"The seed of militant Islam has been gestating for centuries," MK Binyamin Netanyahu told the sixth annual conference of the Institute of Counterterrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herziliya.
He identified two areas which must be dealt with to confront the threat of militant Islam, "the regimes must be attacked and brought down or neutralized... and we also need to counter the ideology." He added that there must be a concerted effort on the part of moderate Muslims to counter the virulent ideology that has been spread. "There are those in the Muslim world who understand this danger," he said.
Netanyahu also mentioned that the introduction of free markets will ease the process of democratization. "Free markets show people they can have a good life, a life with hope, and not turn to a life of death," he said.
He emphasized that he is not simply spreading fear, employing a subtle reference to the unilateral disengagements from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. "This is reality, we cannot disengage from reality, we tried this and it doesn't work," he said.
He focused on the importance of neutralizing the threat of Iran. "[The world] must support efforts to deny Iran nuclear weapons," he said, cautioning that if Iran acquired nuclear weapons, it would shift the balance of power in the Middle East, potentially strengthening extremist groups and weakening the power of moderate voices in the Arab world, especially in countries with which Israel is at peace.
Netanyahu stressed the idea that Israel is not the cause of terrorist aggression toward the West. Rather, he explained, "they don't hate the West because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the West."
He said the recent comments directed toward Israel from al-Qaida were an attempt to not be overshadowed by Hizbullah's attacks on Israel.
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