update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Netanyahu: US, Israel protests don’t represent the majority

"They don’t reflect the majority of the people any more than the mobocracies in American campuses," the premier told "CNBC."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem, May 13, 2024. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem, May 13, 2024. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday dismissed the anti-government protests in Israel and the anti-Israel protests in America as failing to reflect the will of the people in their respective nations.

Speaking to CNBC news anchor Sara Eisen on the show “Squawk on the Street,” the premier said that the majority of Israelis support defeating Hamas and are against a hostage deal that would leave the terrorist group in power in Gaza.

“People don’t lie. I mean, you could go in the streets and you can see the vast support that is there. And you can, you won’t know it because, you know, everybody’s fixated on these, these protests, which are financed, organized and so on. But they don’t reflect the majority of the people any more than the mobocracies in American campuses.

“These these protesters, these mobs, do they reflect the majority of the American people?” Netanyahu asked Eisen.

Eisen responded in the negative.

“No, well it’s the same thing here, the majority of the people here support a victory. They want to see a victory. They want to see Hamas removed because they understand that their very future is on the line,” the prime minister said.

Asked about increasing antisemitism on U.S. college campuses and what he views as the greatest security threat to American Jews, Netanyahu called the pro-Hamas demonstrations “quite serious.”

He said that his American friends, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, have said that they have never seen anything like the current climate of anti-Israel vitriol.

He highlighted the reactions to the protests.

“I was so deeply moved the other day when I saw these protesters, if you want to call them that, were burning American flags and in, I think in [the] University of North Carolina, they took down the American flag, hoisted on the flagpole the Palestinian flag,” Netanyahu said.

“And then American students, other students came in. They took down the Palestinian flag, re-hoisted the American flag, and then stood around the flagpole to protect the American flag. And I was so deeply moved because these people really understand it’s our common battle.”

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