PM Netanyahu with Russian PM Vladimir Putin 311 GPO.
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)
Amid the worst violence Israel has faced since he came to power two years ago,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in Moscow on Thursday that it was not
clear whether Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas genuinely wanted to
end the conflict with Israel.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] speaks peace to the
world, but domestically there is incitement and education toward hate,”
Netanyahu said. “And who do they blame? The settlers. That is not the
problem; The first thing that needs to be discussed is the root of the problem:
that the Palestinians don’t recognize our existence alongside them.”
Despite attack, Netanyahu to meet with Putin,
prime minister said it was “nonsense” to think that the major problem in the
region was the construction of two homes on a street where 100 homes already
“The settlement issue needs to be discussed and decisions made,”
Netanyahu said. “But for that we need to sit and talk.”
comments came during his 24-hour visit to Moscow that included meetings with
President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov, and top Moscow-based Russian journalists.
Netanyahu said it was quite possible the person Israel wanted to make peace with
today, could disappear tomorrow.
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The prime minister also said it was not
clear with whom Israel was supposed to reach an agreement.
Palestinian population is divided into two,” he said, using a line first
introduced last week during an interview with CNN. “There are those who say
openly they want to destroy Israel, and those who don’t say that, but refuse to
stand up against those who do say it.”
Referring to the visit to Moscow
this week by Abbas, Netanyahu said he had no doubt that the Palestinian leader
“spoke here about peace. He did the same in Brazil, and also on Channel 1 on
Israel Television. But on Palestinian television, and in the Palestinian
textbooks, he is not prepared to say that.
“It is time to tell that man,
‘enough’,” he said.
Referring to Wednesday’s bomb attack in Jerusalem,
Netanyahu told the Russian journalists that they know what terrorism is, because
it has hit Russian theaters and airports.
“We are talking about the same
irrational Islamic radicalism,” he said.
He then told a story of the 4th
grade classmate of one of his sons who was killed a few years ago in a terrorist
attack in Jerusalem. On the same street where the family lived at the time –
Gaza Street – there were two attacks at around the same period, he
“I told my children, you are not leaving the house,” he said. “They
replied, ‘what, we are not going to live normal lives?’ And I said that the
reality was not normal.
“Then we built the security barrier to prevent
the terrorists from blowing themselves up in our cites, and the Palestinians
took us to the court in The Hague claiming we were carrying out war crimes. That
is the crazy hypocrisy of the world.”
During the meetings in Russia –
where some 30 million solders and civilians were killed in World War II –
Netanyahu also focused on Iran, drawing comparisons between Hitler and Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and arguing to the Russians that a nuclear Iran
could very well attack them as well.
Saying that it is difficult for the
world to understand the danger of a nuclear armed Iran, Netanyahu said it was
also difficult in the 1930s for the world to understand the dangers of
“That cursed government led to a disaster during which two-thirds
of the Jewish people were killed, and 30 million Russian speakers. The madness
is the same madness: for one it was race superiority, for the other religious
superiority,” he said.
Netanyahu then compared Iran’s supreme leader
Ayatollah Khamenei to Hitler, saying that while “Hitler first began conquering
the world and then started to develop nuclear arms, Khamenei is going the
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