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Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that he does not believe Israel should boycott the BBC to protest coverage of the war in Lebanon that senior diplomatic officials have deemed biased.
Diplomatic officials said the Foreign Ministry is under pressure from Israeli citizens to remove credentials from its reporters and to restore the boycott of the BBC that it enforced for seven months of the Palestinian wave of violence in 2003.
Netanyahu spent five days in London this week presenting Israel's case and giving many interviews to various arms of the BBC. He said that instead of boycotting the BBC, "Israel should make its presence felt and engage in debates" on the network.
In a meeting with foreign press in Jerusalem on Thursday, Netanyahu said the international community needed to do everything possible to put pressure on Iran, which he portrayed as an octopus with Hizbullah and Hamas tentacles.
"The question is what we do about the insane militancy that aims to become nuclear to destroy all of us," Netanyahu said. "Countries should end their absurd obsession with Israel and be preoccupied with their own survival."
Netanyahu said Israel was engaged in "a war conceived, organized, trained and equipped by Iran, with Iran's goal of destroying Israel and its fantasy ideology of building a once-glorious Muslim empire in which we are merely the first pit stop."
"Another mad man was dismissed 65 years ago," Netanyahu said. "They thought he just had a problem with the Jews. No, he didn't. This is the source of everything that is happening here now. These people are stark-raving mad, but there is a method to their madness, just like Hitler. If Israel disappeared from the face of the earth, it would only make them move faster. If the world doesn't understand it's facing a mad ideology, the world will have no idea how dangerous a turn we are facing."
Netanyahu predicted that "a third tentacle" in the form of another unilateral withdrawal in the West Bank would not be created because he believed Israelis would not let it happen.
"The public has weaned itself off simplistic notions of unilateral withdrawal," Netanyahu said.
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