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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 31, 2023 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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(customer) do i have to do anything? (burke) nothing. (customer) nothing? (burke) nothing. (customer) nothing? (burke) nothing. (customer) hmm, that is really something. (burke) you get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. see ya. (kid) may i have a balloon, too? (burke) sure. your parents have maintained a farmers home policy for twelve consecutive months, right? ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ >> i'm jake tapper live in jerusalem, welcome to a cnn exclusive report. tonight, the eyes of the world are upon the middle east. at the end of the bloodiest month for israel and the west bank in years. israeli prime minister
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the backlash to is no coalition government. and whether it plans to help women's war with russia. including militarily, and his relationships with both the current and former president. of the united states. we started our conversation on the surge of violence between israelis and palestinians which in recent days have set off fears of perhaps a new uprising
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that could lead to a bloody, deadly war. tonight, the u.s. state department confirms senior u.s. officials are remaining in the middle east after traveling hair to try to help israel and the palestinian authority lower the temperature. that's where i started our exclusive conversation with prime minister netanyahu earlier tonight. >> netanyahu, thanks for so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> wait a minute, i have to tell you something and i spent some years in philadelphia. i don't want to intervene in politics but i understand that you've made it to the super bowl. >> we did. >> i offer you my congratulations. all right, thank you, you're trying to butter me up a little bit. >> of course i am. >> let's turn to a more serious abject, because we are speaking at a rather perilous time in this region right now. one of the bloodiest months in israel the region has seen in years, and years. seven israelis were shot outside of a synagogue at the
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entrance of a synagogue on friday. that was one day after ten palestinians were killed after a raid in the west bank during a raid in the west bank in jenin. he's promised a strong and swift response to the shooting of the israelis, how worried are you about everything that we are spiraling out of control, as we have unfortunately seen happen in the past? >> there's always a danger of that, i can tell you that the last ten years as prime minister where the safest. they were the quietest in israel's history. periodically, you have to take swift and strong action against the terrorists. i don't believe in a collective partnership, but i believe and focused action moving against the terrorist themselves. it's actually referred to was action against the intelligence that gave us the ticking bomb, a terrorist air to murder his relatives, and unfortunately one woman was killed in the crossfire. a civilian.
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what we have encountered in the last two years was the outgoing government doubling the terrorist attacks from the palestinian authorities, who were not really exercising its power to fight the terrorists. the israeli army had to come in, and we had to come in in the last few weeks as well. i'm taking targeted action against the terrorists, their immediate circle of supporters that were involved in helping them, and celebrating with fireworks and candies, and other things that after the terrorist act. i think that if we take targeted action on the terrorists, and their immediate circle, this could actually lower the incentive for what we call loan terrorists, they're not loan, within a context. and so you want to target them, and keep the economy going. keep 150,000 palestinians working in israel, help them
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close for a minute. i don't intend to. >> everybody in the region, especially allies, like secretary of state blinken adapters are calling for everybody to bring down the temperature. the security council of israel met on saturday, and announced a number of measures, including strengthening sleigh settlements, more punishment of family members of terrorists, which i think you were alluding to to a degree. and other measures. i'm wondering if secretary blinken expressed to you whether he thought those measures would actually bring the temperature down, or actually exacerbated? >> he certainly said what i agree with, that we should do everything in our part to de-escalate, which we will. it is not targeting family members, is targeting family members that were involved in the terror acts, or who supported it after the act was done. i think that you have to understand, these terrorists are celebrated, paid by the palestinian authorities, but where the more the sleigh, the more they get paid. the family members that supported them get security
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benefits and other measures. that's what we target, and this incentivizes the terrorists. as far as what they really want, they want to uproot us, and i said that you are not going to uproot us, we're here to stay. this includes the jewish communities and territories that we want to uproot, that's not going to happen. i want to disincentivize them. believe, me i've used this tactic over the years, and my record is the best record of any israeli prime minister, or any government in containing it. it's going to be tough. it is not going to be easy. i think that with a judicious use of force, and the willingness to cooperate with the palestinian authorities and secure matters, i think we can control it. that is my hope. i hope that we succeed. we have in the past, and we should now. >> you've referred to jewish communities in the west bank, and i'm sure there is concern in the biden administration, and in the western world about some of those communities.
