Hace algunos días, dirigiéndose a la Conferencia de Presidentes de Organizaciones Judías en Estados Unidos, el primer ministro Israelí, Benjamín Netanyahu, hizo una declaración interesante.
Malcolm Hoenlein, el vicepresidente ejecutivo, le preguntó sobre "las pláticas directas" con la Autoridad Palestina, y sobre "las cuestiones finales y especialmente el tema de Jerusalén." Netanyahu le contestó:
- "Pienso que la conexión al pueblo judío de Jerusalén es parte íntima de nuestra conexión con nuestra tierra, y pienso que, ustedes todos saben que hay barrios judíos en Jerusalén que bajo cualquier acuerdo de paz permanecerán donde están como parte de Israel. No creo que esté bajo disputa y pienso que lo último que debemos hacer es nuevamente apilar agravios y precondiciones que le eviten al liderazgo israelí y al liderazgo palestino resolver estos problemas." 
Los jefes de Estado—y en especial este primer ministro israelí—hablan en público con mucho cuidado. Veamos. Netanyahu dice que "hay barrios judíos en Jerusalén que bajo cualquier acuerdo de paz permanecerán donde están como parte de Israel", y sobre eso comenta: "creo que eso no está bajo disputa." O sea, hay otros barrios de Jerusalén que sí están bajo disputa, y esos barrios sí pueden ser separados de Israel en la negociación de "cuestiones finales." La confirmación: Netanyahu afirma que "lo último que debemos hacer es apilar... precondiciones" a las pláticas entre líderes israelíes y palestinos. Es decir, no hay que insistir demasiado sobre la precondición de una Jerusalén indivisible como capital de un Estado judío.
El Jewish Post and News interpretó las palabras de Netanyahu como hacemos aquí, y concluyó en su encabezado que "Netanyahu intimó flexibilidad sobre Jerusalén." En el cuerpo del artículo escribió: "Lo que implican las palabras de Netanyahu—que otros barrios de Jerusalén quizá no se queden ‘donde están,' convirtiéndose en parte de un Estado palestino—fue el primer atisbo de que el líder israelí quizá sea flexible sobre el tema de Jerusalén. Hasta ahora, Netanyahu ha insistido que Jerusalén no se negocia." 
Es un cambio dramático: pasar del "no se negocia" a "lo último que debemos hacer es apilar... precondiciones."
Para quienes hayan interpretado que los barrios de Jerusalén negociables son exclusivamente los árabes, cuidado. Netanyahu no dijo "los barrios judíos de Jerusalén... permanecerán donde están" sino esto: "hay barrios judíos en Jerusalén que... permanecerán donde están," y eso es consistente con una posición que considera negociables por lo menos algunos barrios judíos.
Este desarrollo ha preocupado y asombrado a muchos en la comunidad judía. Cabe la preocupación pero no el asombro, pues lo que hace aquí Netanyahu es perfectamente consistente con su carrera política. Para que sus comportamientos no sean más causa de ‘asombro' en el futuro, ofrecemos el siguiente análisis.
- Introducción (arriba)
- El anterior periodo de Netanyahu como primer ministro
- Lo que ahora dice Netanyahu
- Pero, ¿Qué puede hacer Netanyahu?
El anterior periodo de Netanyahu como primer ministro
En el año de 1996 el electorado israelí votó a favor de Benjamín Netanyahu. ¿Eso qué quiere decir? Hay que examinar lo que dijo y prometió Netanyahu antes de su campaña, y durante la misma.
En octubre de 1985, cuando comenzaban los susurros que darían lugar al fatídico proceso de ‘paz' de Oslo, Benjamín Netanyahu acusó en un editorial del New York Times que "la destrucción de Israel continúa siendo la meta inamovible de la OLP." Netanyahu acusó también que todo el ruido de ‘paz' que la OLP/Fatah comenzaba a hacer (y con el cual Shimon Peres le vendería Oslo a los israelíes para convertir a OLP/Fatah en la ‘Autoridad Palestina') era un fraude: "Apenas en mayo," apuntó Netanyahu,
- "Abu Nazir, un líder de Al Fatah, dijo: ‘Cuando exigimos el establecimiento de un Estado palestino, o inclusive una confederación jordana con la OLP, se trata de una estrategia para establecer un Estado sobre todo Palestina. La ‘política de fases' nos provee con una plataforma para nuestras metas últimas.' "
Abu Nazir se estaba refiriendo al ‘Plan de Fases' de Yasser Arafat y Mahmoud Abbas, el cual especifica que OLP/Fatah anunciaría metas limitadas, como un ‘Estado palestino' en los territorios disputados, para que pudiera construir una plataforma desde la cual "perseguir su meta última de aniquilar a Israel." 
Netanyahu mantuvo esta retórica hasta mediados de 1996, cuando sus vociferantes objeciones al proceso de Oslo le ganaron el primer ministerio de Israel. En la campaña, según explica el historiador Kenneth Levin, "ningún israelí articuló mejor [los] problemas" que implicaban "las fallas del proceso de Oslo y los peligros que representaban para Israel." De hecho, "en algunos momentos de la campaña indicó que se proponía... retroceder sobre las concesiones territoriales del gobierno anterior. Es más, dejó entrever que lo consideraba justificado bajo Oslo dado que la AP [Autoridad Palestina] no cumplía con sus obligaciones bajo Oslo." Cuando era menos agresivo, Netanyahu de todas formas decía que "congelaría el proceso e insistiría sobre el cumplimiento de los compromisos previamente contraídos como prerrequisito para seguir con las negociaciones y cualquier movimiento israelí." 
Esta postura en contra del proceso de Oslo fue por la que votaron los israelíes. ¿Por qué? Porque Yasser Arafat y su Autoridad Palestina los habían estado atacando con terror muy a pesar de que los israelíes hacían una concesión tras otra.
¿Qué hizo Netanyahu? Avanzó el proceso de Oslo más rápido que sus predecesores.
Una vez contados los votos cambió inmediatamente de postura. El Houston Chronicle reportó lo siguiente en junio de 1996, antes de que Netanyahu pudiera estrenar todavía la silla de primer ministro:
- "Los palestinos pronto declararán un Estado independiente y nadie puede detenerlos, declaró ayer el Presidente de la Autoridad Palestina, Yasser Arafat....Consistente con el tono más moderado de Netanyahu posterior a la elección, con el cual busca tranquilizar a la gente en su país y fuera de él sobre su compromiso con el proceso de paz [de Oslo], sus afirmaciones no denunciaron los comentarios de Arafat; el primer ministro electo más bien dijo que ‘ve las cosas distinto' de cómo las ve Arafat en el tema de las pláticas sobre cuestiones finales." 
