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Netanyahu Says Israel Has Proof Hamas Is Behind Kidnapping Of Teens

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adresses Israeli army troops on June 19.

Audio

Aired 6/23/14

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says they "have a lot" of proof that Hamas is behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, which includes one dual U.S.-Israeli citizen.

"We've pretty much figured out who are the kidnappers," Netanyahu said during an interview with NPR's Morning Edition. "The actual perpetrators, the supporters, the command structure and there's no question — these are members of Hamas. We've passed some of that information to the U.S. government and others. We'll make it public as soon as the investigation enables us to do that. Our — my number one goal right now is to bring back our three kidnapped boys."

During the interview, Netanyahu moved very quickly into the broader political question this case brings up. Essentially, Netanyahu said the kidnappings prove Hamas should not be considered a legitimate political player and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas should therefore renege on a deal with the group to form a unity government.

That's when the more interesting exchange in the conversation between NPR's Steve Inskeep and Netanyahu came about:

Steve Inskeep: Prime Minister Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, has criticized this kidnapping publicly and he's also, we're told, had his security forces cooperating with you on the ground. And you've said it's good that he made that statement but that you also want action. Can you name specific cooperation that Abbas has withheld?Benjamin Netanyahu: Well first of all, I do appreciate the statement against the kidnapping, it's important. I think it'll be tested also by stopping the glorification of released terrorists who did exactly this in the past and murdered many Israelis. And that he break his pact with Hamas. I think that's the critical thing. Because Hamas is incompatible with peace. Hamas like the Islamist movements that you see in Syria and in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East is committed to a savagery that not only includes the demise of the state of Israel, but actually the establishment of these Islamist realms — unforgiving violent realms — that oppose peace. You can't make a pact with Hamas and peace with Israel — it's one or the other or both --SI: I wanna make sure that...BN: And I think the most important thing that President Abbas could do — aside from helping us to bring back these boys — is to break its pact with Hamas.SI: I wanna make sure that people understand what you're talking about. You're talking about this unity government that's been formed between Abbas' party Fatah and Hamas. Is that your real goal here to make sure that that unity government is broken up?BN: Well our first goal is to get our boys back. The second is to find the kidnappers who are Hamas. The third is to weaken as much as possible Hamas that performs these grizzly deeds and calls for our destruction. That's natural. Anybody would do that just as you're fighting al Qaeda everywhere you can. I think that if you are trying to make peace you can't have a unity pact with al Qaeda — in this case with Hamas. You have to break away from it. And I think there are perhaps some thoughts to that effect in certain Palestinian circles and I hope that they produce action. So I think that the end result of this should be not only to try to bring back these teenagers and to apprehend their direct killers but also to break away from this pact with Hamas that can — is a giant step backward from peace.SI: If you press too hard --BN: And breaking the pact with Hamas will be a step towards peace.SI: If you press too hard Prime Minister and end up weakening or somehow deposing Mahmoud Abbas who is the closest thing you have to a friend on that side, will it be destructive to Israel's interests?BN: I certainly don't think that.

You can listen to the whole interview by clicking on the player at the top of the page.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/

Comments

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 23, 2014 at 9:06 a.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Great interview with PM Netanyahu. He speaks in a very sincere and straightforward manner that we are unaccustomed to in the US.

Politics aside, too bad we don't have a president with sincerity like him.

He also fully grasps the internal Islamic conflict between Shia and Sunni and recognizes that the US is making a fatal mistake by supporting different sides in Syria and Iraq. He said we should be weakening both sides as they fight each other.

I'm not pro-Israeli by any means, but in this instance, we should be listening to their advice.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 23, 2014 at 10:53 a.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I agree - Israel certainly has more knowledge of the Islamic/Middle eastern mentality than we do. Attempting any sort of reconciliation is futile.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 23, 2014 at 11:07 a.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Are you guys kidding? We've been listening to Israeli "advice" for almost 70 years and look what we have to show for it.Had the Mossad done anything to stop 9/11, which was hatched in their backyard, I'd let everything else go. But, "everything else" is a lot and has left us with zero credibility in the region.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 23, 2014 at 12:09 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

DLR,

Sure Mossad could have stopped 9/11, but why? It was the perfect catalyst to get the US to invade and destroy two enemy states without Israel spending one dime or drop of blood on it.

It was the perfect plan, but...

They didn't anticipate the US government's miserable occupation failure which stems from their astounding ignorance of the culture and history of the region.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 23, 2014 at 1:59 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Netanyahu is not a man of peace, he is a man of politics.

We have a real chance at progress with a DIPLOMATIC solution to Iran, but Netanyahu, like the pro-Israel hawks in Washington D.C. that Netanyahu has long palled around with (let's not forget 'BiBi' is U.S. Ivy League educated and is just as much a Washington insider as he is an Israeli one), is trying to ruin this and drag is into another war in the Middle East/South Asia region.

Our other allies know diplomacy is more realistic - England is even going to reopen an embassy in Tehran.

I think the U.S. should open at least a diplomatic office there and, if things continue to improve over the next 5 years, we can look at opening an embassy there again as well.

Of course, the right wing war-monger lobby and the Israel before everybody including even the U.S. crowd in Washington D.C. will do everything they can to ensure Iran is the next front, the next place to seed our next Great Depression, the next place for our young men and women to spill their blood.

World politics is constantly shifting, and it's not unheard of for enemies to become allies and allies to become enemies.

This has happened throughout our history, and under both right and left leaning administrations.

But the far right led by war criminals like Dick Cheney, who should be in prison rather than speaking their idiocy on fox "news", try to portray Obama as some sort of sell-out or a collaborator with the enemy.

It's intellectually dishonest and I'm fed up with it.

