The prime minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu, told an American television station Tuesday that while Israel is the most reliable ally of the United States, Palestinians danced in the streets and handed out candies to celebrate news of the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
Netanyahu appeared on the conservative Blaze TV channel in what was billed as his first ever interview and during which he lauded US President Donald Trump as having “rock star” popularity in Israel.
“When 9/11 happened, Israel was in mourning. It was like it happened to us, exactly the same. And the Palestinians were celebrating in the streets and handing out candies,” Netanyahu said. “Israel is the most reliable ally of the United States in the Middle East.”
“Unlike other countries in the Middle East, not only do we have the same interest as the US, the Israeli people adores America and is friendly with America,” the 27-year-old son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued.
“Trump is the best friend Israel and the Jewish people ever had in the White House,” Netanyahu said, and described the US president as “a real rock star in Israel.”
“Trump will be remembered in Jewish history forever for moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Heights [as under Israeli sovereignty],” added Netanyahu, who is an outspoken advocate of his father’s policies. “The Jewish people still remember king Cyrus the great from Persia recognized Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. So we have a long-term memory.”
Netanyahu went on to claim that Israeli intelligence has thwarted many terror attacks against US interests around the world and in the United States itself. He also highlighted Israel’s policies of religious and gay tolerance, as well as equal rights for women.
“Israel is the only safe haven for Christians in the Middle East,” he stressed. “Christians in the Middle East are being ethnically cleansed in most of the Middle East and Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians not only survive but also thrive.”
Netanyahu claimed that in 1994, 80% of Bethlehem was Christian, but after that control of the West Bank city was handed over to the Palestinian Authority, and now the Christian population is around 10% “because they have been persecuted out.”
Israel, he also said, is also the only safe place in the Middle East for homosexuals. “In all the countries surrounding us being gay is punishable by death and a woman is officially the possession of their husband or father.”
In the context of the Trump administration’s construction of a border wall with Mexico, Netanyahu was also asked about Israel’s border with Egypt, which was sealed with an upgraded security fence in 2011 to help prevent a wave of migration from Africa.
“Since the wall was completed, the illegal immigration has completely stopped,” Netanyahu said.
On September 11, 2001, as news spread around the world of the terror attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and elsewhere in the US, a Reuters news agency cameraman filmed a group of Palestinians in East Jerusalem celebrating the attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people. The footage was broadcast by CNN and other media outlets.
A false claim that the footage was actually filmed ten years earlier and showed Palestinians celebrating the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was widely circulated on the internet, but refuted by CNN and Reuters who were emphatic about its authenticity.
On September 12, 2001, Fox News reported that around 3,000 Palestinians had celebrated the 9/11 attacks by parading through the streets of the West Bank town of Nablus. The parade was filmed by an Associated Press freelance cameraman but never published as the Palestinian Authority detained the videographer and made threats against him which he understood to include threats to his life. The Associated Press complained to the PA about the treatment of the cameraman.
Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its unified capital while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Israel gained control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights — which it captured from Syria and later annexed — during the 1967 Six Day War. The international community sees all of the territories as under Israeli occupation.
Trump in 2017 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — without specifying whether that included the eastern part of the city — and moved the US embassy to the capital in 2018. In May 2019 he recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.