Netanyahu: Palestinian State Will Not be Established on My Watch
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that he is opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, and that Israel is facing a number of international initiatives calling to, “return Israel to the ’67 lines and to divide Jerusalem.”
In an interview that was conducted shortly before polls were opened for Israel’s general election on Tuesday , Netanyahu claimed that his decision to call for elections was forced upon him by former coalition partners Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, and he said that if he is elected, he will appoint Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon as Finance Minister in order to move towards lowering housing prices.
In the exclusive interview with NRG, Netanyahu was asked about his comment that his famous Bar Ilan speech accepting the two-state solution was no longer relevant. He responded that “anyone who is moving to establish a Palestinian State today, or to evacuate territory, will be giving territory to extreme Islam and against the State of Israel,” adding that “this is the reality that has been going on here in the last few years, and whoever denies this is burying his head in the sand.”
Netanyahu noted that unlike the Israeli left, his Likud party is “realistic and understands this,” and said that if he is re-elected as Prime Minister, it is “certain” that a Palestinian State will not be established.
He added that building in Jerusalem would continue, but that is not the issue. According to Netanyahu, “there is a real threat that a left-wing government will agree with the international community and do as they ask. When they were elected in ’99, Barak who now supports Buji [Herzog, the leader the opposition] came and went hand in hand with outside organizations, and was ready to give up on everything.”
Only “divine providence hardened Arafat’s heart, and made him want more than what was given to him,” said Netanyahu, alluding to the Biblical Passover story. “Let us not return to his error.”
Netanyahu said that when the elections end, international pressure is expected to be mounted on Israel to return to the ’67 lines and to divide Jerusalem, “and these are facts. This is going to happen.” In order to prevent the success of this pressure, he said Israel “must put together a strong, nationalist government under the leadership of the Likud in order to withstand these pressures.”