Arutz Sheva spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a special interview ahead of the elections.
Netanyahu said that the feeling of alarm in the Likud’s recent election campaign stems from the fact that “We’re going to lose unless people show up and vote for Likud.”
“Likud has to be bigger than Gantz and Lapid and, right now, we’re smaller. All the polls show that.”
He said that the exact amount of votes the Yamina party receives was irrelevant “because they will pass the threshold anyway and they will be part of our government. They’ll be the first that I’ll turn to in forming a government if I win.”
“But if we [Likud] don’t get the extra two votes and are lower than Lapid and Gantz, we won’t be forming a government.”
Asked to what extent his statement yesterday about applying sovereignty in the Jordan Valley was coordinated with the White House, Netanyahu said that he had notified the White House in advance about what he would say.
“They responded that their plans haven’t changed, and someone in the White House briefed off the record that Netanyahu’s plan does not impinge on Trump’s. That’s saying a lot.”
He pointed out the less hostile tone of the Trump administration compared to that of the Obama administration, noting his efforts over the course of both administrations.
“For over 8 years, I blocked the attempt to push us into the ‘67 borders, to uproot settlements. Then, in the last 3 years, I’m changing the course of Jewish history by getting recognition for settlement, for the borders. Strategic areas are key to our future.
“I was pleased that I persuaded Trump to recognize Jerusalem as our capital, move the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognize our sovereignty in the Golan, get out of the horrible Iran deal that Gantz and Lapid supported - and now I’m doing the same thing vis a vis the Jordan Valley, but also all the settlements inside and outside the blocs. This is crucial."
Netanyahu said he believed that, despite firing John Bolton, Trump would “continue his powerful sanctions policy against Iran.”
“You can see that. Everyone said, ‘oh, it’s a reversal on Iran,’ and then half an hour later Trump imposed additional sanctions.”
Regarding a possible upcoming meeting between Trump and Rouhani, Netanyahu said he wasn’t sure if there would be such a meeting, but that but if so “I’m sure Trump’s position will be different from his predecessor’s.”
“Secretary of State Pompeo has put out very powerful points on Iran which I think represent the gist of American policy,” he added.
With the Trump peace plan expected to be released soon, Netanyahu asserted that he was the man best suited to negotiate with Trump.
“Who do you want to negotiate with Trump on this deal? Gantz and Lapid? If you want me to do it - vote for me and Likud.”
At the same time, he continued, “We’re turning Jewish history in a direction that is important to safeguard our future. Don’t stop it. Right when we’re about to get the real fruits of the amazing effort we’ve put in over the last decades, what will you do? Throw it away on Yamina, Otzma, Noam? Or give it to Liberman, who's going with the Left?"
“I could be the darling of the Left if, instead of standing up for the Land of Israel, instead of maneuvering to safeguard our cherished interests, I just gave up.”
“But I don’t do this, because I believe in our common mission. Help me protect the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the Jewish homeland. Give me your vote.”