Trump cancels Israel visit in wake of controversy over his call to ban Muslim entry

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Donald Trump canceled plans to visit Israel this month, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the presidential candidate’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

“I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with ‪@Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the U.S.,” the front-runner in polls of Republicans considering who should get their party’s presidential nod said early Thursday morning on Twitter.

Trump did not say what prompted the reversal of a recent pledge to visit Israel by the end of this year, but on Wednesday, Netanyahu blasted Trump for his remarks about Muslims, while saying he would nonetheless extend the real estate billionaire and reality TV star the courtesy of meeting him.

Saying he “rejected” Trump’s remarks, Netanyahu in his statement described militant Islam as a threat faced by people of all faiths.


“The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens,” he said. “At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.”

Trump earlier this week called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Republican and Democratic politicians are among the many who have condemned his remarks, including numerous Jewish leaders.

The Israeli daily Haaretz quoted unnamed officials from the Prime Minister’s Office as saying that they were not involved in any way in the cancellation of Trump’s visit.

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