I didn't hear the right wing fanatics calling G.W. Bush a sell-out when he was beginning diplomacy with Gaddafi.

Nobody called Bush "soft on terror" when he tried a bunch of terror suspects in U.S. courts instead of bringing them to Gitmo.

But when Obama tries a terror suspect in U.S. Court all the hypocrites come out of the woodwork.

The bottom line is very few conflicts are 100% one-sided.

Both Israel and the Palestinians have engaged in terrorism.

The U.S. is just as much responsible for building-up and arming Saddam - the same guy we then went in to invade claiming he had bad weapons.

Face it, world politics is dirty and sometimes when working with diplomacy people need to compromise and relinquish the past. Not forget the past mind you, but people need to be able to set things aside otherwise we spend decades fighting and wasting human lives and money over conflicts that are decades old.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 23, 2014 at 3:06 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

DeLaRick Israel would have been obliterated long ago if it wasn't for the USA. Aren't leftists usually eager to protect those that they perceive as victims?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 23, 2014 at 3:48 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

CA OFFENDER, oh you can be sure fascist Netanyahoo is sincere, sincerely WRONG.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 23, 2014 at 3:50 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago


Which Israel might that be, John Markkk? Labor? Netanyahoo's right wing? Those even to the right of Netanyahoo, or the religious factions???

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 23, 2014 at 3:55 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

"Sure Mossad could have stopped 9/11, but why? It was the perfect catalyst to get the US to invade and destroy two enemy states without Israel spending one dime or drop of blood on it."

For possibly the first time, the USA acted as a proxy for another government. We did their dirty workkk, yet at the same time, Israeli intelligence cringed to admit that by overthrowing Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party, we made Iranian influence under Ajmadinejad all the more stronger in the south.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 23, 2014 at 4:09 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

John Markkk says: "DeLaRick Israel would have been obliterated long ago if it wasn't for the USA. Aren't leftists usually eager to protect those that they perceive as victims?"

Like I said on another post, John Markkk's lack of critical thinking and knowledge of the area.

Well, no greater LEFTIST than Uncle Joe, spiritual godfather of the state of Israel, provided them with the best Czech-made guns that American Jewish money could buy, via Hagannah. The CPUSA and Truman, a DEMOCRAT, supported Israel from Day One. (See Hollywood scriptwriter and CPUSA member Dalton Trumbo whose movies, EXODUS and SPARTACUS were BOTH PICKETED by the right wing American Legion. LIBERAL DEMOCRAT ED KOCH was an Israeli supporter and apologist extraordinaire. Fastforward to the 1980s, the US Left, while opposing US military intervention in Central America, was ALL IN FAVOR of supporting Israel-- the Michael Harringtons and the Ed Asners of the world and many a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT congressman, Sen. Alan "Cadaver" Cranston and the like, even as the Israeli government sold arms to the genocidal regime of Gen. Efrain Rios Montt in Guatemala.

That is just a small sample, John Markkk, for it wasn't until AFTER the first intifada and Bushe's Gulf War I that American liberals gradually came to a more evenhanded and sober view toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because up until then, they had been promoting it big time!

Now, time to read your world history.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 23, 2014 at 4:23 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

JM,

I use the circular political spectrum, so "leftist" doesn't apply. (FYI: If you're trying to reverse the status quo - status quo being Obama's policies - you're the "leftist." That's why the linear political spectrum is inadequate.)

Jewish people have been victims, historically. No doubt about that. I wouldn't say the same about the country of Israel. If you were to personify Israel, it would be the 5' 7" guy who walks into a biker bar for the first time and shouts, "Who doesn't like me?" then runs behind his bigger friend when half the bar takes issue with what he said.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 23, 2014 at 4:37 p.m. ― 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't know about that. Palestine lobs hundreds of rockets a year into Israel. That is kind of like pulling the tigers tail. When Israel finally responds to these attacks, everyone says they are the aggressor. It doesn't make sense. If countries didn't attack Israel, Israel wouldn't need to defend itself. The palestinians seem to think they are the rightful owners of Israeli land.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 23, 2014 at 8:19 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

John Markkk, it isn't "Palestine" but Palestinian commandos, whether rogue or belonging to an organization. Yes, it is true. That said, they have been sporadic and quite feeble compared to Israel's pounding of southern Lebanon for example or their secret operations. Remember, the Fatah was for a long time a guerrilla organization and NOT subject to the same standards as a nation-state would be.

Also, I would like to ADD I.F. Stone as another 'LEFTIST' who fully supported the Israeli state in the past, at least until the 1973 when he realized that it was a lot more than the underdog "David" portrayed in the West.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 23, 2014 at 8:20 p.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Just to compliment what Quack has said, NO Republican called Bush a "traitor" when the following was exposed:

New Details on F.B.I. Aid for Saudis After 9/11 - The New ...
www.nytimes.com › Washington
The New York Times
Mar 27, 2005 - New Details on F.B.I. Aid for Saudis After 9/11 ... and several other Saudis were allowed to leave the country without first being interviewed, the ...
Why were Saudi royals with ¿links to 9/11¿ allowed to leave ...
www.dailymail.co.uk/.../Why-Saudi-royals-links-9-11-allowe...
Daily Mail
Mar 14, 2012 - New reports reveal an inside look at how the FBI botched its investigation of two princes and 22 other Saudis who fled the country days after the ...

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Avatar for user 'xwagner'

xwagner | June 24, 2014 at 6:51 a.m. ― 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Israel is not to be trusted, period. That is one alliance the US would be far better without. The slobbering fealty some US politicians display towards Israel is bizarre, to say the least. Are the three missing Israeli teenagers being held in the King David Hotel, if you get my meaning?

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