PM likens Iran to Nazis, with some differences

Netanyahu tells Dutch TV that PA missing ‘tremendous’ opportunity by not negotiating with him.

January 19, 2012 18:03
2 minute read.
Binyamin, Sara Netanyahu arrive in Amsterdam

Binyamin, Sara Netanyahu arrive in Amsterdam_311. (photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershon/GPO)


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The Nazis first tried to dominate the world, and then to develop nuclear weapons, while the Iranians are trying to do things in reverse order, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an interview on Dutch television.

In the interview, which aired Thursday night at the end of the prime minister’s two-day trip to the Netherlands, Netanyahu alluded to the savage German occupation of the Netherlands and said people there “remember what it was like to have a very extreme ideology that armed itself massively, and what it did to the peace of the world and to your own country.”

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Iran is different from “that other movement” in a number of ways, Netanyahu said in reference to the Nazis. One difference is that while Iran’s leaders have “a zealotry and crazy ideology, they have decided to try to first achieve nuclear weapons and then pursue the ideology, and not the other way around.”

Ahead of Monday’s meeting in Brussels of EU foreign ministers attempting to decide on whether the EU should embargo Iranian oil and impose sanctions against the Iranian central bank’s assets, Netanyahu said he believed that “economic pressures, coupled with a clear indication that there would be a military action if these economic pressures failed, could stop” the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons.

He declined to comment about the assassination on January 11 of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Tehran.

“Anytime something happens in Iran, Israel is accused, but that doesn’t make it true,” he said.

Pressed further on the subject, the prime minister said Israel doesn’t “respond to these kinds of things ever, including in the many cases in which we are not involved. We just don’t talk about it.”


Regarding the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, Netanyahu again urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sit down with him for direct negotiations.

“I think they are missing out on a great opportunity, because I can deliver a deal,” Netanyahu said.

“If I’m convinced that I can give security to the State of Israel, I think I can take the majority of the people with me.

And I think that by refusing to enter the negotiations and putting in preconditions, the Palestinians are missing a tremendous opportunity for them and for us.”

Asked repeatedly why Israel was continuing to build in the settlements, he said the settlements made up only 1.5 percent of the West Bank.

“If I said to you that Jews cannot live in Utrecht, that Jews cannot live in Leiden, you would say that is outrageous.

We are not foreign interlopers there, this is our ancestral homeland,” the prime minister said. “I don’t want to kick out the Palestinians, but they tell me that in the places where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Benjamin – the original – and generations of Jews live, no Jews can live. Why?”

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