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i'm not sure which one specifically we're talking, about but some of them are illegal, and there are concerns about expanding some of those settlements, about annexing land. what did secretary blinken say to you about that? my impression is that the biden administration, and certainly the have said this publicly when he met with you earlier, they are worried about that. they were worried about bringing israel on a path where peace is never going to be possible. >> i totally disagree, because i think that the fact we are here, and the jewish people have been here for 3500 years, the jews live here and will continue to live here. the palestinians will continue to live here but. we are going to have to live together. we're not going to ethnically cleanse the heartland of the jewish people, and we're not going to -- 20% of israel's arabs, we're not going to have peace until we kick up the arabs up from israel, we're not going to say that. we're not going to have peace until we kick out the jews from
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these areas, which are disputed, they're not illegal, they're disputed. the only way to resolve that dispute is to have peace negotiations with the palestinians consistently. i think that we can get hung up on this, and we have in the past. people have said, unless we resolve this issue, unless you have peace with the palestinians, you're not going to have a broader pieced with the arab world. for 25 years, the palestinians they don't want peace want to see peace without israel, and don't want to stay next to israel, but instead of israel. they had an effective veto on israel's expansion of the peace circle, the piece around it. i went around them. and we directly to the arab states, and forged with a new concept of peace for peace, peace through strength, i forged for historic -- >> the abraham accords. >> that's twice the amount of peace agreements that all of my predecessors in 20 years got combined. >> i know you are so committed to the abraham accords, which is a huge achievement.
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that was by president trump, and by you. i know you want to keep going. what happens when the big prize is -- i mean, i know that sudan is on the table, some of the southeastern countries around the table. the big rise in saudi arabia obviously. what happens when saudi arabiata obviously. what happens when saudi arabia gets the u.s. to go along with some of the things that go along with the u.s., including security measures that they say, look, prime minister netanyahu, but i need something for the palestinians. in order to go along with this, and you can just do this around the palestinians. that is important to me and to my constituency, what are you willing to give? are you willing to let people on the west bank vote? are you willing to let the 300,000 arabs who have residency in east jerusalem vote? >> i'm certainly willing to have all of the powers that they need to govern themselves.
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none of the powers that can threaten us. that means that israel should have the overriding security responsibility, because every time we move out, say from lebanon, iran came in with its proxy, we move out of gaza, and another radical, the hamas took over. if we just walk away as people suggest, then you will have the hamas and iran moved into the hills around you, overlooking tel aviv. i think that there is a formula for peace that my view is, because of the effect that the continuum, the persistent palestinian refusal, which goes back a century, to recognize a jewish state and, nation-state for the jewish people of anybody, the persistent refusal persists if we wait for them, we're not going to have peace. people are certain that you have to work your way outside of it, first peace with the palestinians, peace with the outside world. i think the realistically, it has to be the other way around. if we make peace with saudi arabia, it depends on the saudi leadership. and effectively, the arab conflict to an end.
