The former Israeli prime minister said on Sunday that West has repeatedly made antisemitic remarks and that Mr Trump’s dinner with him and with Mr Fuentes, a Holocaust denier, was not “not merely unacceptable”, but “just wrong”.
In an interview with NBC’S Meet the Press, Mr Netanhayu, who is expected to come to power in the coming weeks, said: “On this matter, on Kanye West and that other unacceptable guest, I think it’s not merely unacceptable it’s just wrong. And I hope he sees his way to staying out of it and condemning it.”
The comments from Mr Netanyahu are especially significant because he had heaped praise on Mr Trump for supporting Israel when he was in office as the US president.
On 22 November, Mr Trump hosted white supremacist Nick Fuentes and West, who legally changed his name to Ye, at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
His association with these two figures, who have made antisemitic comments, drew ire from all quarters, including the Republicans and Democrats.
Mr Fuentes is also labelled as a misogynist and has over years spread racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories.
The former president, after the backlash, tried to distance himself from West and Fuentes and wrote on Truth Social: “This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about...The dinner was quick and uneventful.”
In another post, he wrote: “We got along great, he [Ye] expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson’. Why wouldn’t I agree to meet? Also, I didn’t know Nick Fuentes.”
According to Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump mistakenly invited a pair of neo-Nazis home to dinner. Who among us hasn't slipped up like that? https://t.co/fKIia3rR6i
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) December 2, 2022
There was backlash from several Jewish organisations.
“I am a child of survivors. I have become very frightened for my people,” Morton Klein, head of the right-wing Zionist Organisation of America was quoted as saying by the New York Times, referring to his parents’ survival of the Holocaust.
“Donald Trump is not an antisemite. He loves Israel. He loves Jews. But he mainstreams, he legitimizes Jew hatred and Jew haters. And this scares me.”
Mr Trump did not condemn his dinner guests’ antisemitic viewpoints.
When Mr Netanyahu was asked whether the former US president’s “embrace” of antisemitism would “wipe away anything good he did for Israel”, he said: “If it’s systemic and continues, and I doubt that it will because I think he probably understands that it crosses a line.”