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March 18th, 2011
01:01 AM ET

Piers Morgan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Full Transcript

PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR, PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT: Prime Minister
Netanyahu, first of all thank you very for inviting me to your
residence.

I want to start with the appalling events in Japan and get you take on
what's happened there. And your view of what this means for nuclear
energy. Of course, you have two reactors in Israel. What do you think?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: First I think it is a
terrible tragedy because everybody-I look at the pictures in Japan and I

think whatever Israeli thinks, and I think what every person in the
world thinks, this could be us. Thousands, tens of thousands of people
lost their lives. Hundreds of thousand, perhaps millions, perhaps tens
of millions living under a cloud.

And I think, first of all, I think about the fortitude of the people of
Japan and their suffering, their stoicism. And I admire that. And yet
at the same time I think of their great agony and their anxiety. You
know there is a difference between natural disasters and what we see
today. Because you have an earthquake, it passes. It could be a
terrible tragedy, but it passes. You have a flood, it passes. A fire,
we just had a great fire. We lost 45 people, horrible, but it passed.
We put it out in 72 hours.

But this is different. This is a confluence of a natural disaster and a

man-made disaster and the cloud of radioactivity. The uncertainty of
what will happen is the cloud that hangs over the people of Japan, and I

think right now, hangs over the world. It certainly caused me to
reconsider the projects of building civil nuclear power plants. I have
to tell you I was a lot more enthusiastic about it than I am now. In
fact, you'd have to give me a very good argument to do it. And
fortunately we found natural gas.

MORGAN: Are you saying that-

NETANYAHU: We could make up the difference.

MORGAN: Are you saying that you might actually stop any kind of nuclear

program in Israel?

NETANYAHU: We didn't have any civilian nuclear energy. We have some
research plants, but not anything on a significant scale. And I don't
think we're going to pursue civil nuclear energy in the coming years.

I think, you know, we always blame Moses, that he was our greatest
leader and one of the most gifted people in the world. He brought us
the moral code and so on, belief in one God, but then he was a bad
navigator. He brought us to the only part of the Middle East without
any gas, without any oil. Turns out he wasn't such a bad navigator,
because we found some gas offshore. So, I think we'll go for the gas.
I think we'll skip the nuclear.

MORGAN: Do you think that a lot of other countries may follow suit? Do

you think the whole idea of nuclear energy as being the future, because
of what happened in Japan may now be-what? To put it mildly, in chaos?

NETANYAHU: Well, you have to give it some thought. I mean, how could
you not take pause and think about this? I mean, civil nuclear energy
is tremendously efficient, tremendously productive. It was seen as
environmentally friendly, but when you have this kind of shock and the
inability to even get there with, you know, the kind of firefighting
planes that we just used to put out the great forest in the Carmel (ph).

You know, I brought in squadrons of people from 10 countries.
Everybody pitched in. I was very grateful for that. You can't get to
the fire. You can't get to the radio activity because you can't fly
over. And if you try to squirt water from a greater distance, it just
disperses. So this is a real issue. Unless we find solutions to this
challenge, then I think that leaders should reconsider the expansion of
civilian nuclear energy.

MORGAN: Let's turn to the reason I'm here; the winds of change in the
Middle East. You have not given a major TV interview since all this
began in December in Tunisia. Let me take you back to December and the
events of Tunisia. Did they take you by surprise? What was your
immediate reaction? And did you ever imagine that it would create the
kind of domino effect that we have been seeing?

NETANYAHU: First, it didn't begin in Tunisia. It began in Tehran a
year and a half ago. Millions went to the streets and called for
freedom, for democracy, from this repressive regime and they were put
down brutally. And then it, you know, it came back in Tunis. And then
from Tunis it went to Cairo, and then from Cairo it is going everywhere.

Did I expect it at this time? No. Did I expect it at one time, at
sometime? Yes. Because the spread of information technology creates an

inevitable conflict; that is, in many ways, the 20th century passed by a

lot of the Arab world and the Muslim world. And incomes the information

technology of the 21st century and it is telling all these people what
they missed out on. And this creates the turbulence. Will it end
quickly? I doubt it. I think each country is different but they are
all-they all suffer the same gap between people's expectations and the
performance of their societies up to now.

MORGAN: I mean, the big question that everyone has been asking,
repeatedly, in the last two months is, what does this mean for Israel?
If you are the Israeli prime minister and you have been watching what
has been going on in the region. Are you fearful of what this means for

your country? Are you partly excited by the spread of democratic
freedom? What is the reality of being Benjamin Netanyahu, watching
this?