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i think we will circle back to the palestinians, and have a workable peace with the palestinians. i think that that's possible, and i think that's the way to go. >> is it a two state solution? >> i would not call it necessarily, that because i don't think that we've had a discussion with my friend in 40 years, and i'm not just saying that the friend of 40 years joe biden, but i mean that. a personal friend of 40 years, and a friend of israel. a real champion of israel, and i told him what i just told you. i said look, any final agreement between israel and the palestinians would have israel controlling security, overriding security responsibility in the area, west of the jordan. that concludes most of the -- and the israeli areas. that by the way is the size of the washington building, the width of the washington bill played. you cannot divide who controls the air space. if it takes two minutes for an air crane to cross, -- of course it is not workable. he said to me, as others have said to me, that's not perfect sovereignty, and i said you are right. i don't know what you call it,
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but it gives them the opportunity to control their lives, to elect their officials, to run their economy, to run their institutions, to have their flag, and to have their parliament. we have to have overriding security control. i think that is the way that we are going to end up, but i don't think we are going to end up now because the palestinians refused to negotiate a real piece, and that is not because of me. for many years, people say that i am the obstacle to peace. i was removed. we had new prime ministers, paris, and everyone before me. none of them succeeded. because of this persistent obstacle. and so i think that if we want to go into a rabbit hole, and try to resolve that, and avoid going to the arab world, i think that we should go to the arab world, and leave myself open to negotiation with the
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palestinians at anytime. i think that the way we are going to succeed is not letting the palestinian detail wag the body of the arab world. get the peace with the arab world, get the palestinians moved out, not moved it physically but moved out from dominating the political scene. you will have the israeli public with an outstretched hand for a real piece. >> i want to come back to that. >> i will come back to that in the second. there is one another big piece of news that happened in the last few days. it's been a very fruitful few days. that is, over the weekend, an unidentified quadcopter drone attacked a military plane deep inside iranian territory. you've always talked about the need for israel, and in fact you said this is a cause of years, a mission appears to protect the israeli people from an accidental threat from iran, and iran's nuclear program. the incident was nearly identical to previous attacks that have been carried by israel, including a series of drone strikes for iranian military strikes and nuclear
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facilities in 2020, one 2022. did israel carry out the strike in iran over the weekend? >> i never talked about specific operations. with the exception of a raid on a secret nuclear place in iran. every time an explosion takes place in the middle east, israel is blamed and given responsibility. sometimes we, are sometimes we are not. i will say that you are right, there was an overriding mission that when i came back and ran in these elections, and was elected, the sixth time because i have three overriding goals. one is to thwart iran's nuclear missions, the second being to expand the dramatically, to end the israeli conflict, but as a leader to ending the israeli and palestinian conflict. the third is to further boost israel's incredible economy. the first is first. the first is iran. i will only say this. i will do everything in my power as israel's prime minister to prevent iran from getting nuclear arsenals that are expressly directed at annihilating us, and they also
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say that not only death to israel, but death to america. you don't want these people to have nuclear weapons, and a means to deliver them. >> u.s. officials are skeptical that there is a long term solution to the iranian nuclear threat. which is military in nature. they just think that there cannot be that much achieved militarily. there could be piecemeal shots here and there, but not that much to prevent word to stop it militarily, and the u.s. obviously thinks that the long term deal, the long term solution, the long term solution to the problem that you are talking about has to be diplomatic. do you disagree, or do you see a way to solve this problem militarily that does not result in all of that war? >> i don't think the iranians want an all out world, because they will lose. i think they are very careful about that. i have a different assessment
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of but what they are facing. they are careful about that. i will say this, if you have rogue receives that are -- you can sign 100 agreements, it won't help. in fact, there have been five. three of them were stopped with credible military action. saddam hussein's iraq that wanted to develop a nuclear capability, we knocked it out. assad wanted to develop nuclear capability, we knocked that out. libya, they wanted to develop a nuclear capability and american opted out by the threat of a military action. >> but that was a diplomatic solution. but yes. >> but it was a threat. he knew he would be next. >> the first two are actually military strikes, the third one was not. >> but there was a credible military threat, that's the important thing. the fourth, north korea was signatory to the -- that didn't do it thing. there was no credible military threat. they now have the nuclear
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arsenal, and perhaps the remains to reach it in the west coast of the united states. soon, who knows what. iran has faced a series of actions on our part, and a series of paralyzing, crippling economic sanctions but we forced together with the united states, and others in the international community. but that rolled iran's program back. there were about ten years behind where they expected to be. we know that for a fact. they are advancing. i think the only way you can stop a rogue state from getting nuclear weapons is accommodation of crippling military and economic sanctions, but the most important thing is a credible military threat. i would say this. if deterrence fails, you have no choice but to take action. does that stop history? no. can iran change? but you see everybody see now, look at what has changed. i had this clearly expressed meaning that i had with jake sullivan, the national security
