Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued his aggressive battle against efforts to delegitimize Israel, broadly hinting during Sunday's cabinet meeting at the need for a unity government to deal with the situation.
“Against the efforts to harm Israel with threats, false accusations and boycotts, we must stand – right and left – as one, to deflect the pressures, uncover the lies, and attack the attackers,” he said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“We will harness forces in this country and around the world, will smash the lies of our enemies, and struggle for the right of Israel to live in peace and security – to live at all," he said.
Minister without Portfolio Ophir Akunis was more explicit in the call for a national unity government in light of the BDS campaign, telling reporters before the meeting that the “widest government as possible” was needed to “struggle together” against the threat. Netanyahu said Israel is in the midst of establishing both an offensive and defensive campaign against efforts to boycott Israel and to harm the ability of the IDF to defend the country.
“From the standpoint of those perpetrating the boycott, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the focus of the conflict, but rather our settlements in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Beersheba, Haifa and, of course, Jerusalem,” he said.
As French efforts are underway to bring a resolution to the UN Security Council enshrining the parameters of a two-state solution with a deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state and an IDF withdrawal, Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for avoiding negotiations.
“At a time when we are calling for a renewal of negotiations, the Palestinians are promoting steps against us at the UN and at the International Criminal Court in The Hague,” he said. “They are running away from negotiations, and at the same time promoting international sanctions and resolutions at the UN because there are no negotiations.”
Netanyahu said that the Palestinians “ran away” from talking to former prime ministers Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert, “they run away from everyone, and then they blame others.”
“There is no end to this cynicism,” Netanyahu said, “and it saddens me that there are those who are falling into the trap of this organized hypocrisy.”
Netanyahu also accused the world of hypocrisy in its non-existent reaction to the recent rockets fired on Israel
“I didn't hear any international actor condemn this rocket fire, and even in the UN no one is opening their mouth,” he said. “It is interesting whether this quiet will continue when we act in full force to defend ourselves. Let it be clear, the hypocrisy spreading in the world will not tie our hands when it comes to defending Israeli citizens. This is how we acted in the past, and how we will continue to act.”
Netanyahu repeated what he has said in recent days following other incidents of rocket fire from Gaza: that Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from the area into Israel.