In an interview broadcast last night on an American news network, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke of welcoming the US president-elect, of his plans to lobby against the Iran deal, of the growing anti-Semitism and BDS movements throughout the US and Europe, and of Israel’s new relationships with countries in the region and around the world.
Dec 12, 2016, 9:00AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes last night that he plans to lobby the US president-elect Donald Trump to cancel the Iran Deal once he is in office. “There are ways, various ways of undoing it,” he said told Lesley Stahl. “I have about five things in mind.”
The Prime Minister spoke in length about the Iran issue and even about his relationship with the outgoing President Barack Obama. “Yea we had our differences of opinion with – I had differences of opinion with President Obama and most well-known, of course, is Iran,” said Netanyahu. “I don’t think [it was personal]. I think that suppose we had the greatest personal chemistry, OK? So, what? You think I wouldn’t stand up against the Iran deal if I thought, as I did, that it endangers the existence of Israel? Of course I would.”
Netanyahu’s interview on 60 Minutes interview covered a number of topics including Trump’s following in the extreme right-wing movement in the US called “Alt-right,” whose members are deemed by many as racist and white supremacists. Although much of the American Jewish community is worrisome of the growing anti-Semitism following Trump’s election, especially with regards to Trump’s anti-Semitic followers, Netanyahu rejects this notion.
On the president-elect, Netanyahu said that he knows Donald Trump, “And I think his attitude and his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state and about the Jewish people.”
According to Netanyahu, Israel has never been less isolated or less secure as he spoke about developing relations between Israel and countries that beforehand were not so friendly, specifically many Arab and African states. Netanyahu directly spoke of the strengthening relationship with Israel’s only peaceful neighbors, Egypt and Jordan; refusing to comment when asked about relations with Saudi Arabia. Netanyahu credits the very deal with Iran he hopes Trump will cancel for these new relationships in the region.
On Israel’s newer relations with Russia and China, Netanyahu reaffirmed that these are just relations and that the United States is still Israel’s greatest and most important ally. On the BDS movement against Israel, Netanyahu said these efforts are not about settlements or any other issue. He said “It’s against the very existence of the State of Israel.”