Exclusive Arutz Sheva Interview
Arutz Sheva Exclusive Interview With PM Netanyahu

Netanyahu urges nationalists to vote Likud, stave-off leftist gov't of 'submission and capitulation'; 'they'll retreat along every front.'

Yoni Kempinski,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks Exclusively to Arutz Sheva
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks Exclusively to Arutz Sheva
Arutz Sheva

Ahead of tonight's major nationalist rally in Tel Aviv, and just two days before general elections, Prime Minister and Likud party leader Binyamin Netanyahu spoke exclusively in English to Arutz Sheva, and appealed to right-wing voters to cast their ballots for Likud - saying only his party could prevent the establishment of a leftist government which would be essentially controlled by outside powers.

"The possibility is that if we don't close the gap between Labor and Likud, then Buji [Yitzhak Herzog] and Tzipi Livni will form... a Left government backed by the Arabs that will retreat on all fronts," Netanyahu warned.

"They'll go back to the '67 lines, they'll divide Jerusalem, they'll agree to this horrendous deal that's being hatched up" with Iran, he added.

"I believe there's a real danger for the State of Israel and the land of Israel."

Speaking in English exclusively to Arutz Sheva, the Likud party head called on "English-speaking Israeli voters" to "go to the polls and vote for the one party that will change" the current picture, in which the "Zionist Union" joint list headed by Livni and Herzog currently leads in the polls.

Netanyahu explained the widening gap between his party and Herzog's on an "unprecedented" media campaign aimed at taking him down. "Most of the media is mobilized" against him, he asserted.

Just as importantly is "an enormous infusion of cash from abroad, with the support of governments who understand that the way to bring the Left up is to bring the Likud, and me, down," he continued, in a reference to the foreign-funded V15 campaign, whose aim is to oust Netanyahu in favor of a left-wing government and whose links to the Obama administration are facing increased scrutiny.

The aim of such campaigns is to give the Zionist Union enough of a lead to allow Herzog and Livni to form the next government, Netanyahu pointed out. As a result, he insisted, the only way to foil them is to vote for the Likud party and close that gap, thwarting their efforts and forcing President Rivlin to give Likud the first shot at forming a coalition.

He said right-wing voters "don't have the luxury" of voting for other nationalist parties.

"Jewish Home will be a partner in the government in a senior position whatever happens" if Likud retains power, Netanyahu guaranteed.

The PM framed the choice between him and Herzog-Livni as being a choice between a government which "stand(s) for the land of Israel, the people of Israel, the State of Israel, even when we have disagreements with the president of the United States," and a leftist government which would yield to international pressure on every issue.

"Their idea of diplomacy is submission, is capitulation," he said of Herzog and Livni. "Whatever the outside pressures are we have to submit to them!"

Questioned about his own position, famously endorsing a 2-state solution and enacting a 9-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu pointed to the "enormous pressures that no other government has ever sustained," despite which he built "thousands of units."

But he urged nationalist voters to see the current elections differently.

"The question now is not additional units, it's the existing units, because if Tzipi or Buji comes to power, (if) the Left comes to power, they'll retreat along every front and they'll bring down the existing settlement community - that's the thing that has to be understood!"

Regarding his comments on establishing a Palestinian Arab state, Netanyahu said that he had changed his stance since his speech at Bar Ilan in 2009.

"That was said at the time when the Middle East was in a different place... but right now I say - the Middle East has changed," he declared, pointing to the so-called "Arab spring", which he said had become an "Islamist Winter."

"Any territory that we give up is taken immediately by the forces of militant islam who use it to bombard our territory with thousands of rockets.

"The international Left and local Left aren't stupid. They know that I do not concede. They know that I stand our ground. They know that they have to knock me and Likud out - that's why their campaign is 'anyone but Bibi!'"

Of nationalist votes, he claimed that the left-wing campaign was hoping to drain the Likud specifically of votes to clear the way for a Labor-Hatnua win, in whatever way possible.

"They don't care if it goes to other parties, even in the nationalist camp... they know that at that point Tzipi and Buji will be given the task of forming the government. They know that at that point they'll win.

"What they know we should know, what they want, we should do the opposite," he concluded urging people to vote Likud.

As for releasing convicted terrorist murderers, Netanyahu pledged to never do so again. "That's all in the past," he guaranteed. 

The PM also addressed the contentious issue of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, and defended his stance against ending the current "status quo."

"We could ignite a great religious war against a billion Muslims," by changing things, he warned. "I stand up for Israel, the Temple Mount is very dear to me... but I wouldn't change the status quo and create a religious war."

"I'm careful, I'm responsible. I'm an ardent Jewish patriot, I'm a Zionist, I'm a proud Jew - but I also  have the responsibility as prime minister to do the right thing for the State of Israel and the continuation of the Jewish people."

If Likud wins the elections, Netanyahu pledged to form "a nationalist government that is stable, and not a divided government in which the likes of Tzipi and Lapid undermine our position."

"A nationalist government begins with a Likud victory," he said.




top