15-minute video published on YouTube, Jul 22, 2012 by RightSightings:
With Civil War raging in Syria, and Israel charging Iran was behind a bombing that killed five tourists, Chris Wallace is joined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to a compelling interview to expose the truth, and to determine which steps need to be taken to avoid further death in the future.
….WALLACE: With civil war
raging in Syria and Israel charging Iran was behind the terror bombing that
killed five tourists, we are joined now live from Jerusalem by the prime
minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu…. Let's start with the civil war in
Syria. How much control does President Assad have over his country at this
NETANYAHU: Well, before I
answer that, let me just offer my condolences on behalf of all the people of
Israel to the bereaved families from this massacre in Denver and to the entire
American people. I think if any people on Earth that empathize with the
Americans at this time, it's the Israelis because we've been through so much of
this and you've always stood by us in our grief and we stand with you.
Now, you ask does Assad have control. Look, I think
the regime will go. I don't know if its days or weeks or months, but I don't
think it's sustainable and I think it will go, and I’m less concerned with what
replaces it. But I am more concerned with what could happen to those stocks of
chemical weapons and those deadly rockets and missiles when there is no
government in Syria. That's my principal concern.
WALLACE: Well, let me
follow up on that because your defense minister, Ehud Barak, said the other day
that Israel is prepared to seize control of those weapons if there is chaos in
Syria. How will you decide whether it is time for Israel to intervene, cross
the border into Syria and seize those weapons?
NETANYAHU: We hope we don't
have to and we didn't necessarily consider seizing those weapons. There are
But I think this is a real problem. Can you imagine
Hezbollah, the people who are conducting with Iran all these terror attacks
around the world -- can you imagine that they would have chemical weapons? It's
is like al Qaeda having chemical weapons. It's something that is not acceptable
to us and not acceptable to the United States or to any peaceable country in
So, I think that this is -- something will have to
act, to stop it if the need arises. And the need might arise if there is a
regime collapse, but not a regime change. That is, you go into chaos and all of
these sundry sites are left basically unguarded. Hezbollah can come and pick at
it or some other terrorist organizations or groups can come and pick at it. And
that is something that is a great concern to me, as I'm sure it is to the
WALLACE: Would you prefer
that the United States and other Western powers act to secure these weapons? Or
do you feel that Israel is going to have to protect itself?
NETANYAHU: I think this is a
common concern. We have to see if there is a common action to address that
concern. But in any case, we certainly don't want to be exposed to chemical
weapons falling in the hands of Hezbollah or other terror groups, because
that's something we can't be indifferent to. It's a great threat. We'll have to
consider our action.
But do I seek action? No. Do I preclude it? No.
WALLACE: Let's turn, Mr.
Prime Minister, to the terrible terror bombing in Bulgaria that killed five
Israeli tourists this week. Have you been able to identify the bomber and have
you been established clear links between that bomber and Hezbollah and Iran?
NETANYAHU: The answer is yes
to all those questions. That is, certainly to Hezbollah - yes. We do know who
it is. I mean, the whole world can see who it is.
We do know that it's Hezbollah. We would have known
that, you have known, or been able to surmise that. But you know from Cyprus a
week ago, a Hezbollah operative was caught preparing exactly the same attack,
exactly the same time. You know, going to an airplane to attack, collecting
information for an impending attack on Israeli tourists who get off of the
plane and are about to board a bus.
So, exactly the same modus operandi was exposed in
Cyprus. Fortunately there, the terrorist was caught and he admitted he worked
on behalf of Hezbollah, Iran's long terror arm. Now, that you could have
surmised intelligently from the proximity of these two events and the identical
nature of the planned attack and the executed attack.
Here, I'm not surmising. I am giving you something
that I know as the prime minister of Israel, because I know, based on
absolutely rock-solid intelligence, this is Hezbollah, and this is something
that Iran knows about very, very well.
WALLACE: Do you know -- you
say we all know who the bomber was. Yes, we have seen a picture of the bomber,
but do you know specifically his identity?
NETANYAHU: Well, that's being
pieced together right now. But we know with absolutely certainty, absolutely
certainty and not a shred of doubt that this was a Hezbollah operation.
WALLACE: If I may ask -- if
I may ask, sir, there is a question on the part of the Obama administration,
can you give us any of that evidence, hard evidence?
NETANYAHU: We certainly give
it to the appropriate agencies, friendly agencies in the world.
WALLACE: You have called
this an Iranian terror attack and said that Israel will respond with force.
Will the retaliation be linked to Israel's possible action to stop Iran's
nuclear program? Or are those two separate matters, retaliation for the
response, the terror attack, and any action that you might take to stop Iran's
NETANYAHU: You just asked me
several questions, so let me put them in context and I'll answer each one as
best as I can.
The first is the context of the unfolding terror
attacks that have taken place over the last two years, led by Iran, very often
using Hezbollah, its terror proxy from Lebanon which it arms and funds and
equips and so on. And instructs by the way.
So, what they have done over the last two years and
increasingly in the last year, and in increasingly in the last few months, is
to either carry out attacks -- most of which have been foiled -- or lay the
ground, the foundations for future attacks in five continents and about 24
countries that we count, and the numbers actually might be bigger and that's a
worldwide terror campaign, directed at us and often including others. For
example, there was an Iranian attack, planned attack on the Saudi ambassador to
the United States. They have taken out several senators with them. They don't
particularly care. It's very brazen.