Netanyahu iba rápido. Para julio, como se reportó en el New York Times, "El Sr. Netanyahu... dijo que respetaría los acuerdos con los palestinos si ellos hacían lo mismo, y consideraría un encuentro con Yasir Arafat, el líder palestino, si fuera necesario."
"El 14 de agosto, 1996," señala Kenneth Levin, Netanyahu "recomenzó las negociaciones con Arafat sin haber logrado ningún avance sobre la cuestión del cumplimiento [de la Autoridad Palestina]." En septiembre Arafat acusó que el gobierno de Israel estaba perforando un túnel peligroso bajo los sitios sagrados musulmanes (no era cierto) para lanzar una serie de disturbios violentos, y sus fuerzas armadas inclusive le dispararon a los soldados israelíes. Naturalmente que la prensa aceptó la interpretación de Arafat y se reanudó la presión sobre Netanyahu. "Netanyahu... respondió a la presión recomenzando negociaciones con la AP, las cuales habían sido brevemente interrumpidas por los encontronazos, y accedió a retirarse en las siguientes semanas de Hebrón. Lo hizo a pesar de que no había conseguido ningún cambio en el patrón de incumplimiento de la AP con sus obligaciones ante Oslo." Arafat recibió un 80% de Hebrón. Un Acuerdo Interino, supuestamente supeditado a la reciprocidad de la Autoridad Palestina en el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones, y supervisado por los estadounidenses, llamaba al gobierno israelí a retirarse en etapas de áreas adicionales. 
- "El ejército israelí completó su retiro de las áreas cedidas de Hebrón unas cuantas horas luego de que se aprobara el acuerdo en el Knesset el 16 de enero. Casi inmediatamente, la AP comenzó a hostigar a la enclave judía en Hebrón con disturbios, pedradas, bombas de fuego, y disparos. Así siguieron las cosas intermitentemente a partir de ahí. El gobierno [israelí] añadió estos eventos en Hebrón a su lista de puntos a discutir sobre las violaciones de la Autoridad Palestina a sus compromisos con Oslo y reiteró repetidamente la demanda de reciprocidad. Pero de todas formas prosiguió y le ofreció a los palestinos el 7 de marzo otro 9.1 por ciento del territorio de Cisjordania como el primero de aquellos ‘repliegues pendientes' que especificaba el Acuerdo Interino." 
Ese repliegue no sucedió porque los palestinos exigían más del 9.1%. Durante este periodo, mientras que Netanyahu se quejaba en público del incumplimiento de la Autoridad Palestina, hubo "incidentes adicionales de violencia, en muchos casos perpetrados por la ‘policía' palestina, incluyendo ataques terroristas iniciados por las fuerzas armadas palestinas." Se documentó, entre otras cosas, "los pagos de la AP a jóvenes palestinos para que armaran disturbios y atacaran a soldados israelíes y residentes judíos de Hebrón, y el despliegue por parte de la AP en Hebrón de cuatro veces el número de policías permitidos por el acuerdo (1500 en vez de 400)....En enero de 1998 el gabinete aprobó unánimemente una resolución que ligaba cualquier repliegue futuro a que la AP cumpliera sus compromisos en el acuerdo de Hebrón."
La presión internacional y del grueso de la prensa israelí, y de la oposición dentro de Israel continuó en contra de Netanyahu, a quien representaban como el villano de la pieza. El gobierno estadounidense rechazó cualquier exigencia de reciprocidad a la Autoridad Palestina e insistió que los israelíes se retiraran de un 13% adicional de Cisjordania para darle a Arafat control efectivo del 40%. En octubre de 1998 Netanyahu cedió y accedió, en el acuerdo de la Plantación Wye, a ese 13% adicional. Se suponía que en ese acuerdo los estadounidenses se comprometían a verificar el cumplimiento de la Autoridad Palestina, pero al final esto no se hizo. 
Si lo anterior fuera poco, con respecto a Siria,
- "[Netanyahu] siguió las políticas de sus predecesores inmediatos, buscando un acomodo con Siria predicado sobre la cesión de Israel de los Altos del Golán....Netanyahu también siguió a sus predecesores laboristas en permitirle a Siria—para mantener ‘vivas' las posibilidades ilusorias de un acuerdo—que continuara con su guerra indirecta contra Israel a través de Líbano sin pagar costo alguno." 
Sin duda existe una percepción de que Netanyahu es ‘más duro' cuando de defender a Israel se trata. Sin duda que esa percepción tiene mucho que ver con la mercadología política que así vende a Netanyahu, y con sus declaraciones públicas. Pero esta percepción no tiene fundamento alguno en los hechos de la primera gestión de Netanyahu como primer ministro.
Lo que ahora dice Netanyahu
Hace algunos días Netanyahu hizo una entrevista muy larga en Estados Unidos con el periodista Larry King de CNN. En el pie de página reproducimos el texto integral de la entrevista. Algunas de sus declaraciones son en lo sumo interesantes y merecen un examen cuidadoso.
Apunto, primero, la forma como se vende ahora Netanyahu:
- "Hace 7 meses hice algo extraordinario, es decir que ningún otro primer ministro en la historia de Israel hizo esto. Le puse un alto temporal de 10 meses a la construcción de asentamientos para alentar que los palestinos le entraran a las pláticas de paz."
Nótese que Netanyahu está presumiendo que le hace concesiones a la Autoridad Palestina, a pesar de que ésta continúa incumpliendo y de que no quiere siquiera participar en pláticas de paz en las que siempre gana. Más adelante Netanyahu presume que "Mandé quitar cientos de puntos de control, cientos de retenes" que habían sido construidos para proteger a los israelíes del terrorismo palestino.
Netanyahu dice: "Me parece importante hacer las paces con los palestinos. Y estoy listo para negociar esa paz inmediatamente....Deben tener su propio país independiente." ¿Habrá alguna condición? "Debemos asegurar," explica, "que este país [el futuro Estado palestino] no se utilice como plataforma para ataques terroristas iraníes contra nosotros."
