Netanyahu says American democracy has always inspired him: “No doubt that American democracy will prevail – it always has.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the storming of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. He was joined by other Israeli politicians who expressed shock at the incident.
“For generations American democracy has inspired millions around the world and in Israel. American democracy has always inspired me,” Netanyahu said at a press briefing with visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“Lawlessness and violence are the opposite of the values we know Americans and Israelis cherish. The rampage at the Capitol yesterday was a disgraceful act that must be vigorously condemned,” Netanyahu said.
“I have no doubt that American democracy will prevail – it always has,” Netanyahu said. He didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name during his comments. Netanyahu has previously tiptoed around comments regarding Trump, whom he considers a close ally.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, condemned the incident and said he was sure that the United States will continue on its democratic path.
“I was shocked to see last night’s attack on the US Congress, the stronghold of world democracy, and I strongly condemn it,” Ashkenazi tweeted. “Since its independence, America, our great and true friend, has been a beacon of democracy, and stood for the values of freedom, justice and independence”
“I am sure that the American people and their elected representatives will know how to fend off this attack and will continue to defend the values on which the United States was founded,” Ashkenazi said.
As the events unfolded Wednesday evening Israel time, all three of Israel’s main television news channels interrupted their programming to provide live coverage, prompting Defense Minister Benny Gantz to tweet that Israelis were pained by what they were watching.
“The pictures from Washington hurt the hearts of everyone who believes in democracy,” Gantz tweeted. “I did not believe I would see such pictures in the most powerful democracy in the world. This is proof that before political rivalry, we must agree on the rules of the game: Maintaining the rule of law, respecting democratic procedures and respectful discourse. I hope the horrific event comes to an end soon, and without any casualties.”
“The violent rioters in Washington seek to shatter the foundations on which every democracy is founded,” tweeted Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn. “All leaders of the democratic world must now stand in a unified voice against incitement and incitement and alongside the stability of the rule of law.”
Opposition leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party tweeted his hope that the situation would be quickly resolved and America resume its role as the world’s number one democracy.
“I’m deeply saddened and shocked by the images from the United States,” Lapid said. “My thoughts are with all my friends in Washington tonight. We hope to see order restored and the transition of power completed. America needs to go back to being a role model for democracies across the world.”
Knesset member Gideon Saar, who broke away from Likud last month to run against Netanyahu in Israel’s upcoming national election, expressed his relief that the situation had been resolved.
“It was sad to see pictures from Washington last night. Order has been restored and I am sure there will be an orderly transition of power in the United States, our greatest friend in the world,” Saar tweeted. “The events serve as an important reminder of the dangers of polarization and extremism in society. We must never take democracy and its institutions for granted.”
Knesset member Ahmad Tibi of the predominantly Arab Joint List tweeted that Trump and Netanyahu influenced each other.
“We should remember who Trump’s Siamese twin has been in the last four years. Netanyahu’s complete identification with Trump will return like a boomerang,” tweeted Tibi, who also posted an image of the Statue of Liberty covering her face and adding his cynical assessment that “the United States will invade the United States to establish democracy.”
Tamar Zandberg of the left-wing Meretz Party cautioned that the events in Washington could also happen in Jerusalem.
“The attempted coup in the United States is driven by the feeling that Trump has planted rioters as if his victory is a law of nature or a divine commandment that no democratic vote can change,” Zandberg tweeted. “Here in Israel, too, a large part of the right thinks that democracy works in only one direction. So I want to believe no, but you can not be sure it will not happen here too.”