he would ban Muslims from entering the United States until its internal security was "sorted out".

But as events turned stranger yet, coming to the defence of Muslims everywhere was a man viewed by many Muslims as a war criminal.

Netanyahu is largely reviled in the Arab world for repressive measures Israel has put in place against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as his diversionary language.

As leader, Netanyahu ordered lsrael's devastating assault on Gaza in 2014, which killed 2,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

But on Wednesday, Bibi had enough of Trump's Muslim bashing and leapt to the defence.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump's recent remarks about Muslims" read a Tweet posted by the PM's office on Wednesday.

Trump fired back the following day saying that a trip he had planned to Israel on 28 December had been cancelled.

In a final swipe, he said that his meeting with Netanyahu would be rescheduled "at a later date, after I become President of the U.S".

Netenyahu's office followed the first with a series of Tweets saying that "Israel respects all religions" but was "...fighting militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians, Jews alike and threatens the entire world".

It also said "[its] policy does not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views" and "it is an expression of the importance that PM Netanyahu attributes to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States".

However, critics of Bibi were not afraid to point out the irony of the situation.

Netanyahu is no stranger himself to social media controversy.

In 2014, his office was slammed for tweeting an image from an Islamic State group video showing the beheading of journalist James Foley.

The tweet also included text saying "ISIS is Hamas, Hamas is ISIS", but was deleted a few hours later.

Trump has also used to social media to target other Republican presidential challengers.

Trump tweeted a picture of Jeb Bush next to a swastika and in another tweet showd the candidate's face superimposed on stereotypical Mexican dress and "wearing" a sombrero.

Many believe this was a racist swipe at the Mexican heritage of Bush's wife. Mexicans have been a frequent target of Trump's diatribes, with the magnate saying the country's finest citizens stayed in Mexico, instead bringing "drugs, crime and rapists" to the United States.

The property tycoon was also ridiculed in the UK for saying parts of London have been so "radicalised" that British police no longer feel safe patrolling the streets.

More than 400,000 British citizens have signed a petition within the past few days urging the UK government to ban Trump from entering Britain under "hate speech" laws.