NETANYAHU: Well, you know we all have our hopes and we all have our
fears. You are looking at this and two places cheered what was
happening in Cairo. One was Washington, and its allies. The other one
was Tehran, and its allies. You know they weren't seeking the same
outcome. You know there is a fundamentally different outcome that each
was seeking. We had all hoped, and we still hope, that you will have a
democratic transformation. That the, you know, the Google kids, the
Facebook kids, you will create a Google heaven and a Facebook paradise,
and all these people will come to power. That is obviously what people
in the West, and people in free societies would like to see. It is not
clear that that would happen.

MORGAN: What is the nightmare scenario for you?

NETANYAHU: That you get another Iran. That you get-you had a
revolution. Five years ago in Lebanon a million Lebanese, that is the
equivalent to 20 million Egyptians, walked in the streets of Beirut,
chanting for freedom, chanting for secular reformist, a liberal Lebanese

state. Five years later Lebanon is controlled by Hezbollah, which is
controlled by Iran. That is what we don't want to see. We don't want
to see this stark Medievalism that represses women, that crushes the
rights of people, that holds us back a millennia. That fosters
violence. That does everything that we abhor. That it would take over.

And I think that these are the two poles. One is real democratic
change and the other is a descent to militant Islamism that squashes all

freedoms and threatens the peace of everyone.

MORGAN: I remember watching the scenes from Tahir Square, in Cairo,
when they were jubilant at the thought of Mubarak going. And then we
cut to scenes from Gaza, where there were equally wild celebrations.
And as you say, they were not celebrating the expansion of democratic
freedom in Egypt. They were celebrating the overthrowing of Mubarak and

the possibility, perhaps, for them to do a similar thing potentially in
Israel.

NETANYAHU: Well, look, Mubarak kept the peace. Egypt kept the peace
for over 30 years and it should be remember and appreciated. The people

in Gaza, and those who are affiliated with Hamas, want to see the
collapse of the peace and the eradication of Israel. They are supported

by Iran, that has given them tens of thousands of mortar shells,
rockets. They fired already 6,000 rockets and missiles on Israel. So
clearly that is not a force for peace or for progress.

There are other people in Gaza, but they are in fact subjugated by
Hamas. They are not given any choice, any more than the people in Iran
were given a choice. They are not given a real choice for freedom.
They are knocked down. You know, if you can give me a deal. If God came

down from heaven and said, here, I'll give you a choice. OK, this
revolution from the Khyber Pass to the Straits of Gibraltar, that is
shaking everything in place, except us, because we are an open,
democratic, prosperous society. But everybody else is suffering this
groundswell, this earthquake, this sandstorm, volcanic eruptions, OK?
But it also includes the place where it started, Tehran. And Tehran is
transformed into a democratic society. I would say it is worth it.
Because the Middle East would have a brilliant future.

MORGAN: How unnerving-

NETANYAHU: But there is something that I think-if you want to know the
worst outcome?

MORGAN: Hmm?

NETANYAHU: The worst outcome is Iran, where this all started, stays
immune to it. Continues its repressive, brutal regime, develops nuclear

weapons, exports terrorism everywhere. And muddles in-meddles,
rather-in the other places and transforms them into so-called Islamist
republics. And I would say that is the worst nightmare.

MORGAN: I mean there could be no doubt that Ahmadinejad and the
Iranians will be looking at the situation, looking for opportunity.
There can be no doubt about that. They have made their intentions re
Israel very clear. You must have been pretty disconcerted by loosing
Hosni Mubarak. I mean, to other people he may be a dictator. To
Israel, he's been a pretty good friend, hasn't he?

NETANYAHU: Egypt under Sadat, and then under Mubarak, kept the peace
and I think that is something extraordinary valuable. And I think the
first order of the day is to make sure that any future government in
Egypt maintains the peace. The fact that we had these 30 years with
Egypt, 20 years with Jordan, of a real peace, is something that I can
appreciate. Because-

MORGAN: Were you sad to see him go?

NETANYAHU: Well, I was concerned that we might have the opposite of
what people want and what we all want. We want to see a democratic
reformed-

MORGAN: You spoke to him?

