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Prime Minister: Radical Islam Taking Us Back to the Past

PM emphasizes dangers of Islamism, including a nuclear Iran: 'We are for modernity - they are for dark medievalism'.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 11/19/2013, 3:28 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, at an Israeli-French technology conference Tuesday, contrasted Israel's goals with those of Islamic radicals as a matter of modernity and anachronism. 

Referencing the scientific studies before him, Netanyahu stated, "What we are seeing is the future. I think where radical Islam is trying to take us is the past." He elaborated, "We are for modernity. They are for a dark medievalism."

"We're for opening up our societies for everyone – men, women, minorities, the right to be different," the Prime Minister continued, "They're for uniform suppression of a rigid doctrine and they want to back it up with weapons of death."

Netanyahu related those concerns to the threat of a nuclear Iran. 

"I think it would be a grave mistake to repeat the mistake that was done vis-à-vis North Korea, another closed society, doctrinaire, rigid and aggressive," he explained. "I think in the case of Iran, there is an opportunity. It would be a great mistake to capitulate before Iran when they have all reasons right now to respond to the pressures that have been put on them. Rather than surrendering to their charm offensive, it's important that they surrender to the pressure that can be brought to them to have them abandon their nuclear program."

The Prime Minister's remarks follow heightened international tensions regarding a possible nuclear Iran deal, which is slated to be discussed in Geneva this Thursday, November 20.

France and Israel have both voiced their opposition to a compromise deal with Tehran over its nuclear program, after Netanyahu warned that it is "a very bad deal" that could only lead to more bloodshed. The US, however, has been inclined to accept a deal, emphasizing that an agreement is close.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will also visit Russia Wednesday in a last-minute attempt to prevent the rolling back of sanctions on Iran.

On Monday, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett emphasized in an interview with CNN that Israel's objective is not "no deal", but rather, to achieve a good deal.

He explained that the current deal could leave open the potential for Iran to have the ability to "break out" and produce a weapon at any time within a matter of weeks, even if they are not currently building one due to international scrutiny.

His remarks follow polls revealing that most Israelis believe that an IDF strike on Iran could be a success, and that they prefer a military solution over a diplomatic one.