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adviser, and tony blinken, the secretary of state. i think that there has been a moving of israel and the united states closer together, because the world is moving closer together. it is barbarism over their, their own people, the fact that they are supplying drones the kill innocent people at the heart of europe and ukraine. i think they've been a mess. people understand, and they recognize how dangerous this regime would be with nuclear weapons. i think that the two aspects of preventing such a outcome, one is recognition, and the others action. there is now recognition, and they have yet to see full action. >> next, prime minister netanyahu responds to a massive protest in israel over new moves, even some of his allies worry will significantly hurt israel's democracy. for more of our exclusive interview, stick with us. detect this: living with hiv, i learned i can stay undetectable
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you could earn your master's degree in less than a year for under $11k. learn more at >> welcome back to cnn, i'm jake tapper in jerusalem, israel. prime minister benjamin netanyahu is leading what could be the most far-right government in the history of israel. it's proposed changes to the justice system have spurred massive protests in both jerusalem and tel aviv. even a former member of netanyahu's government believes the move that the move could bring down the country's democracy. i pressed the prime minister about this earlier tonight. >> let's talk about your new government. we are now in a period where
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president biden likes to say, i think you do as well, of a challenge of democracy versus autocracy. you saw over the weekend, massive protests throughout israel over your new judicial reform plan that would allow the israeli parliament to override a supreme court decision with a simple majority vote. in 2017, just five years ago, you touted the importance of a strong, independent, honest, and impartial court. your own former defense minister tweeted that this proposal, your repo puzzle would burn down the country in its values. what is your response? >> i have not changed my view. i think we need a strong, independent judiciary. an independent judiciary does not mean and unbridled judiciary, which is what has happened over the last 25 years. we come from -- you spent from years in philadelphia, you grew up there. there's this place called independence hall, and these
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brilliant people met there and said that in order to secure freedom, and democracy amid the balance between the three branches of government, d the balance between the three branches of government, in israel that balance has been through a skew. you have one branch, a huge branch, a tree trunk, the judiciary, buckley overcoming and aggregating itself the powers of the legislative and government. >> with a simple majority vote to overturn a supreme court decision? that seems pretty outrageous. we've seen lots of people, and you've heard from the governor of the bank of israel, lots of serious business leaders, lots of things that you are so proud of, and rightfully so, the economy that you have helped build in israel, and a lot of the same people are expressing concern to you publicly and in private about what this means. >> i think they should look at
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the provisions of this reform. britain does not have a constitution like us. and the court cannot rule down or strike down any decision from the british parliament. >> do you and your party right now, you could override anything in the supreme court? >> there's some imbalance in that proposal. that is something that can be discussed, but let me tell you that will be -- >> you willing to slow it down? >> i want to hear town or authors. i close from them. >> so you are willing to slow down? >> here's a country that has exactly this provision, it's called canada, is canada not a democracy? is britain out of democracy, is new zealand not a democracy, because they all have the either these provisions, or they have no ability for the courts to strike down laws. here's the thing, if i told you that i came to the united states, and i said to you, here's the main provision that people really object to. if i came to and said, look, i think the u.s. system of choosing and selecting judges where the president nominates the judges, and the senate
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confirms the public hearing, i think that is a danger to democracy. i think you should opt a different system. the difference is a closed committee, where three judges, supreme court judges, and two members of the -- >> i am not talking about your nominating of judges. >> but this is the big thing. people are saying this is the end of democracy. they decide who the judges are, in other words, they self select the judges, and they say that this is the system in israel. if i said to, you this is democracy, you would say, that is ridiculous, it's unacceptable. people call at the end of democracy. they call what we have proposed in canada, over that -- >> i don't even bring it up. >> this is what people are talking about. >> i think we're talking about the overturning of a supreme court decision with a simple majority vote. in the united states, to amend the constitution, it's an