NETANYAHU: I called him once. He didn't return my call. He was
otherwise engaged. But I can appreciate that fact that Egypt was at
peace. We want our main concern is to make sure that it continues in
peace. If it gets to an open reformist democratic society we'll be the
first to cheer, because a genuine democracy is a friend of peace. A
genuine democracy, with all the institutions, and the checks of balances

of a democracy, and a free press and a magistrate.

MORGAN: How fearful are you-

NETANYAHU: That is peace.

MORGAN: How fearful are you about the Muslim Brotherhood? There are
two schools of thought. One is that they are not contaminated with too
much fundamentalism. Others think they may well be.

NETANYAHU: That is what people said about Hamas. That is what people
said about Hezbollah. That is what people said about Khomeini. I
remember, you know-I give you an example of the Cedar Revolution, the
secular, liberal, open, pro-Western Cedar Revolution in Lebanon? There
was a revolution in Iran in 1979. And it began with Shapur Bahktiar
(ph). Remember him?

MORGAN: Uh-huh.

NETANYAHU: He was a Western-oriented, open governance and so on. And
he was disposed after three months. So, the question is, what do you
get. You get 1979 in Iran, and you get 1989 in Western Europe-Eastern
Europe. In Eastern Europe they turned towards democracy, in Iran they
turned towards a backward theocracy. And I have not seen a single case
in which the Muslim Brotherhood, of its various shapes and hues, turns
toward the European liberal model. They invariably turn to more closer,

or identical to the Iranian model.

MORGAN: We're going to take a short break. When we come back I want to

talk to you about Libya, Gadhafi, and the peace process.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Let's turn to Libya where it is a pretty disconcerting picture now
emerging. Where Gadhafi appeared to be on his way out, but has now
forced his way back and appears to be winning the battle against the
protestors. No one has intervened on the behalf of those protestors.
What do you make of what is happening there?

NETANYAHU: Well, Gadhafi is no friend of Israel. He's not friend of
the Jewish people. And I think his people can see now, he's no friend
of the Libyan people. This is a man who helped explode civilian
airlines in the skies. He's fostered terrorism. He's done a lot of
terrible things. So I don't think anybody would be sorry to see him go.

I wouldn't.

MORGAN: What if he doesn't go?

NETANYAHU: I think-I think the case of Libya is an interesting place
where values and interests cohere. You know, as a leader you often have

a situation where you want to advance a set of values, free democratic
societies, and at the same time you may have overriding interests that
force you to think otherwise. I don't see that conflict in the case of
Libya. I think he could be done away with and I think everybody would
benefit.

MORGAN: Would you bring in a no-fly zone? No?

NETANYAHU: Well, I wouldn't second guess President Obama and people who

have to make that decision. I'm sure he wants what I've just said. How

to achieve is something I leave to him, but I think that the cost of
firm action in Libya is relatively small. And the consequences, I
think, would be quite-I think quite beneficial.

MORGAN: I mean, there is-

NETANYAHU: Certainly beneficial to the people of Libya.

MORGAN: I mean, everyone seems to be in agreement that he's got to go.
My point is that he's not going. And he's made it clear he wont' go.
And he appears to be winning his battle by mercilessly killing any
protestors. We are seeing something that bordering on genocide here.
Is there not a moral compunction for America, for the West, generally,
to get in there and sort this out?

NETANYAHU: I think it is one of those cases where the moral
compunction, as you say it, and the interests cohere. I don't think it
is a problem. So I wouldn't rule out very firm action against Libya. I

think that is something that should be considered seriously.

MORGAN: If America-

NETANYAHU: I'm sure it is being considered.

MORGAN: If America decided to take military action, would you support
that?

NETANYAHU: Certainly wouldn't be against it.

MORGAN: Moving to Saudi Arabia, some fascinating developments in
Bahrain. It would appear that Saudi forces have been in there and that
is a pretty surprising development, isn't it? What do you make of that?

NETANYAHU: I don't think it is surprising at all. I mean, I think they

are concerned with a possible Iranian take over of Bahrain, which would
put Iran, effectively within spitting distance of the Arabian Peninsula.

Now, Saudi Arabia is working to protect its own interests. But there
is a very large global interest in making sure the world's oil wells,
that the largest reserves of the world's oil supply do not fall into
Iranian or pro-Iranian hands. So here is an issue-here is a place,
where, you know, theoretically values and interests could contradict.
If the possibility is that Saudi Arabia is governed by the current
regime, or Saudi Arabia is governed by Iran, I don't think there is much

of a problem in people making up their minds what they want, of these
two alternatives.