Este discurso es consistente con otras cosas que afirma Netanyahu. King le pregunta: "¿Pero entonces Usted favorece absolutamente un Estado palestino?" Y Netanyahu le contesta: "Así es. Y quiero asegurarme de que—que no haya una repetición de lo que sucedió las otras dos veces que nos salimos de un territorio. Usted sabe que dejamos Líbano, hasta el último centímetro cuadrado. Y luego vino Irán y lo utilizó como plataforma para lanzar 6,000 cohetes sobre las ciudades israelíes. Seis mil. Nos fuimos de Gaza, hasta el último centímetro cuadrado, y luego vino Irán y lo utilizó para armar a sus secuaces y dispararon otros seis mil cohetes. No podemos permitir que nos suceda por vez tercera."
Sobre Hamas, que controla Gaza, dice: "Creo que en el caso de Hamas, es básicamente un brazo, un brazo de terror de Irán. Irán hace un llamado abierto a destruirnos." King le pregunta: "Qué—qué hay de Hezbolá, Líbano, que—a cuatro años de la guerra con Hezbolá y Líbano. ¿Todavía se preocupa de ellos?" Netanyahu: "Desgraciadamente sí, porque básicamente [Hezbolá] es un brazo terrorista de Irán." King le pregunta, "Sr. primer ministro, Irán,...¿qué tanto le teme a sus intenciones? ¿Cuál es el peor escenario para Usted? Y Netanyahu le contesta: "Hemos aprendido en la historia y en la historia judía a tomarnos en serio a quienes piden nuestro exterminio."
El argumento está claro. Netanyahu se opone, afirma, a que le suceda a Israel "por vez tercera" el fiasco de entregar territorio y verlo convertido en una base terrorista de Irán, Estado que anuncia en voz alta su propósito de exterminar a los judíos israelíes. Aquellos fiascos sucedieron cuando Hamas y Hezbolá, brazos terroristas de Irán, obtuvieron territorios que Israel les regaló. La implicación naturalmente es que OLP/Fatah, mejor conocida como la ‘Autoridad Palestina,' es distinta, porque Netanyahu "favorece absolutamente" que obtenga un Estado independiente y, dice, "estoy listo para negociar esa paz inmediatamente."
El problema con la postura de Netanyahu es que OLP/Fatah es, también, un brazo terrorista de Irán.
El régimen teocrático iraní que se inaugura con la Revolución del Ayatolá Khomeini en 1979 fue, de hecho, instalado en el poder con la ayuda de OLP/Fatah, pues ellos entrenaron a las guerrillas de Khomeini. Yasser Aafat, entonces líder de OLP/Fatah, fue la primera personalidad extranjera en ser invitada, tan solo unos días luego de tomado el poder, a celebrar en Teherán con Khomeini. Desde ahí ambos anunciaron que Israel sería destruido y la Revolución Iraní exportada a todo el mundo musulmán. A lo largo de los años, aunque a veces han pretendido en público lo contrario, OLP/Fatah ha mantenido lazos estrechos con el régimen genocida que instaló en el poder. Nada de esto es difícil de documentar, pues la información toda es de dominio público, por lo cual los servicios de inteligencia israelíes, que tanta atención le ponen a OLP/Fatah y a Irán, forzosamente están al corriente de todo lo presentado en la siguiente investigación de HIR:
- "OLP/Fatah e Iran: Una relación especial"
Historical and Investigative Research; 22 junio 2010; por Francisco Gil-White
Un estudio del Pentágono, por cierto, concluyó que si Judea y Samaria (‘Cisjordania') caen en manos del enemigo, Israel no puede sobrevivir, a la larga, un esfuerzo combinado musulmán por destruirla. Lo más notable de este estudio del Pentágono es que lo puede encontrar uno, como apéndice, en un libro que escribió Benjamín Netanyahu, publicado en el año 2000. O sea que Netanyahu "favorece absolutamente" darle un territorio indispensable para la seguridad israelí a un brazo terrorista de Irán, quien anuncia su propósito de exterminar a los israelíes. Y lo hace sabiendo que ese territorio es indispensable, y sabiendo que OLP/Fatah es un brazo terrorista de Irán.
Ay de aquel israelí que se sienta reconfortado de escuchar a Netanyahu decir, como le dijo a Larry King: "Estoy preparado a tener un Estado palestino desmilitarizado viviendo junto al Estado judío de Israel." Parece una condición: no habrá Estado palestino a menos que sea un Estado desmilitarizado. Pero hemos visto ya lo que valen las palabras de Netanyahu. Jerusalén antes no se negociaba, y ahora dice que "lo último que debemos hacer es nuevamente apilar agravios y precondiciones."
Pero, ¿Qué puede hacer Netanyahu?
Netanyahu puede decir la verdad. No está obligado a decir mentiras. Y su responsabilidad, como primer ministro israelí, es decirle la verdad a los ciudadanos israelíes.
La verdad es poderosa. Netanyahu puede convocar ruedas de prensa para informar sobre el vínculo de OLP/Fatah con Irán, y puede presentar la documentación que hemos presentado en HIR y mucha más que sin duda tienen los servicios de inteligencia israelíes. Eso contribuiría, por lo menos, a socavar la imagen de OLP/Fatah como el supuesto ‘socio de la paz' con el Estado judío, pues nadie niega que Irán busca la destrucción de Israel. El Estado judío peligra porque ha perdido la guerra de la propaganda, pero el primer ministro israelí, en vez de refutar esa propaganda que ha prestigiado a OLP/Fatah, la impulsa con un megáfono mundial en Larry King Live.
Pero hay una información más poderosa todavía.
Netanyahu afirma, como vimos, que "Hemos aprendido en la historia y en la historia judía a tomarnos en serio a quienes piden nuestro exterminio." Pues bien, entonces debiera tomarse en serio a Hajj Amin al Husseini.
Husseini no se contentó con pedir el exterminio de los judíos, sino que lo dirigió para los nazis alemanes. Fue el instigador, organizador, y director de la gran matanza junto con su mejor amigo, Adolfo Eichmann, cosa que se documentó en los juicios por crímenes de guerra de Nuremberg. Luego de eso, en la posguerra, Husseini le dio entrenamiento nazi a Yasser Arafat y Mahmoud Abbas en Cairo, apadrinando la creación de OLP/Fatah. Eso lo documentamos aquí:
- "How did the 'Palestinian movement' emerge? The British sponsored it. Then the German Nazis, and the US."
From, UNDERSTANDING THE PALESTINIAN MOVEMENT, An HIR Series, in four parts; Historical and Investigative Research - 13 June 2006; by Francisco Gil-White
Benjamín Netanyahu "favorece absolutamente" que un brazo terrorista de Irán, creado por el máximo líder de la Solución Final nazi, se instale en territorio estratégico del Estado judío. ¿Éste es un líder judío? ¿A dónde está la evidencia, pues, de que ha aprendido tanto de la historia?
