A Teleconference With Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

by John Hawkins | January 12, 2009 12:58 pm

The fine folks over at One Jerusalem[1] set up a blogger teleconference with my favorite Israeli politician, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here are my notes, not quotes, from the teleconference.

Opening Statement

Hamas and their backers in Iran want to destroy Israel and will use any method to do it. This is the front line in the battle between radical Islam and the West. It matters a great deal whether Iran has a victory or defeat in one of its forward outposts on the Mediterranean.

Also, is the world going to give credence to terrorists hiding amongst civilians and using them as shields? Are they going to legitimize that tactic with Hamas?

We also must ask, is this a just war or an unjust war? An unjust war is one is that has an unjust goal and uses unjust means. The Nazis did that during WW2 and Hamas is doing it now. Hamas is attacking civilians and hiding behind civilians. Israel is defending itself and is targeting the terrorists, not Palestinian civilians. This is justice vs. injustice. Everybody has to choose what side of the fight they are on. There is no middle ground.

The Q&A Session

What result would you like to see from this fighting? (From One Jerusalem)

Israel cannot tolerate an Iranian forward position a few miles from Tel Aviv, raining down rockets on our streets. We want to stop the firing and want to prevent the resupply of rockets. We have to stop the smuggling between Israel and Egypt.

What can Jews and Non-Jews do to help Israel at this time? (From One Jerusalem)

Tell the truth. We don’t target civilians. We do allow humanitarian aid in. We do allow Palestinian wounded to use our hospitals.

For 8 years they have been firing these rockets. What would the U.S. do if rockets were fired at San Diego from Mexico for 8 years? We don’t deliberately target civilians. The people who target civilians are the war criminals.

Has the idea of a two state solution finally died?

It’s certainly problematic since any new land is being taken over by Hamas. The radical elements need to be rolled back. The idea that you can have a political resolution isn’t realistic right now. We need to re-establish security and strengthen economic development in the Palestinian areas.

Do you think America’s policy will change when Obama gets in?

I don’t know. I know he has said he would do everything in his power to prevent rocketing.

Was giving Gaza a mistake? (From Me)

I think the unilateral withdrawal was a big mistake. The 2nd mistake was the abandonment of the Philadelphi corridor. The ceasefire also allowed the terrorists to rearm. However, we want to focus on the future instead of looking back at the past. We need to make sure there are no more rockets fired.

You voted in favor of the disengagement. What can we do to undo the effects?

I didn’t vote in favor of it. When the decision did go through, I resigned in protest. We shouldn’t repeat that mistake with the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, or anywhere else.

How committed do you think the current government should be to the return of Gilad Shalit for a ceasefire?

I don’t speak in a political context about prisoners. I have had to deal with that situation as a Prime Minister and don’t think it should enter into political discussion. I want him back as quickly as possible and will leave it at that.

Do you believe democracies around the world think they need to do something about Iran?

The source of the problem in Gaza is a larger problem: militant Islam. The greatest danger we face is the joining of a militant Islamic regime with nuclear weapons. It could happen in Iran or Pakistan. It would be a terrible pivot of history. The world’s problems would grow by a thousand fold if these terrorists were to have nuclear weapons given to them or were even to have a nuclear umbrella protecting them. This is the biggest challenge facing Israel AND the new President in the United States.

  1. One Jerusalem: http://www.onejerusalem.com/

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A Teleconference With Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

by John Hawkins | February 8, 2007 2:10 pm

Earlier today, I was in on a teleconference with former Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu. Here my notes (not quotes) from the teleconference.

Opening Statement

It’s 1938, Iran is Germany, and it’s racing to get nuclear weapons. Iran could be the first non-deterrable nuclear power. They are an apocalyptic cult that may be willing to sacrifice millions of their own people to kill with nukes. They are gaining control of Hamas, trying to takeover Lebanon and Iraq, and if they get nukes, they may be able to gain control of oil in the region. They also want to destroy Israel — and they won’t stop there.

How do you stop Iran? The UN has tried some mild sanctions, but they’re not effective. Some say we shouldn’t go to a military option right away. Well, OK, then what else can be done. Go ahead. They’re vulnerable. They have high unemployment and they’re corrupt and they could be pressured that way to stop their program. The best way to do it would be to get large financial institutions in the West to divest from Iran. People need to divest from genocide. Hopefully conservatives and liberals can support this.

Q&A Session

Q: Tell us about the dig that Hamas is complaining about?

A: It’s over work done at the Temple Mount and Iran is behind the complaints. Iran is moving missiles to the Palestinian territories for the next fight.

Q: To what extent do you think Ahmadinejad’s apocolypic vision is shared by the mullahs and if a military response is required, what do you think Iran would do in retaliation to an attack?

A: Ahmadinejad represents a cult within a cult. So, he’s a little nuttier than the mullahs. But, neither side should be trusted with nuclear weapons.

What would they do? It depends on the action that is taken but nothing they can do measures up to the certain horror that will follow if Iran gets nuclear weapons.

Q: Do you support the Iranian opposition to overturn its government and what more can bloggers do?

A: Any sane person would like to see more responsible government in Iran. What can be done? Talk to the people. Tell them the truth about what their government is doing. The government is killing the opposition as well. Just as Germany was at terrible risk when Hitler took over, the Iranians will be at terrible risk if they acquire nukes.

Q: Ideologically, you were great, but you didn’t stick to your principles when you became PM. The Palestinians are our enemy and how do we know you will stick it to them?

A: Well, I was saddled with Oslo, which was a bad agreement and under severe international pressure, and I made the Palestinians give things up to get things. We only gave up 2% of our territory to the Palestinians. If we wouldn’t have, the other party would have got in and given away even more.

Q: What do you think about the upcoming talks between Olmert and Abbas?

A: As long as Hamas runs the show, there’s not much we can do with them. When we fled from Lebanon, we allowed it to become an Iranian enclave and it allows the missiles to move closer to us. We shouldn’t give any more territory away for that same reason.

Q: How do you form a wedge between Iran and the rest of the Muslim world?

A: There’s a huge wedge between Iran and the rest of the Iranian world. Other than Syria, they’re all begging Washington behind the scenes to do something about Iran’s nuclear program.

About a quarter of the Iranian people are behind the Mullahs, about a quarter are pro-Western, and half are in the middle and getting increasingly impatient with the regime. There could be a wedge driven between the Iranian people and the regime. If that happens, everything else will fall into place.

Solving the Palestinians’ problem isn’t going to solve the Iranian problem, it’s the other way around. You get Iran out of there and Hamas would collapse. If the extremists are not gotten rid of, there is no possibility of moderates coming into power.

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