(photo credit: ISLAMIC SOCIAL MEDIA)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intimated during his comments at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday that the West will need to commit ground forces in its war with Islamic extremists, though he stopped short of issuing an actual call for “boots on the ground.”
Very few are the leaders in the West who are calling for ground troops in the war against militant Islam.
“I’m not going to tell you what is the mixture of air power, ground power and other means to fight these people,” he said, in answer to the question whether ground troops need to be committed by the West. “I am saying that you’re not going to change them, you will not win them over, you’ll not pacify them.”
“Militant Islam must be identified, condemned and fought,” he declared. “The only way to defeat this is the way Nazism was defeated; first you defeat, then you de-Nazify.
That’s the order. That’s the priority. And it must now be a common agenda to defeat the forces of militant Islam and not to compromise with this.”
Pressed whether he was saying that ground forces are now needed, the premier responded: “The actual decision of how you employ power is critical, but I’ll leave it to discussions between governments, including the ones we’ll probably have around the upcoming conference in Paris.”
Netanyahu is to join other world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a UN conference on climate change at the end of the month in Paris. That conference is shaping up as a show of solidarity with France, and terrorism will be a major focus of the discussions among the leaders.
Turkey will also be among the countries expected to send a high-level delegation to the Paris talks. Asked whether he thinks it possible to rescue ties with Turkey following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent victory there and consolidation of power, Netanyahu said, “We’re examining this question.”
But, he added, “We’re not fixated. We’re looking at the changing scene and seeing how we can diversify our markets, establish new friendships or rekindle old relationships if possible.”
Despite the difficult state of ties with Turkey, Netanyahu pointed out that trade between the two countries is at an “all time high” and that there is the possibility of “examining” cooperation with Turkey regarding the natural gas finds in the Mediterranean.
In addition, he added, the developments in Syria as well as the possibility that Iran may gain a permanent foothold there concern Israel, but “also concern the Turks quite a bit.”
While there are common interests, he added, they do not always make for a “workable policy,” and there are also conflicting interests.
Netanyahu said the most obvious conflict of interest is that Hamas is working in Turkey to actively “foment” and “direct” terrorist attacks against Israel.