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incredibly arduous process. >> we don't have a constitution. >> my point is to take a drastic measure, it takes a huge effort, wears a simple majority vote, although you said you are now willing to share counter proposals -- >> there are actually safeties in the proposal. people don't want to hear it. >> and some of them say it's because of your corruption trial. the you are on trial right now for charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust, you've denied every bit of wrongdoing. what do you say to people who say that you are only trying to override the judiciary because of yourself, and your own interests? >> that is false. none of the reforms that we are talking about, these democratic reforms, they have nothing to do with my trial. and by the way, the trial is unraveling. >> i had one request in this trial, which was conducted last year, only one request. televise it. they refused. enough of it came out, the blackmailing of witnesses, the use of the most advanced spyware on the planet against the supposed abuse of terrorists, terrible things
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that have happened. as a result, the trial is unraveling. what happened in the last elections is that the trial was barely mentioned at all. why? because it is unraveling. the reforms have nothing to do with these democratic reforms. they have nothing to do with my trial. they have something to do with the fact that we have lost the balance between the three branches of government. in israel today, it's not only that the judges are self selected, but it's that they can strike down cabinet appointments, they can strike down laws of the parliament, they can strike down any and all of those decisions. >> but you have heard from strong supporters of yours and in israel, one of the strong supporters of israel in the united states, who says this change will make it tougher for him to defend israel on the international stage. i'm talking about the overriding of the supreme court decisions. >> i respectfully disagree. i think that it brings israel in line with most of the
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democracies of the world, because israel's right now having the most extreme judicial activism, it has gone off the rails. we are trying to bring it back to where just about all of the democracies are. both in this election of judges, the balance between judges and branches of governments. it's gone haywire. i think that correcting or restoring israeli democracy will make it stronger. the judiciary will remain independent, the rule of law will remain independent. enforcement of contracts, which is the independents. it's going to be there. i think that it's concerns that some of them are driven by lack of understanding, lack of information, sloganeering, and some of them frankly by political opponents that lost the election, hyperventilating, and you talk about 100,000 people, listen, we had just now two and a half million people go up to the polls and vote for our people. i've had demonstrations in the past. >> let's talk about the government you just want. >> the economic reforms, we had 400,000 people. they said this will destroy the economy. they said that when i took out
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the gas, this will destroy our democracy. it didn't, democracy is now energy independent. when i brought in the peace reforms, the great change in the peace reforms, they said this will destroy peace, it did not. they were wrong. >> let's talk about your new government you just formed. you have appointed some individuals, controversial figures, not part of your party, including alter nationalists and -- he is now in control of the secure and security apparatus in israel. one of the things he did is banning palestinian flags used in demonstrations. that seems incomplete contrary with any notion of free speech or demonstration. do you agree with that? >> that is a law that has been on the books in israel for quite some time.
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people who are not aware that, i don't know. these two parties, which count more seats than the previous prime minister got, each one of them got more seats, more votes. they joined, i don't join them. a joint policy, and i think that my record on peace and democracy, and the economy, on everything else has been very successful. the israeli people think it is successful. again and again, and just now, i will say that there is tremendous hot hot chrissy in talking about my supporters, because the -- they had a government that hinged on one coalition party, a party that was beholden tosin. actually, that's not true, i heard a lot of protests from our neighboring governments that said listen, we are fighting these guys. we want to bring this all down and restore the medieval theocracy's. i heard from them, but i did not hear from any one of the people who criticize me for bringing these coalition
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partners down. but there is a lot of hypocrisy. i've got my two hands on the wheel, and believe me, it's going to be a good direction. >> surely the social issue positions of the muslim brotherhood is not the standard by which you want to associate yourself? he just called himself a fascist homophobe? he suggested the same says marriage is like incest, with former deputy director but saying that he was a jewish terrorist, that he tried to stage an event when the gaza pull out was going on. the other day, he was saying that he was putting out these horrible conspiracy theories, you must have seen this about the assassination of -- these seem like rather extreme individuals. >> a lot of people say a lot of things when they're not in power, and they sort of temper themselves when they get into power. that is certainly the case here. i think that what you see is again, there is a lot of
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hypocrisy, which is the point that i was making. i'm controlling the government. i am responsible for it his policies, and the policies are sensible, and responsible, and continue to be that way. >> that's good to hear, because i know that there are people in your government they're very different views on the law of return, who can sza do, and who doesn't then you do. you've said the way that it is, now you think it will stay. >> i think we have to be very careful about that. you know where you start, you don't know where it's going. i've consistently felt israel should be home for any jew, regardless of the nomination beliefs. >> what about also making a provocative visit to the temple now, sacred to both jews and muslims. he refused to say whether he would change the status quo, and allow jewish prayer on the temple now, which also would -- who knows what that would provoke. do you have to maintain the status quo's prime minister, regardless of what he says?