¿Tiene alternativa? Pues claro. Netanyahu puede convocar ruedas de prensa para informar sobre los orígenes nazi de OLP/Fatah. Eso destruiría por completo el circo diplomático y mediático con el cual se ha prestigiado a OLP/Fatah como el supuesto ‘socio de la paz' con Israel. Pero Netanyahu no lo hace. Al contrario: Netanyahu le brinda su prestigio al fraude.
¿O será que Netanyahu no sabe? Eso es imposible. En primer lugar, no es precisamente un secreto para quienes investigan el tema, y menos para quienes cuentan con un servicio de inteligencia dedicado a investigar a OLP/Fatah. Además, un servidor, el autor de este artículo, fue expulsado de la Universidad de Pennsylvania por divulgar los orígenes nazi de OLP/Fatah en Israel National News . Si fuera poco, bajo presión nuestra,  el candidato que compitió con Netanyahu en las últimas primarias por el liderazgo de Likud, Moshe Feiglin, publicó durante su campaña contra Netanyahu un artículo en el que explicó las raíces de OLP/Fatah en la Solución Final nazi. Es imposible, pues, que Netanyahu no esté enterado.
Que nadie se asombre de ver a Netanyahu dando indicios de querer entregarle partes de Jerusalén al enemigo. Y no se asombren, tampoco, de escucharle decir a Larry King que "Estoy preparado a liberar a 1,000 prisioneros palestinos a cambio de Gilad [Shalit]," con lo cual le enseñará a Hamas lo bien que paga el terrorismo, y lo redituable que es secuestrar a un soldado judío.
No se asombren. Pero preocúpense. Eso sí.
 "PM Netanyahu addresses Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations"; Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 "Netanyahu hints at flexibility on Jerusalem"; Jewish Post and News; Thursday, 08 July 2010 08:39; by Uriel Heilman
 BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: "...the destruction of Israel remains the P.L.O.'s unchanging goal... As recently as May, Abu Nazir, a leader of al Fatah, said: ‘When we demand the establishment of a Palestinian state, or even a Jordan-P.L.O. confederation, this is a strategy leading to the establishment of a state over all of Palestine. The ‘phased policy' provides us with a springboard towards further goals'..."
FUENTE: Face Up to the P.L.O.'s True Nature, The New York Times, October 16, 1985, Wednesday, Late City Final Edition, Section A; Page 27, Column 1; Editorial Desk, 792 words, By Benjamin Netanyahu; Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel's permanent representative to the United Nations and editor of the forthcoming book "Terrorism: How the West Can Win."
 "Shortly after signing the Declaration of Principles and the famous handshake between [PLO leader Yasser] Arafat and [Israeli prime minister] Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn, Arafat was declaring to his Palestinian constituency over Jordanian television that Oslo was to be understood in terms of the [PLO's] Palestine National Council's 1974 decision. This was a reference to the so-called Plan of Phases, according to which the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] would acquire whatever territory it could by negotiations, then use that land as a base for pursuing its ultimate goal of Israel's annihilation.
FUENTE: Levin, K. 2005. The Oslo syndrome: Delusions of a people under siege. Hanover, NH: Smith and Kraus. (p.ix)
 Levin, K. (2005). The Oslo syndrome: Delusions of a people under siege. Hanover, NH: Smith and Kraus. (p.397)
 "The Palestinians will soon declare an independent state and no one can stop them, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat said yesterday....In keeping with Netanyahu's post-election moderate tone, with which he seeks to reassure people at home and abroad of his commitment to the peace process, his statement did not denounce Arafat's remarks but rather said the premier-elect ‘sees things differently' from Arafat on final status talks."
FUENTE: Moment for courage upon us in the Mideast, The Houston Chronicle, June 9, 1996, Sunday, 2 STAR Edition, OUTLOOK; Outlook; Pg. 5, 1133 words, JAMES A. BAKER III.
 "Mr. Netanyahu...has said that he would abide by the accords with the Palestinians if they do, and would consider meeting Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, if necessary. Mr. Sharon has condemned the agreements as ‘terrible and dangerous' and calls Mr. Arafat a terrorist and war criminal."
FUENTE: Sharon Joins Netanyahu's Cabinet at Last, The New York Times, July 9, 1996, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final, Section A; Page 6; Column 1; Foreign Desk, 679 words, By JOEL GREENBERG, JERUSALEM, July 8.
 The Oslo syndrome (pp.398-402)
 The Oslo syndrome (pp.402-403)
 The Oslo syndrome (pp.403-404)
 The Oslo syndrome (pp.406-410)
 The Oslo syndrome (pp.411)
 Interview With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; CNN; July 7, 2010 Wednesday; NEWS; International; 5805 words; Larry King
[ FULL TRANSCRIPT ]
KING: We only go back -- well, almost 30 years. B.B., that's his nickname, but I have to refer to him as Prime Minister Netanyahu because that's formality here. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister in New York, a city he knows very well, used to be ambassador to the U.N. Let's get right to it. It's good seeing you again, by the way.
NETANYAHU: Good to see you, Larry. You didn't have to reveal how far back we go together.
KING: That's right, you got a point. A few months ago, you went to the White House. It didn't go too well. What changed yesterday?
NETANYAHU: I think there's an underlying relationship there that people don't appreciate. We have our ups and downs. People focus on the downs and the downs are exaggerated and sometimes distorted. But there is ups and there's a basic bedrock of identification, common values between Israel and the United States. The president gives it expression. I give it expression. And yesterday's meeting gave it expression. I think there is a solidity of ties between Israel and the United States that the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel reflect in their meeting.
KING: No matter who holds the posts?
NETANYAHU: I think every prime minister, every president, has his own points, his own viewpoints, but there's a common position of friendship and a basic alliance that is there, that really is continued by all leaders, whoever they are. That was definitely the case yesterday.
KING: Mr. Prime Minister, have there been times, though, since President Obama took office, where you felt that friendship or that tie weakened?
NETANYAHU: No, a lot of things that the public is not aware of that throughout the year and some that I've been in office, we've had continuous cooperation in the fields of security, in the fields of intelligence, in the fields of vital strategic importance to Israel and the United States. And that seems to go unnoticed or unremarked. People always focus on differences of views that we may have. They're minor compared to the things that unite us.
We have -- Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. America's the world's greatest democracy. We have both common values and, unfortunately, common enemies. The people who attack the United States and the Middle East attack Israel. The people that we are fighting are the people you are fighting. So there's a great commonalty, a great cooperation that goes underneath the surface. And sometimes, I'm happy to say, it does come to the surface. It did yesterday. It really should be an indication of something that guides our relationship throughout.
