Jan 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Israel's Netanyahu condemns the attack on Congress

President Trump and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walk at the White House.

President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) at the White House, Sept. 15, 2020. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack on Congress, which came as it was certifying the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden, and stressed that American democracy will prevail.

Why it matters: Netanyahu, who has been President Trump’s most loyal ally among world leaders, delivered the statement at the top of his meeting in Jerusalem with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The prime minister neither criticized Trump nor referred to him directly.

Between the lines: Netanyahu usually responds quickly to world events but waited for more than 12 hours before commenting on events at the U.S. Capitol.

  • He also waited hours to congratulate Biden after U.S. television networks had called the election.
  • Israel defense minister Benny Gantz condemned the attack on the Capitol shortly after it took place and foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi condemned it within a few hours.

What they are saying: Netanyahu said that he was always inspired by American democracy and stressed that violence is the opposite of American and Israeli values.

  • “The rampage of the Capitol building in Washington was a disgraceful act, and it must be condemned. I have no doubt that the American democracy will prevail”, Netanyahu said.
  • Mnuchin also condemned the attack on the Capitol as “unacceptable,” adding: “Now is the time to respect the democratic process”.
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