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>> i sure have, and we haven't changed in. my view is, the fact that he went to the top of the moment, so did his predecessors. ministers of internal security, i think all of them. we didn't change the status, but it's the hype, the hype that says that we have. i have been very strict on this, because it is outside of our window right here. it is the most potentially explosive square mile on earth, on the planet. it has been quiet, relatively speaking in historical terms. not when the muslims ruled, it because they kicked out the jews and the christians, not when the christians ruled it, because they kicked out the muslims of the jews. but it is only under israeli sovereignty that we have allowed free and unfettered access to all three places, for continuing to do that, and continuing to keep the status quo. >> earlier today, the head of the palestinian authority said that israel was quote, trailing
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on the dignity of the palestinian people, and ignoring the religion amid rights to freedom, dignity, and appearance. the question that has confounded u.s. officials for a long time is the long term plan for the west bank. you touched on it a little bit earlier, but are you really proposing a situation where the palestinians are under israeli control, but do not have the right to vote in israeli elections? >> i think they vote for their own institutions, they have their own government. >> they have their own separate institutions today. we don't govern the palestinian, they have their own power parliament, institutions, they have the same -- directly split into two. >> but israel would have the right to go at anytime? >> that is the important question,, because when we don't, gaza, look at what we have. we have the islamic radical state that is firing 10,000 rockets into israel.
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right to go at anytime? >> that is the important question,, because when we don't, gaza, look at what we have. we have the islamic radical state that is firing 10,000 rockets into israel. when we left lebanon, we had a radical islamic state firing another 10,000 rockets into israel. by the, way the moderates, the more moderate and less extreme faction went down the tubes. the radicals took over. and so i think that in any long term solution that you're talking about the palestinians, as i've said before, they should be able to govern themselves without the powers to threaten us. that primarily means overriding security control, and there is a solution. i think that there is a lot of elements to it, i worked on it for several years, and we didn't get the palestinians very far. every time that we try to get the palestinians to come and negotiate, it would require them to give up their fantasy of driving israel into the sea. including in the obama years. secretary kerry worked on this for years. he had endless conversations,
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and finally had a framework for peace, which i disagreed with someone. i said listen, i will come in with my reservations, get me the palestinian leader, and we will set up the table. president obama calls me into a novel office, he says, president -- prime minister netanyahu is willing to make these reservations, are you? president abbas said, let me think about it, and he never came back. they never come back, because the palestinians are the pampered child of the international community, nobody tells them to stop, in their schools, destroying israel, murdered jews, celebrate the murder of the horrible murders of innocence. he is not even condemned this horrific slaughter outside of the synagogue and holocaust museum. >> you can say what you want about the palestinian
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leadership, but to call the palestinian people pampered seems a bit much. >> i mean that leadership. >> okay. >> but i think they are. nobody's demanding from the palestinians to stand up against terrorism, to stop going in public skip squares and honoring terrorists, to keep calling for the expulsion of the jews, calling jews pigs and monkeys, and so on. these things never hit the international press, but they hit this palestinian press. they hit the palestinian children, who are educated to hate. but their culture, unfortunately celebrates death. are celebrating life. i hope it changes, and i think it will when we end up having the broader peace, where it's bound to affect the palestinians. by the way, i want simultaneously, i'm hoping for negotiations, but i'm not waiting. it is increased the israeli checkpoints by half, and encourage the israeli investments to joint ventures, and palestinian airs, and i would like to see a new piece
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partner in the gulf, investing right here in the judas -- >> that is an offer to a boss right now, but he just has to meet you. >> let them start changing life. let's start getting a better life for israelis and palestinians. let's just not talk. this is real stuff. >> coming, up prime minister netanyahu on critics claims, he is scared of vladimir putin and his relationships with both donald trump and joe biden. more of our exclusive interview, that's next.