MORGAN: You refer regularly to Iran. Everybody knows your view about
Iran. That they believe in the extermination of all things Israel.

NETANYAHU: It is not only that they believe it. It is look at what
they are doing, now.

MORGAN: But what about flipping it on its head and saying, what are you

doing about that? Given that you know that is their position?

NETANYAHU: I mean, rather than wait for other countries to intervene on

your behalf. What is Israel actually doing right now to combat this
incredibly serious threat?

NETANYAHU: Well, the first thing I have been trying to do-for a long
time-for about 15 years, I was elected the first time about 15 years
ago. And I went to speak at the-before the joint session of the U.S.
Congress. And I said that the single greatest threat facing the world,
and my own country, was the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons. And
since then what I have been trying to do is alert the world and the
leaders of the world that it is not merely our problem, that it is their

problem. Because Iran today is in Afghanistan, it is in Iraq, it has
gotten control of Lebanon. It has gotten control of half the
Palestinian-

MORGAN: Does it have nuclear weapons, do you think?

NETANYAHU: It is working to get them.

MORGAN: How close do you think they are?

NETANYAHU: I think they are getting a lot closer.

MORGAN: Should they be transparent about their nuclear program?

NETANYAHU: Even to the extent that they are transparent it is very
clear what they are doing? They are-they have enriched enough material
now almost for three nuclear bombs. They still have to re-enrich it
again, but that is what they are doing. They are building long-range
ICBMs, not only to reach us, ICBMs, they don't need that.

MORGAN: When we last saw this threat from a leader in the Middle East
it was Saddam Hussein.

NETANYAHU: Yeah?

MORGAN: It turned out that the weapons of mass destruction didn't
exist, but there was a perceived threat that he had them. We're in a
similar position with Iran, aren't we? I mean what does the world-

NETANYAHU: No.

MORGAN: But what does the world do about Iran?

NETANYAHU: No, we are not. We're not. First of all, Saddam Hussein
did build a nuclear weapons plant. It was called Osiraq, and we took it

out, in 1981; probably one of the greatest acts of nuclear
non-proliferation in modern times. But now, afterwards, it wasn't clear

if he recovered that or not, and as it turned out he didn't. This is
very different in the case of Iran. Ahmadinejad is taking people on
guided tours of these centrifuge halls (ph).

MORGAN: Why is nobody doing anything about it?

NETANYAHU: They are trying, with sanctions, tough sanctions. I don't
think-

MORGAN: He doesn't care about sanctions, does he?

NETANYAHU: It is not only him. It is his boss. He's not the boss.
The boss is Khamenei, who has a passion against the West, a passion
against our society.

MORGAN: What is the answer, Prime Minister? What do you do about this
country which is apparently arming itself to the teeth, possibly getting

nuclear weapons? And you are its number one target. What are you doing

about it?

NETANYAHU: Well, one of the things that we are telling people is that
sanctions by themselves are not going to be enough. That the only thing

that will work is if Iran knew that if sanctions fair there will be a
credible military option. This is not just our problem, this is the
problem of Europe, and the United States-

MORGAN: Are you talking United Nations?

NETANYAHU: I'm talking about a credible military action-

MORGAN: Lead by who?

NETANYAHU: Lead by preferably by the United States. It is not that
complicated. It could be done. It is not easy, but it is not
impossible. And here is the paradox. The paradox is that if you had a
credible military option you probably wouldn't have to use it. Because
the one time that the Iranians backed off-in the 15 years that I've been

talking about this-that they backed off and actually stopped their
nuclear program, was in 2003 when they thought that the United States,
following its actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, would take action against

them. So they stopped and you know...

MORGAN: It's a parallel perhaps that's most (inaudible) here, the one

involving Gaddafi where he is perceived of giving up his nuclear program

precisely because of what happened in Iraq.

NETANYAHU: Well he stopped - he stopped too and he actually offered to

dismantle the program and the west had to choose whether to bring him
into the fold, (I know) this very unappetizing person but they decided
to do that because they, again, they weighed their values against their
interest and he was a supreme interest to get Gaddafi away from nuclear
weapons. They did the right thing.

Can you imagine what would happen now if Gaddafi had atomic bombs?

MORGAN: Well that's my point. But what is credible military action
against Iran? What does that constitute?

NETANYAHU: It means action that will knock out their nuclear facility
and (inaudible)...

MORGAN: (Inaudible) could you contemplate some kind of land invasion?

