As administration officials say they’ll “re-evaluate” their strategy toward getting Israel to accept a two-state solution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes that doesn’t include “terms that would endanger the very survival of the State of Israel.”
“And I look forward to working with President Obama to see how he could advance our interest, our common interest in the most difficult circumstances in the world, in the most dangerous region in the world,” Netanyahu told Fox last night. “And what I said before, six years ago, about the conditions necessary for achieving peace is ten times more relevant today when the entire Middle East is being swept by these radical Islamic terrorist forces backed by Iran. We need to talk together and see how we can work together to advance security and peace.”
Obama reportedly broached both a Palestinian state and an Iran nuclear deal in his call with Netanyahu yesterday, two days after the Likud party’s victory.
The administration is claiming he reneged on his policy of accepting a two-state solution.
“I didn’t retract any of the things that I said in my speech six years ago calling for a solution in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes a Jewish state,” Netanayhu asserted. “I said that the conditions for that today are not achievable for simple reason, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinians, rejects consistently the acceptance of a Jewish State. He’s made a pact with the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas that calls for our destruction. And the conditions in the Middle East has changed to the point where any territory you withdraw from is immediately taken out by Iranian backed terrorists or by ISIS. It’s only a dozen miles away from us. Thousands of miles away from you.”
“So, the conditions are that we would vacate territory — instead of getting the two-state solution, we could end up with a no-state solution. That is a solution that would threaten the very survival in the state of Israel,” he added. “I said we have to change the terms. Because right now we have to get the Palestinians to go back to the negotiating table, break their pact with Hamas and accept the idea of a Jewish state. And I think that’s what the international community should be focused on.”
On P5+1 negotiations, Netanyahu warned that “right now succumbing to this deal would get Iran an easy path to the bomb.”
“Not by violating the deal, but by keeping the deal in a few years. That would endanger the entire Middle East. You’d have a nuclear arms race that would be sparked here by other countries. And I think you’d have a great danger for the United States and the world when the world’s foremost practitioner of terrorism has atomic weapons. It’s not a good deal,” he said.
The prime minister also pushed back on accusations that he was being racist by telling his supporters to go to the polls because “the Arabs are voting in droves.”
“I warned of foreign money coming in to selectively put out just try to bring out supporters of a list that includes Islamists and other factions that oppose the state of Israel. Supported actually, this list was support by Hamas. I’m very proud of the fact that Israel’s policy and my policy is to be the prime minister of all Israelis, Arabs and Jews alike,” Netanyahu said. “I’ve been funding billions into the Arab communities to upgrade their infrastructure and to better integrate them into the Israeli economy, technology, every walk of life. And the right of every citizen in Israel, Jew and non-Jew alike to vote is sacrosanct. I wasn’t trying to suppress a vote.”