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>> welcome back with our cnn special report, i'm jake tapper in jerusalem. prime minister benjamin netanyahu is now in his sixth term, having worked with his doesn't especially close bond with president trump before the pair had a falling out over the 2020 election. i asked him about that tonight, in the decisions that he is making right now about israel may be helping ukraine. >> i have to turn to ukraine, because last year you said you look into providing military support for ukraine if he
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became prime minister. you are now. have you looked into, it and are you considering reversing the opposition to providing military support? i know you're providing the support and humanitarian support, but helping with the iron dome, or previous defensive technology that you no longer even use, providing that for ukraine? >> we're certainly looking into it. israel had 250,000 ammunition shells that we were repositioning, taken away by the u.s.. it is an american decision, it is their decision, that's fine. i have no problem with that. in fact, it did not raise any objections, it's not our decision. we just took a huge chunk of ammunitions and passed it on to ukraine. israel also acts in ways that i will not align here against iran's weapons protections, which are used against ukraine. >> russia is partnered with
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iran to kill iranian -- you're saying you taking out some of those arms? >> i'm saying we are attacking iran's, not only iran's nuclear program but also taking action against certain weapons developments that iran has. they invariably export them. >> some of your critics say that you seem afraid to alienate putin in any way, and i'm wondering if you think that he is even justified in invading and attacking. >> it's not a question. of course none. but what we have with russia is a complex relationship, because not very far from here, a few miles from here on that northern border in syria,
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israeli aircraft and russian aircraft are flying within spinning distance of each other. russia is militarily -- in syria. iran is trying to implanted self in syria north of the border, the way that they did was husband of. in lebanon. >> so the kept him in check? >> we keep them in check. i've developed a policy of the last seven or eight years to militarily hit iran's military installations. they want to build an army here of 100,000 missiles committed by iranian generals. we have systematically degraded that, and taken them out. to do, that i would need to have -- israel needs to have freedom of, our freedom of action in the air. that freedom of action could have a confronting russian pilots. i would prefer that not to happen. i was very open with putin about that. i said, look, i have no choice to act. we can clash, or we can make sure that we coordinate in such
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a way where the air force does not clash. i hope we say that. we have no desire to enter a new israeli military confrontation. no matter what -- neither would you. at the same time, we've given ukraine a lot of humanitarian support, and we have taken jewish and non jewish refugees in a very timely fashion, disproportionately. we've also offered other kinds of aid. realistically, israel confronting iran is also confronting the main partner. >> and so you have mentioned how president biden has been a friend for 40 years. i obviously, you've not always seen eye to eye on a lot of issues. he says that he wants signed a photo for you. i don't agree with a darn thing you say, but i love you. how do you describe your relationship when it comes to nobody is there, just you two on the phone? he's telling you what you need from each other. >> that's exactly what happens.
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we have been around the block so many times, we were the new kids on the block when he came in as a young senator from delaware, and i came in as the young israeli diplomat in the embassy. this was in 1982. we have known each other for a long time, 40 years. we speak openly to one another. i think the president biden's commitment to israel's real, it's not just words, it comes from the heart. my commitment aligns with the united states israel. it has gone through many presidents, and it has to be bipartisan. i believe that. it doesn't mean that we don't -- it doesn't mean that we agree on everything. we disagreed on many things. we've disagreed on iran, we disagreed on other things, and we have agreed on many things. we've agreed that aligns has to be unshakable, because when you look at the middle east, and you look at this part of the world, and you say, well, where do you have a bastion of common interests and common values?
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it is israel. most americans understand that. our interests or sound, israel remains diplomatic, it will be democratic after these democratic reforms, and be more democratic. >> it's not democratic in the west bank though, that is the argument. >> i don't say that we don't have right now military needs, but i'm saying that we can fashion them in a civilian agreement that maintains israel overriding security. i don't think the palestinians are there. what i will say is that our interests are converging. as never before, because in the 21st century, the future belongs to -- israel's the innovation nation. the other innovation nation, i think the u.s. is the big one, u.s. -- israel is the second one. we provide valuable intel, invaluable cybersecurity, weapons development, and civilian technology that is changing the world. that is why our arab neighbors came to the abraham accords.
