Excerpts of Interviews with Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on CNN and Fox News

January 6, 2003

From interview with Foreign Minister Netanyahu on CNN – American Morning with Paula Zahn:

ZAHN: In a series of statements, two different groups claimed responsibility for the bombings yesterday, later retracted those statements. Who do you think is responsible for these latest bombings?

FM NETANYAHU: Our best indication is that this is the Fatah Tanzim, the military wing of Fatah, that is subordinate to Yasser Arafat. They’ve carried out scores of such attacks in the last two years. They’ve murdered many, many Israelis and in this case they’ve murdered many, many non-Israelis. In fact, they knew deliberately that they would be killing our civilians, but also the nationals of other people, because the place they chose is a very well known place of foreign workers in Tel Aviv. So they were out to kill indiscriminately anybody.

Fatah is Arafat’s own organization. We didn’t claim responsibility for this ghoulish crime, they did. They’re under him. He, in fact, is funding them – quite openly, by the way. And he is the one who’s calling for a million suicide martyrs, a million "shaheedim". This is not an invention. You have it on your own tapes.

So, you know, whatever denials are brought forth, they’re insufficient. And it’s not a question of both sides, it’s a question of what the facts are. The facts are that Arafat is a classic terrorist despot, classic corrupt terrorist dictator that has to go the way the Taliban has gone, the way Saddam’s corrupt, brutal regime has gone, not only for the sake of ending this terror, but I think also for allowing a new beginning, a new beginning for Israelis and Palestinians.

It’s just not going to happen with this man and these groups who are subordinate to him. As long as they’re here, it’s just not going to happen and we’re going to have more and more tragedy for Israelis and Palestinians alike. We need something else. We can do better.

I just came back from the hospital with the foreign ambassadors, the ambassadors of China, the Philippines and Moldavia, whose citizens were wounded there, and we had Bulgarians murdered and people from Ghana murdered, just all of humanity. These people were just killing indiscriminately and there we were in the hospital where Israeli doctors were saving lives indiscriminately, Israelis and non-Israelis alike. And I think that just dramatizes what we’re facing here, this inhuman fanaticism, this barbarism and, on the one side, and our humanity on the other side. That’s the sum of what this battle is about.

ZAHN: Are you also assigning blame to the Palestinian Authority here?

FM NETANYAHU: Oh, without a doubt. These people call Arafat their leader. They are part of his movement. He hasn’t called them in. He hasn’t said, you know, stop this. I order you, I forbid you to do this. He hasn’t stopped the incitement. He finances them. He has these suicide schools, suicide kindergarten camp.

I wish I could show you something I’m going to show the foreign press, but you’re welcome to use it and bring any Palestinian to respond to it. I’ve just taken material from the schools, the Palestinian schools run under Yasser Arafat and you show these little children who are saying our goal is to blow ourselves up and murder as many Israelis as we can. This is what they teach little children. Aside from being a war crime under the Geneva Convention, it is also a crime against peace, against the possibility of any reconciliation.

Whatever conflicts we have with each other, we should be able to resolve them peacefully and not by sending children into the fire so that they blow up other children and other innocent people. That effectively is what Arafat is doing.

From interview with Foreign Minister Netanyahu on Fox News – "Your World With Neil Cavuto":

FM NETANYAHU: We have an ongoing battle with savage terrorists. Yesterday, they deliberately murdered people, not only Israelis but the nationals of several lands. They just indiscriminately kill anyone. And I spent today and some time in the hospital with the foreign ambassadors from China, from the Philippines, from Moldavia, taking care of the people who were hurt. So while they are indiscriminately murdering lives, we are indiscriminately saving lives. And I think this is what this battle is about. It’s a battle between barbarism and civilization. And civilization will win, must win, surely we will win.

It is a ghoulish word to use for somebody who actually takes pride in massacring innocents, but the group that took responsibility for this heinous act was Fatah Tanzim. Fatah Tanzim reports to Arafat, he is their boss. He is their leader. He is there inspiration. So, Arafat may talk about talking, but while from one side of his mouth he is talking peace from the other he dispatches these murderers who blow themselves up while blowing as many innocent Israelis and the citizens of other nations as well. I just don’t think we can go on with the charade. I think this leadership has to go. I have been saying that to you, I think, endless times on previous appearances. This only confirms it. I think as long as this leadership is there, we are not going to have a new beginning. And the Israelis and the Palestinians and the Middle East deserve a new beginning. We are going to have that I think in Iraq probably very soon. We need in our part of the Middle East as well, tyrants, terrorist leaders, rogue regimes like Arafat’s or Saddam Hussein’s, really don’t belong here.

We want to talk to the Palestinians. We want to talk to people who want to talk to us about living, not about killing us. And I think that you are faced with certain points in history, with dictators and tyrants who simply refuse to compromise with your existence. We have had that in World War II, and there was no way of talking. You could talk and talk and talk to that particular regime in Berlin, it didn’t make a damn bit of difference. You simply had to change the leadership in order to get any progress. Were there no people in Germany to talk to? of course there were. But they couldn’t raise their head. Are there are no people in Iraq right now that you can talk to? of course there are. But in Iraq itself they can’t raise their head. Are there no Palestinians we can talk to? of course there are. But we can’t talk to them right now because if they raise their heads, if they criticize Arafat, if they actually stand against him, they will be shot. So until you have a leadership replacement, you’re not going to get any movement towards peace. But I’m convinced that once that leadership is replaced, as President Bush had said in his June 24 speech, that no leadership, that is no leaders compromised by terror can participate in a peace process. Well, this leadership is up to its eyeballs in terror, and it should be replaced with a new leadership with which we can begin a genuine peace process.