Netanyahu: Israel's Legitimacy Is Under Attack

By Jonathan Lis (Haaretz)

Published June 23, 2010.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday that Israel’s legitimacy is being attacked, during a Knesset discussion on Israel’s collapsing international status.

Netanyahu went on to criticize the United Nations and other international institutions for targeting Israel alone for condemnation.

“They want to strip us of the natural right to defend ourselves. When we defend ourselves against rocket attack, we are accused of war crimes. We cannot board sea vessels when our soldiers are being attacked and fired upon, because that is a war crime.”

“They are essentially saying that the Jewish nation does not have the right to defend itself against the most brutal attacks and it doesn’t have the right to prevent additional weapons from entering territories from which it is attacked,” he said.

Netanyahu stressed that Israel has taken steps to push forward a resolution with the Palestinians though they have not reciprocated the gesture.

“The Palestinian side promoted the Goldstone report, organized boycotts, and tried to prevent our entrance into the OECD. The Palestinian Authority has no intentions of engaging in direct talks with us,” Netanyahu exclaimed.

“I call on [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas, yet again, to enter direct talks with us, because there is no other way to solve the conflict between us without direct dialogue. How could we possibly live side by side if they can’t even enter the same room as us?”

Also during the discussion, Kadima MK Dalia Itzik called on Netanyahu to form a unity government with Kadima.

“If you truly want to form a unity government, a new government in line with the people of Israel, you should understand that what matters is not Likud or Kadima, not your ego or our ego, not you or me, but what should guide us is the good of the country,” she said.

Earlier, Balad MK Hanin Zuabi, who took part in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla raided by the IDF on May 31, accused fellow MKs of hypocrisy for attacking her for her criticism of the blockade of Gaza.

“I was attacked personally and politically, but two weeks later the prime minister decided to end the civilian blockade of Gaza,” she said. “Three weeks ago, I spoke on this podium, after nine people were killed to preserve the blockade. And now, after the prime minister ends the civilian blockade, as he calls it, no one yelled, no one even said a word.”



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