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both for security, but also for civilian technology which benders the lives of their people. >> one thing i want to ask you about russia and ukraine is an adviser to zelenskyy flooded your name as somebody who might be a decent mediator between zelenskyy and putin, between putin and russia. i am wondering if anybody in a position of power has ever floated that idea to you, and what would be your willingness to take on that job? >> i was asked to do that early on in the breakout of the ukraine war. i was an opposition leader at the time, and i said i have a rule. one prime minister at a time. one president at a time. >> who asked you to do it? >> i was asked. i don't know if it was official, or if it was an official, and so i didn't even pursue it. i said there is a prime minister, let him decide what to do. he tried, did not succeed. if -- >> we do you do it now? >> if i'm asked by both sides, and frankly if i'm asked by the
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united states, because i think that you cannot have too many cooks in the kitchen, and i am -- we have our own backyard to deal with. it is not that i don't think this is important, it's a monumental importance because of the piece of the world. as i think that the piece of the world is at stake with iran getting nuclear weapons, it will be destabilizing the entire world. and so i think that really devoting my efforts to that, the piece ideas that i have, economic ideas, but if asked by all relevant parties, i will certainly consider it. i'm not pushing myself, which is -- i have been around long enough to know that there needs to be a ripe time. the ripe circumstances. if they arrive, i will certainly consider it. >> trump has already launched a 2024 presidential bid. you've said a few things about
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what he did for israel while he was president. you've also criticized him for the insurrection that he incited, which you called quote, a disgraceful act that must be vigorously condemned. and his recent, rather shocking willingness to sit down and break bread with holocaust deniers and virulent antisemites. nick fuentes and kanye west, for example. do you have any concerns if he is back in the white house, do you think it's time for the republican party to look for a new generation of leadership? >> first of all, i did praise president trump, because he did great things for israel. he recognized jerusalem as our capital, kind of late because 3000 years ago, king david proclaimed it is such. he moved the american embassy there, he recognized our sovereignty, leading out of the dangerous nuclear deal with iran, he helped the peace accords with the arab states. he's done great things. i think that he made a big mistake with this kanye west thing, and i said so.
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i'm not going to intervene in new politics, you know that. you tried, it's good, you try to get me involved in your politics, but you do your job, and i will do my job. i want to stay away from your politics. let the people decide. >> coming up next, prime minister benjamin netanyahu on the rise of antisemitism around the globe, and how he thinks that the world and its jews should respond. more, from our exclusive interview, that's coming up. at adp, we use data-driven insights to design solutions to help you manage payroll, benefits, and hr today,
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>> welcome back from jerusalem. we are here at a time when anti-semitic rhetoric and attacks are on the rise in the united states and around the world. i asked prime minister netanyahu why he thinks that's happening and how he hopes to fight antisemitism as prime minister of the jewish state. >> so, lastly sir, i come here just a few days after international holocaust remembrance day. and this comes at a time when antisemitism is definitely going around the world and in the united states. holocaust denialism is going
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around the world and in the united states, on the left and the right. we see it more among some politicians, more mainstream politicians on the right. but it's all over college campuses on the left in the united states. and it's obviously quite dispiriting. and i know you take your role, not only as prime minister of israel, but also prime minister of the jewish state, formed out of the ashes of the holocaust, seriously. and i wonder what you make of it? >> you know, my father was a great historian, but also a historian of antisemitism. and i love him that antisemitism has deep roots. it actually goes back, as a doctorate, 2500 years but, to helen's stick egypt. that's where it began. 500 years before christiane. 80 and it's taken on shapes, change shapes. but it basically says, you know it holds the jews responsible
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for all the evils of the world. and just pervades these horrible myths about the jewish people. they drink the blood of christian children, that's what they said in the middle ages. they actually say that about israel today. i think the current form of antisemitism is not only directed at jewish communities in the united states and elsewhere, it's directed against the jewish state, the jewish people, their right to have a jewish state, an ancestral homeland. i think that's one classic manifestation of antisemitism. what i learned from my father and whatever history is that you may not be able to eradicate it if it's been around that long. but you have to be able to resist it. to resist it, first of, all the jewish people have to stand up proud and be strong. non-jews have to realize that hatred that begins with the jews doesn't end there.
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we saw that with taylor. it just spreads and involves integrate inflammation to others. i think my own rule and my own responsibility as the prime minister of israel is to keep the jewish state very strong, to support the governments who oppose antisemitism, and many do, to support the jewish communities, to tell people to be proud, to stand strong, to fight back the lies, and to fight back these bigots. don't let them when the day. >> premised netanyahu, thank you so, much i really appreciate your time. and i know i speak for everyone watching right now that i hope things de-escalate. and i hope soon there is a peace and prosperity here among the israeli and people, the palestinian people, and the arab states around here at the time. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> thank you for watching our full exclusive interview with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. i want to throw it over to cnn tonight, and my friend and colleague wolf blitzer, who has of course covered israel for decades and interviewed netanyahu many times. wolf, what did you think of the