Benjamin Netanyahu on CBS 60 Minutes.
(photo credit: screenshot)
President-elect Donald Trump supports the Jewish people and the state of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS’s Lesley Stahl, in an interview to be broadcast in the United States on Sunday night on 60 Minutes.
“I know Donald Trump. I know him very well,” Netanyahu said in a short excerpt from the interview CBS published over the weekend.
“His attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people and about Jewish people. There is no question about that,” he said.
Netanyahu spoke as Jewish leaders in the United States, and the Anti-Defamation League, have said hate crimes and antisemitism have increased since Trump’s election.
The interview also touched on the contentious relationship between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.Netanyahu told Stahl the differences of opinion with Obama were not personal.
“We [Israel] had differences of opinion with President Obama, I had differences of option with President Obama – the most well known, of course, is Iran,” Netanyahu said.
“Suppose we had the greatest of personal chemistry. You think I wouldn’t stand up against the Iran deal if I thought, as I did, that it endangers the existence of Israel? Of course, I would,” Netanyahu said.
Prior to the election, Trump spoke of tearing up and/or changing the terms of the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear powers that was worked out in July 2015 between Tehran and the US, Russia, China, France, Great Britain and Germany.
Last week, Netanyahu spoke about Trump and the Iran deal in a video conversation from Jerusalem with the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
“As far as President-elect Trump, I look forward to speaking with him about what to do about this bad deal. Now, I oppose the deal because it doesn’t prevent Iran from getting nukes, it paves the way for Iran to get nuclear weapons. And the problem isn’t so much that Iran will break the deal, but that Iran will keep it, because it just can walk in within a decade – and even less and certainly within 12 years – can just walk in to industrial scale enrichment of uranium to make the core for an arsenal of nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.