Benjamin Netanyahu offered an olive branch to President Obama, despite the White House’s claim that comments he made during his election campaign were divisive and anti-Arab.
In an exclusive post-election interview, Netanyahu told Fox News host Megyn Kelly the essential difference between an American president and an Israeli prime minister:
Whereas the president is concerned about the security of the United States, the prime minister worries about Israel’s very survival.
“What does it mean to you personally to wake up each day knowing that Israel’s enemies’ stated goal is to destroy the people and the country that you love?”
“I was once asked: what’s the difference between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel?” Netanyahu told her. “And I said, Megyn, that the president of the United States, I believe, is always concerned about the security of the United States, but the prime minister of Israel… and I can speak personally in the nine years that I’ve been in office, there’s not been a day, a day, that I haven’t thought about the things I have to do to protect the survival of Israel. And that’s the difference.”
Kelly interviewed Netanyahu days after his stunning re-election this week as the leader of “out strongest and most important ally.”
He claimed that despite remarks before the election that there will be no Palestinian state, he hadn’t changed his position on a two-state solution for Israel. He was merely reiterating that a deal with Palestine cannot be reached until it denounces Hamas and accepts Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
“The conditions for that are not today achievable,” he told Kelly.
Kelly asked about reports that President Obama may abandon Israel at the United Nations over the Palestinian issue.
“I hope that’s not true, and I think that President Obama has said time and time again, as I’ve said, that the only path to a peace agreement is an agreement, a negotiated agreement. You can’t impose it,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s the direction of American policy,” he said. “I hope it’s not.”
Kelly noted that the United States originally wanted to limit Iran’s nuclear centrifuges to 500, but that, according to the Associated Press, may call for as many as 6,000 as a part of its proposed agreement.
“If Israel had a seat on the table, I would say zero centrifuges,” Netanyahu said. “But I don’t have a seat on the table.”
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