Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Linking Palestinian terrorism to that of Islamic State, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that both forms of terror were propelled not by despair, but by hope. Islamic State hopes to establish a caliphate in Europe, and the Palestinian terrorist's hope to establish a Palestinian state in all of israel.
Netanyahu's comments came at a last-minute press conference called in his Jerusalem office, which he opened by referring to Tuesday's attacks in Brussels and conversations he has held since with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Netanyahu said he expressed the condolences of the people of Israel, and said that “if there is one people in the world that knows what they are going through, it is the citizens of Israel, who have heroically and courageously stood up to terror attacks for many years. I offered them Israel’s full support in the struggle against terror, both intelligence and security assistance.”
Netanyahu stressed that the wrod was in the midst of a campaign against terrorism, and that it was hitting everywhere: in Paris, Ankara, Brussels, Istanbul, the Ivory Coast, California and Israel. By mentioning them altogether he was making a clear point: there is no difference between the terrorism everywhere else in the world, and that which Israel faces.
Netanyahu said that the world must act together to deprive the terrorists of the hope that they can succeed in achieving their goals. “That is the most important strategy in the the war on terror,” he said, adding that he told both Michel and Mogherini that that it was necessary to condemn and fight terrorism. “Let there be no doubt, we will defeat terrorism,” he said. “If the world joins arms, we will beat it even faster.”
Asked whether Netanyahu's talk about a global terrorist campaign was not an attempt to conceal his own government's inability to put an end to the wave of terror in Isarel, Netanyahu replied, “we are not concealing anything. This struggle is sweeping the entire world and hitting cities with great force and we are working against it.”
Netanyahu said he understands the concerns of the Israeli public and appreciates its support and courage. “We are acting against terrorism in ways that are sometimes unprecedented, and as a result of that we have had success in preventing many large attacks like we have seen elsewhere.”
Among the steps he ticked off were numerous arrests, house demolitions, denying work permits, shutting down incendiary ration stations, closing the borders, completing in the security fence to prevent entrance to Israeli cities, and other steps he said he could not elaborate on.
There is a reason, he said, why many countries from around the world are coming to Israel to learn from its experience in fighting terrorism, and “I can tell you that the number is growing each day.”
Netanyahu was also asked about the stability of his government, and said that Yisrael Beytenu Avigdor Liberman predicted that the government would fall in 2015, and now that it will fall in 2016. “It won't fall,” he said. “The coalition is strong and will continue.”