Beto O'Rourke calling Israel PM Netanyahu racist a mistake: Joe Lieberman

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke on Sunday called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “racist,” but Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat from Connecticut who became an independent, said although Netanyahu is “opinionated” and “controversial,” he’s not intolerant.

“This is an ally in the midst of an election,” he told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster during an appearance on “Varney & Co.” on Monday. “What I would say, and I know Prime Minister Netanyahu a long time, I agree with him a lot of the time, I sometimes disagree — he’s not a racist.”

In Lieberman’s opinion, O’Rourke may also be judging Netanyahu unfairly because of his association with an anti-Arab party.

“I think I understand what Mr. O’Rourke was talking about, which is that one of the groups that is a likely coalition within the Israeli political community, with the prime minister in this election, has some people in it that I don’t agree that have taken… a very… anti-Arab position.”


Nonetheless, Lieberman said the comments were “not fair.”

When Webster asked whether Netanyahu would “survive” the election, Lieberman replied: “It’s neck and neck,” but the odds are that he stays on.