Donald Trump issued a statement Wednesday expressing his condolences for the death of Israel’s former president Shimon Peres. “He was a consummate statesman, a distinguished patriot and a friend of peace-loving people everywhere,” Trump said.
But he wasn’t a friend of Trump’s.
In one of his last interviews, on Bloomberg TV, Peres made clear that he rejects Trump’s worldview.
“The idea of Mr. Trump, to isolate America,” Peres said, “Shall I say, in a nice way, it’s unbelievable, ignorant.” In the interview, conducted in Italy in where Peres participated in an international forum, the Israeli leader spoke out against the type of isolationist policy he saw in Trump’s suggestions. “America is leading the world, the world will not lead itself,” he said.
Peres was also not a big fan of Trump’s idea of building a wall along the border with Mexico. “Walls,” he said, “will not separate people. People are stronger than walls, they build them and destroy them and I hope America will decide to continue to lead the world by goodwill, by hope and by change.”
Nathan Guttman staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Contact Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @nathanguttman