YouTube Interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

(Prime Minister's Office) Prime Minister Netanyahu was interviewed Wednesday for the YouTube World View series: Netanyahu: We're all on the same side - America, Israel, the democratic world - we all want to see the triumph of democracy. We all want to see people from Iran to Tunis have democracy because democracy is a friend of peace. But we're all concerned that the democracy will be hijacked by radical regimes or militant Islamic regimes. The genuine emergence of democracy is no threat to any of us. There's only one country in the Middle East that has no tremors, no protests, and that's Israel because we're the only genuine democracy. The reason we don't have peace is because the Palestinians so far have refused to recognize a Jewish state in any border. The fact that a few hundred houses are built on less than 1% of the land in dispute is not a big issue. It's disputed land. We have historical connection there. You know my name is Benjamin. The first Benjamin, the son of Jacob, walked these hills four thousand years ago, so we have some connection to this land. The Palestinians claim it - we need to sit down and negotiate for it and so far the Palestinians refused to do so. Q: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the Jewish presence in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem is morally and politically unsustainable and must come to an end. Netanyahu: Anyone in his right mind knows that this is part of the ancestral Jewish homeland - it's in the Bible. We've been there for four thousand years. We understand another people lives there. We have to have some kind of compromise. But it can't be that we'll kick out 350-400,000 Israelis who live there. Before there was a single Israeli in any one of these settlements, for fifty years, from 1920 until 1967, the Arabs attacked us again and again. They did it because they refuse to recognize the right of Israel to exist in any border. Negotiations will have to get the Palestinians to say, yes, we recognize a Jewish state. Yes, Israel will be here permanently. And so far they refuse to say that and most people around the world don't know that. How many people know that 20% of Israel's citizens are Arabs. There are Arab members in our parliament, there have been Arab ministers in the government, there are Arab doctors, lawyers, judges - there's an Arab judge on Israel's Supreme Court, and an Arab judge in a district court recently sentenced the former Israeli president. This is the only place where Arabs have full rights under the law. Arab women have full rights.

2011-04-01 00:00:00

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