KING: So there's no time that you question President Obama's commitment to your country?
NETANYAHU: No. And I think there's no time that he questioned Israel's unwavering commitment as a firm American ally. I would say there is no greater ally, no greater friend of the United States, than Israel. And there is no greater friend and no greater ally of Israel than the United States.
KING: There were those who were saying, though, in the past few months, until that meeting yesterday, the relationships were at the lowest they have been in 35 years. Do you buy that?
NETANYAHU: Look, no, I don't. I think the support for Israel and the American people and the intertwining of interests and cooperation between our governments is increasing all the time. It's obscured by the bumps on the road. But there's no question that the road is going forward and going upwards, I have no doubt about that.
KING: All right, let's get into some things. Mr. Prime Minister, you say that you want to have direct talks with the Palestinians. So when are you and President Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, going to sit down? When's it going to happen? It's so frustrating to the world --
NETANYAHU: That's a very -- that's an excellent question that I've been asking for a year and a quarter, ever since I got into office. On day one that I got in, I said President Abbas, the Palestinian president, meet me and let's talk peace.
And I use this forum today, on the "Larry King" show, to say, President Abbas, meet me, and let's talk peace. We all have our grievances. We all have our, you know, our questions and things that we want answered. But the most important thing is to get together, sit down in a room and begin to negotiate peace. You cannot resolve a conflict, you cannot successfully complete a peace negotiation if you don't start it.
And I say let's start it right now, today, tomorrow, in Jerusalem, in Ramallah or anywhere else. I'm prepared to go to a warm city like New York or a cool city anywhere. Let's get on with the business of talking peace and concluding the peace agreement.
KING: So, forgive me, what's holding it up? He could watch this show. We did a show some years ago with Arafat, with Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan, a historic show. I was in Washington. The three of them were in their homelands. It was terrific. Why can't -- would you do that, if we had you and Abbas and we had the king of Jordan on? Could we do that now?
NETANYAHU: You're on, Larry. From my point of view, immediately, no problem.
KING: All right. So if we worked on that, we could set it up? Because it's -- it's frustrating -- go ahead.
NETANYAHU: Well, I'm just saying that you're hitting the nail right on the head. I mean, what is there to prevent a meeting between the prime minister of Israel, in Jerusalem, and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who's 10 minutes away in Ramallah, that's when you have traffic. Without traffic, it's seven minutes.
I really like and respect Senator George Mitchell, President Obama's envoy to the Middle East. But I find it perplexing and unnecessary that president -- that Senator Mitchell has to travel halfway across the world to relay messages between President Abbas and myself. There's no need for that. We should sit down. We have very serious issues to discuss. Our security, the question of where the borders will end up, the question of settlements, the question of Palestinian refugees, the question of water. All these things are crucially important.
The only way that they're going to be resolved is if we actually sit down and negotiate a peace. I think leaders have to do exactly that. I think we have to break molds, break stereotypes, and cut right through to a solution. I'm prepared to do it. I'm prepared to lead. And I hope that President Abbas hears my call, responds to it. I think we'll have important and steady help from President Obama.
But there is no substitute for the two leaders. The leader of Israel and the leader of the Palestinian Authority, to get down together, talk peace and make peace.
KING: And we can kick it off on this show. We'll be right back with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He is in New York. We're in Los Angeles. What about the settlements issue? President Obama said yesterday he expected talks to begin before the moratorium on settlement construction expires which is late September. Will you extend the moratorium, by the way, if things aren't settled by late September?
NETANYAHU: Larry, the whole settlement issue was supposed to be discussed in the final peace -- what are called final status peace negotiations, which means how to achieve a final peace. This is one of the issues we have to resolve.
Seven months ago, I did something quite extraordinary, that is, no other prime minister in Israel's history did this. I put on a temporary freeze of 10 months of new construction in the settlements in order to encourage the Palestinians to get into the peace talks. Seven months have passed by. They don't come in. They say, oh, we need now, another extension. And the answer is, right now, listen, we don't need any pretext and preconditions. Let's just get into the talks.
And one of the things we'll discuss, right away, is issues of settlements. And that's what I propose doing. In any case, what is important is to get down and talk. That's the important thing.
KING: President Clinton once said to me that the difficulties in the Middle East are harder to solve than Ireland/England. That it's so deep rooted and so frustrating. Can you explain to a waiting world why you can't get together?
NETANYAHU: I can, and I'm offering to do exactly that. I think there's been a persistent refusal in many Arab quarters to recognize the state of Israel borders. I think the issue of borders is important. It's related to our security. But the issue of recognition, the basic recognition of the Jewish state that exists in the Middle East, that is the homeland of the Jewish people, that lives in peace and security with its neighbors, is something that is recognized by some.
We made peace with Egypt. We made peace with Jordan. I think it's important to make peace with the Palestinians. And I'm prepared to negotiate that peace right away. I think it requires courage on the Palestinian side for all those who don't really want a peace with Israel, to stand up and do what president -- the late president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat did, and to say, hey, it's over, no more war, no more bloodshed. We're going to make a genuine peace with Israel. I'm prepared to have a demilitarized Palestinian state live next to the Jewish state of Israel.
I think the Palestinians should not be either subject of Israel or citizens of Israel. They should have their own independent country. And we should be assured that this country is not used as a staging ground for Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks on us. And I think this combination of state for the Palestinians and security for Israel is something that can be brought about in direct negotiations that I propose to start without any preconditions, without any pretext.
NETANYAHU: Leaders don't need excuses. They just have to get on with it and I'm prepared to get on with it.
KING: Do you -- you absolutely favor a Palestinian state though, right?
NETANYAHU: I do. And I want to make sure that it -- that we don't have a repeat of what happened in the other two times that we vacated territory. You know, we left Lebanon, every last square inch of it. And Iran came in and used it as a staging ground to launch 6,000 rockets on Israel's cities, 6,000.
We left Gaza, last square inch, and Iran used it to arm its proxies and fired another 6,000 rockets. So we can't afford that happening a third time. Now, when I say that, Larry, you can now reach one of two conclusions. Either don't make any peace attempt or ensure that the peace you do make has the necessary security arrangements on the ground to prevent this from happening a third time. That's what I propose to do. And I think it's possible to fashion a secure peace for Israel and a dignified peace and a dignified life for the Palestinians. I discussed this at some length yesterday with President Obama. And I'm very happy with the progress of those talks.