How could Iran be doing this and getting away with
murder literally? It's because nobody names and shames them.
So, the reason I'm on this program is to name and
shame, because Iran is using terror the way anybody uses terror. You use it in
stealth. You hide behind somebody else, in order not to be given responsibility
for the heinous acts. And the same is done with Hezbollah.
Well, we now have five Iranians in custody, we have
two Hezbollah operatives, I believe, in custody. Some of them were found with
explosives across a myriad of countries. It's them. We know it.
And it's time for all countries to point the finger at
the country behind these attacks and the group that helps them and that's Iran,
with Iran's proxy Hezbollah. That's the first thing we have to do. Expose those
who stand behind the terror.
The second is the question that you asked is exact a price
for terror, because terrorism continues as long as terrorism pays. So, you have
to make sure that it doesn't pay. Exposing it is the first step to make it not
And the last thing you asked about their nuclear
program. I think these acts, these attacks on a busload of tourists, including
a pregnant mother, tells you what kind of people we are dealing with. Now,
imagine these people who are capable of doing anything, imagine them possessing
nuclear weapons. People who gun down innocent people, will send suicide bombers
who could block the straits of Iran, who threaten to annihilate Israel, who
murdered diplomats, who have taken over your embassy, you want these people to
have atomic bombs? I think this is a reminder, this wave of terror attacks, that
the world's most dangerous regime must not be allowed to have the world's most
WALLACE: But the question
is this -- you've got the West, the United States and our allies working with
this regime to try to make a deal to stop the nuclear program. If they stop the
nuclear program, would you be satisfied with a deal that leaves this regime,
that this leaves the mullahs in power? Is that good enough?
NETANYAHU: Yes, if you stop
the program. But so far, all these talks, and this round of talks in the last
few months follows the previous round of talks that hasn't stopped the regime
one bit, not an inch. I mean, since the previous rounds of talks, they have
enriched material for five nuclear bombs, five nuclear bombs, that is 70
percent of the enriched material that they need, which is low grade uranium
enriched. They are continuing to enrich with one bomb. They're getting very
close to the 20 percent. That's the higher enrichment necessary to get 90
percent of the way to the first bomb.
So, they are basically thumbing their nose at the
international community, the leading powers that are called P5-plus-1. And they
are basically saying: we can talk, we can delay and we can deceive and while we
continue to race towards atomic weapons. So, that's effectively what's
candidate Mitt Romney travels to Israel next week. You have known each other
since 1976 when you both work for the Boston consulting group. He says you two
almost speak in short hand because you have such a close relationship.
He has promised to do exactly the opposite of
President Obama when it comes to security in the Middle East. Do you understand
what that means?
NETANYAHU: Well, you are not
going to draw me into your politics because I have enough of mine. We can
exchange notes about my politics as you want off camera, but I'm not going to
get drawn into that.
I will say this, President Obama said Iran must not be
allowed to develop nuclear weapons, he said that containment is not an option,
and that Israel must have the capacity to defend itself, by itself, against any
threat. Well, these are obviously principles that I agree with and I think that
it's in our common interest to make sure that Iran doesn't get nuclear weapons.
But the jury is out on all of us, because the real
thing, the real question is not stated policy but actual results on the ground.
WALLACE: Briefly, what do
you think of Mitt Romney? And what do you think of his trip to Israel?
NETANYAHU: I think that
you're far too wise a journalist to think that I'm going to get into your field
of American politics. But I will say that I will receive Mitt Romney with the
same openness that I received another presidential candidate, then-Senator
Barack Obama, when he came almost four years ago, almost the same time in the
campaign, to Israel. We -- Israel -- enjoy bipartisan support, both from
Democrats and Republicans, and we extend bipartisan hospitality to both
Democrats and Republicans.
WALLACE: Israel has always lived in a tough neighborhood. There's no
question about that. But at least it was stable. And you knew who Assad was,
and his father, and Mubarak.
When you look at the changing landscape in the Middle
East now, is the so-called Arab Spring good or bad for Israel?
NETANYAHU: Well, the question
is what kind of season is this? Because in fact, what is happening is there
have been a tide of -- mostly, not always -- there are some exceptions, for
example in Libya, it's a welcome change, welcome exception. But in general,
there's been this cascade of Islamic regimes that conduct the first election
but you're not sure about the next election and what's in between, because
democracy -- real democracy - is something that is not particularly known here
and not particularly well-observed.
If we had that, we would have nothing to fear because
I think that that would be very good for peace. It would reflect the needs of
all the people.
I can't tell you where the Middle East is going.
Probably, the years of stability, the decades of stability that we had with
Egypt, can't guarantee that they'll continue. I appreciate the fact that the
United States demands, or expects, as we do, that the peace treaty will be
Syria: I know that Iran and Hezbollah, who were
supporting Syria, including in the act of killing, really don't want to see a
regime change, and who knows what will happen when that happens.
But I can tell you this: The Middle East is unstable
because it doesn't have the political philosophy of the liberal democracy that
would underpin the Arab Spring. So we may be in for a rougher ride, and we'll
have to rough it out and be very strong, very resolute and very, very steady.
And I think we'll be all that.
WALLACE: Mr. Prime
Minister, I want to thank you so much for talking with us….