News / Middle East

Netanyahu Takes on the World in Israeli Election Campaign

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands next to a free-electron laser (FEL) during a visit to the Ariel University Center in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel, January 8, 2013.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands next to a free-electron laser (FEL) during a visit to the Ariel University Center in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel, January 8, 2013.
Reuters
It's Bibi against the world on a campaign trail that took the combative Israeli prime minister to a Jewish settlement on Tuesday.
 
Enjoying a wide opinion poll lead before a Jan. 22 election, Benjamin Netanyahu has been lecturing the international community - vocal in its criticism of settlement expansion on occupied territory and his hints of military action against Iran - about what it should really be worried about.
 
The right-wing candidate, known by his childhood nickname "Bibi", has been striving in campaign appearances to strike a common chord in a country where a song titled, "The whole world is against us", was once a hit.
 
"The great danger to the world is not from Jews building in our ancestral capital in Jerusalem, it's from nuclear weapons in Iran," Netanyahu said on Monday in a speech in the holy city, to which both Israel and the Palestinians stake claims.
 
A day later, he travelled to Ariel, a major Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, where his government's granting of university status to a college last month drew international condemnation.
 
Tweaking his message to match the locality, Netanyahu said, "The danger to the world is not from the university in Ariel or Israeli construction in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The danger comes from Iran, which is building nuclear weapons."
 
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy only. Netanyahu has long been at odds with even Israel's closest Western allies over settlement building in the West Bank, territory captured in a 1967 war that Palestinians seek as part of a future state.
 
His tough talk on Iran, hinting heavily that Israel might attack its nuclear facilities unilaterally unless international sanctions persuade Tehran to halt uranium enrichment, has raised the alarm in world capitals.
 
Chemical weapons
 
The civil war in nearby Syria and Israeli fears that Syrian chemical weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist rebels also figure high on Netanyahu's campaign list of eye-openers for foreign leaders.
 
"I call on the world to wake up. History will judge severely those who equate democratic Israel, which is establishing a university [in Ariel], to those tyrannical regimes slaughtering their countrymen and possessing weapons of mass destruction," he said during his visit to the settlement.
 
Running under the campaign slogan, "A strong prime minister, a strong Israel", Netanyahu's Likud party, allied in the election with the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu faction, has lost some ground to a start-up far-right party led by high-tech millionaire Naftali Bennett.
 
But opinion polls still count Netanyahu as a shoo-in to enlist right-wing parties after the vote and form the next coalition government. In Israel, no single party has ever won a parliamentary majority.
 
Bennett, a former settler leader, opposes a Palestinian state and wants to annex about 60 percent of the West Bank.
 
Netanyahu is still formally committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a peace deal with Israel, while raising conditions - many of them already rejected by the Palestinians - for its creation.
 
But he has been making clear to voters that he intends to plough ahead with settlement construction, suggesting it is a sacred duty.
 
"We remain loyal to our homeland will continue to protect our citizens, develop our country and build in our land," Netanyahu said in Ariel. "With God's help, we will build and we will succeed."

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike from: VA
January 09, 2013 11:23 PM
Who else would vote for Netanyahu?, His supporters are the descendants of the vagabonds who roamed the world in the previous centuries, before coming to steal the Palestinian lands and create their own state on the ruins and the sufferings of millions - the Palestinians who were forced to leave their homeland in 1948. and i can say safely, that according to the UN figures there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees s scattered allover the middle East and the world. God bless the ignorant of the geography and the recent history of the Middle East.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 09, 2013 9:22 PM
This article totally misrepresents the situation. Mr. Netanyahu has stated he is clearly for a peaceful resolution. Past Israeli gvmts have made concesssions, and shown tremendous flexibility. The biggest concession made was the withdrawl from Gaza. That withdrawl has caused nothing but grief. Since the withdrawl over 24000 projectiles were fired, indiscriminately, falling on civilian population centres. One defensive war, and one defensive operation, were triggered by the indicriminate firing against the civilian population of Southern Israel. Each time, Israel waited for weeks before undertaking defensive action against those firing from Gaza. Just before Cast Lead, the first major offensive to stop the indiscriminate bombardment, near 1/4 of the Israeli defence forces were stationed at the Gaza perimeter, on the Israeli side. The army was in full view of Gaza, yet they continued to fire and target civilian areas in Southern Israel, but not Israeli forces in full view. No nation would allow 18000- 22000 projectiles being fired at its military, never mind at its civilian centres. The sad and shameful part, is that as long as Israeli civilians where being bombarded, the world was silent. As soon as Israel started defending itself, Israel was criticized by nations, that themselves have been at various wars, and used their most formidable weapons to attack their enemies; and I must say, notwithstanding the formidable weapons, they did not win those wars. The second recent operation, once again was triggered by sustained indiscriminate firing/bombardments from Gaza. After 3 weeks, and a mostly silent world as Israeli civilian areas were bombarded, Israel started its defensive operation. Once again, many nations that had been silent started to criticize Israel. A state not only should protect its citizens, against agression, but it has a duty to do so. For years the Palestinian side has dragged their feet on the peace process, it is one demand after another. The most basic of issues, recognizing the right of Jews to live in/over/on their acncestral lands has not been agreed to. Over 2 million Muslims live in Israel and are Israeli citizens. Nearly 2 million Jews use to live in Muslim countries, now there are less than 100,000.; and those in most cases, due to security issues, live very isolated lives; in Gaza no Jews live. The settlements are not an issue, because the full expectation is that in a two state solution Jews, as Muslims do in Israel, will have full rights to continue living in peace on/in/over their ancestral lands. The expectation is that when a final agreement is made, no ethnic cleansing of Jews or Christians, or... should take place. Unfortunately, international leaders, pushing the two state solution have failed to address or deal with the expectation that Israel and the future Palestinian state will be multi-ethnic, and Jews will be allowed to leave in peace, security, safety, and have all the rights of citizenship in the new Palestinian state, as do Muslims in the Jewish state of Israel. So stop alluding Israel, its PM and its citizens as to not wanting peace; what they do not want/fear is a biased, and unjust agreements.

by: Herman from: UK
January 09, 2013 2:10 PM
"Inclusion...??" have you read the PLO - Fatah - Hamas manifestos...??? take a look... they are in English!!! hey Arabs are Arabs - and there is no difference between Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, "Palestinians", Saudis, Iraqis... we gave them different names for colonial administrative conveniences, they are not different peoples...

by: Michael from: USA
January 09, 2013 10:11 AM
Israel is courageous but when Mr Netanyahu refers to "Our homeland" the entire cake melts because Israel shows only awareness of selection, not inclusion

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More