KING: All right. But Abbas isn't the only leader we have to concern ourselves with. Would you sit down with Hamas?
NETANYAHU: I'll sit down with anyone who will recognize my existence. Somebody who calls for our destruction, my destruction, is unfortunately not a partner for peace.
KING: So you would not sit down --
NETANYAHU: -- Hamas that calls -- well, you know, would you sit down with somebody who said we want to destroy the United States? Now come and talk to us?
KING: Do you think they can -- that can change at all? Do you think there's some way -- Secretary Mitchell, Senator Mitchell maybe somewhat in between can get a little tempering of the language? I mean, we're trying for the same result here. Nobody gets killed hopefully.
NETANYAHU: I think in the case of Hamas, it's basically a proxy, a terror proxy of Iran. Iran openly calls for our destruction. It denies the Holocaust. It sponsors terrorism everywhere. It brutalizes its own people. Hamas, by the way, does the same thing to the Palestinians in Gaza. They don't really have a choice. They can't really vote the Hamas out. They can't decide their own fate.
But look at what is happening in the West Bank with our cooperation. You know, we removed -- I removed hundreds of check points, hundreds of road blocks. And the Palestinian economy on the West Bank is just booming. I mean, there's coffee shops, there's shopping malls, there's e-businesses, you name it. It's growing at about 8 percent or 9 percent a year which isn't bad these days.
And I'm very happy for that. And I want to add on to that a formal peace -- peace with security and prosperity. Hamas is totally the other way around. They are -- you know, they're subjecting their own people to terrible things. And they're using the territory to just stockpile weapons. I wish they -- I wish they'd change, and I wish they'd accept the state of Israel. But as long as they call for our destruction, there's not much we can do.
KING: We'll be right back with the prime minister of Israel after this.
KING: We're back with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the state of Israel. Your coalition, we know this, has some right wingers who don't agree with the notion of a Palestinian state. You have some difficulties. There are always inner politics going on. Is there any way, a pragmatic way, to bring you and the Kadima together?
NETANYAHU: Well, I've called for a national unity I've formed one. I've formed Likud labor alliance. And I'm always happy to broaden it to people who want to serve the nation. You know, getting into the intricacies of Israeli politics would take a lot more of -- even a long program of "Larry King." It's a subject of encyclopedic advantage.
KING: Back to the difficulties. In May, Israeli forces stormed a ship on a humanitarian mission to Gaza. Several Turkish activists were killed. I don't know if you've -- have you ever publicly said that you were wrong to do this?
NETANYAHU: Well, we were definitely sorry about the loss of life. But I'll tell you what happened. First of all, why do we check ships that go to Gaza? Because we are concerned with the flow of -- the possible flow of weaponry into Gaza. We've had, as I said, thousands of rockets fired on us.
I think that what people fail to recognize is that there were six ships. Five of them were totally peaceful and nothing of substance happened. Our navy checked these ships. And we didn't have any incident. The sixth ship was very different. It had about 500 people on it, of which about 450 were peaceful people.
But several dozen were activists of a very radical group that had apparently amassed steel rods, knives, communication equipment. They boarded differently than the other passengers, the other 450 passengers, boarded in one port in Turkey. They went through security checks. These people boarded in another port in Istanbul. They didn't go through any security checks. They had their own communication equipment. They had their own -- their own steel pipes and things that they brought on board.
And when our Coast Guard effectively wanted to check this ship and make sure that it behaved the way the other five did, they were brutally attacked. You can see that in the films that were released. Our soldiers, our navy people were fighting for their lives.
What would you do if the Coast Guard boarded a ship and the Coast Guard was brutally attacked by people who were, you know, clubbing them, knifing them, taking weapons from them, shooting at them? What do you think would happen? How do you think the American people would respond?
KING: OK. But how do you repair the damage with a state you need to be friendly, Turkey?
NETANYAHU: Well, you're quite right, that Turkey and Israel had an important relationship. Turkey's a very important country in the Middle East. I think that the relationship began to deteriorate with the Turkish policy, a new policy, that basically veers away from the West and I think Israel -- what has happened with Israel as a result of that policy and not its cause.
But nevertheless, I look for every opportunity to see if we can stop this deterioration and somehow get things back to normal or relatively normal. Last week, I authorized a meeting with one of my senior ministers and the Turkish foreign minister. They met in Zurich, in the airport.
I can't tell you that something positive came out of it. But I want to feel, as prime minister of Israel, that I leave no stone unturned in the quest for -- the quest for a broader peace, and the quest of good relations with our neighbors. And even though it may not succeed right now, we'll keep trying.
KING: Will you meet with Turkish leaders?
KING: We'll take a break. We'll be right back with more of the Israeli prime minister. Don't go away.
KING: We're very interested in your comments, Mr. Prime Minister, on the statements made by former American President Jimmy Carter. He called the incident with the ship, the attack on the ship, unprovoked and an illegal Israeli assault. He also says, there's no way to realize a two-state solution, while, quote, "the people of Gaza remain isolated and deprived of basic human rights." How do you respond to President Carter?
NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, I think he's wrong on the incident. I described to you what happened.
KING: All right.
NETANYAHU: We regret the loss of life, but we don't apologize for our soldiers defending themselves. And I think that's obvious. Secondly, I think the people of Gaza are, indeed, incarcerated by Hamas. Third, I removed all the civilian -- civilian closure that we had. That is, the prevention of free flow of civilian goods, food, medicine, anything, toys. I actually changed a policy that I inherited from the previous government. And it put both civilian closure on Gaza and a security closure.
I said we really have to be clear about our policy. Our policy is that weapons and war-supporting material don't go in. And everything else should go in. Food and everything else should go in. So I changed that policy. And I'm glad I did it, because I think there's clarity and there's common sense in it. I'm sorry that not everyone can see that. But I think fair minded people can see it and, in fact, do.
KING: Does it pain you personally to have a former president of the United States be so critical of your country?
NETANYAHU: Well, I'm sorry he thinks that. I think the majority -- the overwhelming majority of Americans see things differently. I think -- I think successful presidents, including this one, see things differently. And the important thing is to -- is to be true to the facts.
The facts are that Israel was attacked from Gaza. The fact is that we had -- that Iran sends weapons into Gaza so they'd be fired on us. The fact is that this regime, Hamas, is holding an Israeli soldier that they kidnapped for four years. Four years this soldier, Gilad Shalit, has not been allowed to see anyone. They don't allow the Red Cross to visit him. This is a complete violation of international norms. I think if anything bears condemnation, it is this -- this inhumane terrorist regime.
And I would hope that international condemnation is directed there. That's where it belongs, and not against Israel, a struggling democracy, striving to live and to make peace with its neighbors. It should not be condemned. It should be encouraged to --
KING: Does it concern you, Mr. Prime Minister, that Israel's image around the world is poor? You're not in high regard at the U.N. You seem to be, from a public relations standpoint, pr standpoint, in trouble.
NETANYAHU: Well, that's one of the reasons I'm appearing on "THE LARRY KING show." There's a difference between perception and reality. The reality is the people of Israel yearn for peace, pray for peace. We've not had a day's peace, a day of complete peace, since the founding of the state in 1948. We know the cost of wars. There's -- many Israelis have suffered it. I've suffered it personally. I've lost a brother in the war between the wars known as terror. Many of my friends have lost direct relatives.
We know the loss of war. We know the sorrows of war. We know the blessings of peace. Yet, at the same time, we forged a peace agreement with Egypt. We forged a peace agreement with Jordan. And throughout these years, we built a robust economy. Israel is a beehive of creativity and innovation. The economy is growing. It's one of the best performing economies in the developed world.
There's a story there that doesn't get told, both of our desire for peace, our sacrifices for peace, and our building of a better reality. And I can envision, if we had the kind of peace I envisioned with the Palestinians, we could see what we're seeing now in the West Bank, this great prosperity envelop the entire region.
I think Israel could make a tremendous contribution to the well- being of its Arab neighbors. I think peace could bring for our children, my children and their children, something beyond their imagination. It could be a different life, a different reality. And I'm prepared to do it. I'm prepared to move and lead my people to that peace. I need a partner on the other side.
KING: When we come back, we'll talk about Iran with the president -- with the prime minister of Israel, right after this.
KING: Mr. prime minister, Iran, how much -- the word fear apply -- how much do you fear their intentions? Do you -- do you -- what's the worst-case scenario to you?
NETANYAHU: Well, we've learned in history and in Jewish history to take seriously those who call for our extermination. A lot of people in the past century, the 20th century, didn't take such calls seriously. And we know the awful price that was paid by the Jewish people and later by rest of humanity for not taking seriously these kinds of statements. The fact that after the Holocaust, a sovereign government at once denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state is just outrageous.
Do we take it seriously? Absolutely, we take it seriously. We also know that Israel was founded to defend the Jewish people. So we reserve always the right to defend ourselves.
KING: If you determined that they had nuclear capability, would you attack Iran?
NETANYAHU: You know, I've taken note of President Obama's statement that he's determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. I see that sanctions have been adopted, modest sanctions at the U.N. But more robust sanctions recently by the Congress was signed by the president the other day. I hope the other nations follow America's lead in this. Will it be enough to stop the Iranian nuclear program? I can't tell you, Larry. I do tell you that the president has said that all options are on the table. And I do tell you that Israel always reserves the right to defend itself. That's the purpose for which it was founded, to defend Jewish lives.
KING: Assuming -- Israel has never said it has nuclear weapons, but the world thinks it does. Why is it OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons and Iran not to have nuclear weapons? Hypothetically, if Israel has them, why is it OK for them to have them and the other not?
NETANYAHU: Well, we said we wouldn't be the first to introduce these weapons into the Middle East. But equally, we're not threatening to destroy any country. We don't seek the destruction of any country or any people. We don't say that an entire people has to be wiped off the map of the Earth. We don't have such intentions.
And I think all nuclear proliferation is bad. But some of it is a lot worse. It does make a difference whether Holland has nuclear weapons, or the Ayatollah regime that sponsored terrorism and calls for Israel's destruction, whether it is nuclear weapons. And I think there's a common understanding right now, something that I spoke about 16 years ago, 14 years -- to be precise, 1996, when I was elected, 14 years ago. I spoke before the joint session of the U.S. Congress. I was just elected prime minister. And I said that the greatest threat facing humanity is that Iran would acquire nuclear weapons.
Some eyebrows were raised at the time. I can tell you, 14 years later, that most of the world's leaders today agree with this. There is a question of the distance between understanding and effective action, and that is the ultimate test of leadership and history.
KING: Would you ban all nuclear weapons throughout the -- the world -- would you ban nuclear weaponry entirely?
NETANYAHU: Well, that's beyond my scope. I mean, this is -- this is a worthy cause, but it's -- it's a very complicated issue. And I'm sure you realize that the most important thing is preventing the most dangerous weapons in the world from falling into the hands of the most dangerous regimes. And this is what we really are facing today. We're facing the prospect that people who talk about destruction, who deny the Holocaust, who sponsor terrorism everywhere, who shoot their own citizens on the sidewalk -- you know, they lie there.
Remember that young woman lying there, choking in her own blood. These people who have absolutely no inhibitions about the use of violence and brutality would acquire the weapons of mass terror, the ultimate mass terror weapons, which is atomic bombs. That's a very, very dangerous development for all of us.
KING: Would there be any point -- may sound ridiculous, but speaking is better than killing. Would there be any point for you to sit down with Ahmadinejad?
NETANYAHU: Well, if he wanted to change the policies of Iran. We used to have friendly relations with Iran. It actually recognized Israel. We had exchanges all the time. But, you know, tell me -- when Ahmadinejad decides to recognize the state of Israel and seek peace with it, believe me, I'll be there eagerly waiting. But I'm afraid I don't see that. I see the very opposite.
KING: Some more moments. We have a couple segments left with the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel. So thankful to give us this hour tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE." As we say, we go back a long way. What do you make of Iraq -- no, no, well, I'm leaving "LARRY KING LIVE" in November. But I'm going to be around. We're going to do specials. We're going to come to the Middle East.
NETANYAHU: Oh, good. Good, I'll -- then I'll entertain you again in Israel. It will be a good refresher.
KING: It will be my pleasure. Don't forget, you committed, if we can get all three leaders on together, we're going to do that show.
NETANYAHU: You can do it anytime. You have one.
KING: OK. Are you -- well, I think we can get Jordan. If we get -- we're fine if we get Abbas. What do you make of what's going to happen in Iraq? Will that hold together?
NETANYAHU: I hope so. I mean, we are -- we are rooting for the success of the American effort and of the Iraqi effort to stabilize Iraq. It went through a very difficult period. We want to see a peaceful Middle East. We want to see a moderate Middle East. I think there's a larger battle taking place between the forces of modernity and the forces of Medievalism. There's no other word that I could use to describe this militancy that tries not merely to eradicate Israel, but to bring down any moderate government in the Arab world and in the Middle East.
In a way, there's a -- this is the first time in my lifetime that the -- many of the Arab governments and Israel understand that there's a great -- a great foe that threatens all of us. And that is the basis of a broader understanding. I don't think peace should be merely forged by common dangers. It should be forged also by the benefits, the blessings of peace, economic blessings, the human blessings of every sort. But today the context of the peace is made perhaps more likely and more possible because of this common enemy that threatens Israel and Arab countries alike.
KING: What's -- what about Hezbollah, Lebanon, that -- four years since the war with Hezbollah and Lebanon. Are you still concerned about them?
NETANYAHU: Unfortunately, yes, because it is basically an Iranian terror proxy. Look, Lebanon was the Switzerland of the Middle East. It had -- it's a very beautiful country. It had robust economy. And Iran has moved its surrogates, Hezbollah, into Lebanon. It has piled weapons there. They fire those weapons on Israel. They undermine any attempt at moderation, any movement towards peace.
We always hoped that Lebanon -- we always said, we don't know who the first country to make peace with Israel, which country that would be, but certainly Lebanon would be the second country. And, you know, it hasn't happened, not because many Lebanese don't want it, but because radical forces, pro-Iranian forces, like Hezbollah, are preventing it.
And so you have these two enclaves next to Israel, one in the south, Gaza, controlled by one proxy of Hezbollah, preventing the people there from making peace with Israel. And then another enclave in the north, in Lebanon, controlled by another Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, preventing the Lebanese from making peace with Israel, and threatening to throw the entire region into a maelstrom of violence and terror. That's happened before. I hope it doesn't happen again.
But Hezbollah and Hamas are basically Iranian surrogates. As long as Iran doesn't want peace, they don't want peace.
KING: Touch some other bases before you leave, as we have one segment to go. You've invited President Obama to visit Israel. What has he said?
NETANYAHU: Well, you know, he'll decide the appropriate time. But I have to tell you that we had a very, very, very productive conversation. And I think that when we have a chance to sit, as we do, one on one, I think it's very, very productive for Israel, for the United States and for the quest for peace.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with the prime minister after this.
KING: Couple of other things, Mr. prime minister. How would you describe the relationship of your country with Secretary of State Clinton? And how do you measure her work in the peace process?
NETANYAHU: I greatly respect Secretary Clinton. You know, I worked with her husband, Bill. I got to know Hillary on her visits to Israel. She's always a welcomed guest. I think she's knowledgeable. I think Secretary Clinton was a very wise choice on the part of President Obama.
And we'll be happy to work with her if the president so designates, and he often does.
KING: There's some video getting a lot of attention on the web, supposedly of Israeli soldiers dancing while on patrol in Hebron. What do you know of that?
NETANYAHU: I don't know. I hear it for the first time.
KING: So do I. They gave me a note here and said it's on the web.
NETANYAHU: I don't know. If you talk to me -- if you want to invite me again, I will be able to respond to it.
KING: We'll invite you any time. Are you ever able -- you're prime minister of Israel. A previous prime minister was assassinated. You live in the center of a hostile world. Are you ever able to really relax?
NETANYAHU: Yeah. You know, yes. And I'll tell you when. Every Saturday, our Sabbath, we have a day off. It's a very good idea that this institution was brought into the world. So I have a day off. And every Saturday, I take an hour and a half, and I read from the Bible with my younger boy. He has just won the National Bible Championship in Israel and he came third in the international. It's like the big spelling bee, you know, huge.
I relax then. I draw a lot of spiritual strength. You know, I used to teach him. He is now 15. But in the last couple of years, he teaches me. So, yes, I draw enormous reservoirs of strength and I think that is needed for all leaders, but especially for the leaders of Israel.
KING: Four years ago, the former prime minister, Ariel Sharon, suffered a stroke. He is still alive. Do you ever go to see him? What is that story?
NETANYAHU: It's a tragedy. Ariel Sharon was one of the great leaders of Israel. He's, in my judgment, the greatest general that Israel has had in modern times. He has contributed a lot to the country. And, unfortunately, he suffered, as you say, the stroke. We can all pray that somehow he miraculously recovers. But that has not happened yet. But I think the people of Israel value his contributions. I certainly do.
KING: Earlier in the program, you mentioned that Hamas is still holding Gilad Shalit -- I believe that's the way you pronounce his name -- the Israeli soldier they captured four years ago.
KING: Any late word on any efforts?
NETANYAHU: Well, we've had a German mediator, very able man, trying to broker the release. I'm prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad. But so far there's not been an official response of Hamas to this offer that the mediator has made. I have accepted it. They have not. I can only hope that they change their mind.
KING: In our remaining moments, Mr. prime minister, do you think -- how old are you now?
NETANYAHU: I'm 60 years old, Larry. And showing it.
KING: Do you think that in your lifetime, you will really see peace in your region?
NETANYAHU: I think it's possible to achieve it, yes. Will we achieve it with the entire Middle East? That, I cannot say. Can we achieve it with the Palestinians? I say absolutely. I say that with conviction, because I think it's a question of a rightness for our people's perspective. There is already time. It's now. I think for many Palestinians, the time is now. And I'm prepared to make that effort.
It requires a lot of courage. Maybe that's the quality that supersedes all others. Because if you don't have courage, everything else fails. But if you have it, then everything else is possible. We have the courage to make peace. And I hope -- I fervently hope that our Palestinian neighbors have similar courage. With the help of the United States, I think it can be done, yeah. Absolutely.
KING: Thank you, Mr. prime minister. Have a safe trip home. We hope to see you again very soon.
NETANYAHU: Thank you. Come and visit us, Larry. Thank you.
KING: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. Time now for "AC 360."
 Este documento del Pentágono fue aparentemente desclasificado en 1979 pero no se publicó hasta 1984.
"Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense"; Journal of PalestineStudies, Vol. 13, No. 2. (Winter, 1984), pp. 122-126.
 Netanyahu, B. 2000. A durable peace: Israel and its place among the nations, 2 edition. New York: Warner Books. (APPENDIX: The Pentagon Plan, June 29, 1967; pp.433-437)
 El recuento del contexto de las conversaciones entre Manhigut Yehudit, el movimiento de Moshe Feiglin, y Francisco Gil-White de HIR, para lograr que Feiglin divulgara los orígenes nazi de OLP/Fatah, se encuentra en el siguiente artículo:
"Leaders Lied, Jews died. Why have Israeli leaders been lying to their fellow citizens about the Fatah/PLO?" Historical and Investigative Research; 10 July 2007; by Francisco Gil-White