NETANYAHU: Well, I think the United States has proven great
effectiveness and I'm going to divulge a secret to you about their
capabilities. They're actually greater than ours. I mean, the American

Air Force and the American Army is bigger than...

MORGAN: If - if - for (inaudible).

NETANYAHU: ...the Israeli Army and they're absolutely....

MORGAN: But if for whatever reason the Americans choose not to do
this, the threat still remains and you're still the number one target,
would you act unilaterally militarily?

NETANYAHU: No. We always reserve the right to defend ourselves.
That's been one of the tragedies of Jewish history that the Jewish
people were thrust into a state of defenselessness we were attacked
again and again and again with viciousness and never had the capacity to

defend ourselves. We now have that capacity.

MORGAN: Do you have nuclear weapons?

NETANYAHU: Well, we have a long-standing policy that we won't be the
first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East and that hasn't
changed.

MORGAN: You don't have any?

NETANYAHU: That's our policy. Not to be the first to introduce nuclear

weapons into the Middle East.

MORGAN: But if you take an assumption that other countries have them
then that may mean you have them.

NETANYAHU: Well, it may mean that we don't pose a threat to anyone. We

don't call for anyone's annihilation. We don't foster terrorism. We
don't threaten to obliterate countries with nuclear weapons but we are
threatened with all these threats. We have not fired thousands of
rockets into our neighbors (inaudible)...

MORGAN: Is it right to expect countries like Iran to be transparent
about their own nuclear programs if you're not transparent yourself?

NETANYAHU: Well, Iran is a signatory to the NPT. I mean this is the
absurd thing. Everybody says take the Nonproliferation Treaty and
expand it and bring Israel into it. No, the problem in the Middle East
is not that other countries don't join it, it's that those countries who

join the Nonproliferation Treaty have violated left and right beginning
with the Iraq under Saddam Hussein going on to Libya, Syria recently –
they're all signatories of the NPT. They all developed nuclear weapons
programs. Syria just did that and was exposed and Iran is doing it
every day. So they're all...

MORGAN: Do you think it's a bit of a sham?

NETANYAHU: I think - I think it's ridiculous. I think the problem of
the Middle East is one that the signatories of the NPT violated and
secondly that they're focusing their attention on Israel when the
problem in the Middle East is this tyrannical medieval regime, terrorist

regime of Iran in which the (moulas and the atolas) want nuclear weapons

with which they openly threaten to wipe out - to make another
holocaust, to wipe out the Jewish state.

But that's just for starters. They say that we're the small Satan, that

the United States is a great Satan and I suppose Europe, I don't want
you to be offended, Europe's sort of a middle - middle sized Satan.
All of these have to be dominated, obliterated, terrorized, and they're
actually true to their word.

And I think this fanatic ideology armed with nuclear weapons is the
single greatest threat to the peace of the world, to the peace not only
of Jerusalem but of London, Berlin, Paris.

MORGAN: Given the gravity of the threat...

NETANYAHU: And New York.

MORGAN: Given the gravity of the threat from Iran, if America has not

taken military action within say, the next five years, is it conceivable

that Israel will not have done anything?

NETANYAHU: Well, we always reserve the right to defend ourselves.

MORGAN: When we come back, I want to talk to you about the Middle
East process here in relation to the Palestinians.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Prime Minister, there was a horrific murder of the Fogel family

last week. The details of which are chilling to read. What was your
reaction to that, and where are you with the investigation into the
perpetrators?

NETANYAHU: This was horrific. It was savagery. I mean, several
Palestinian terrorists came into the home of this Jewish family in the
West Bank. They stabbed a three-month old baby girl in the heart, cut
her throat. They stabbed her four-year old brother in the heart, cut
him in the throat. They stabbed the father with another child and
stabbed the mother and left them dying in their blood.

And then I visited the family and I saw the 12-year-old girl, a sister
who came home and saw this unbelievable massacre. So obviously the
first response is sheer horror. And my second response was to send a
message to the settlers to contain their rage and not respond because
we'd have a cycle of reprisals so I asked them to - not to take the law

in their own hands, not to have vigilante actions because this would –
could generate a blood bath. I thought that was important to stop that.

But we're now looking for the killers. We'll find them.

MORGAN: Are you making progress?

NETANYAHU: Some. Some. I think we'll find them.

MORGAN: There was - to put it mildly - a raised eyebrow collectively
around the world. First, of the horrifying nature of this attack, but
secondly at your response. The premise of, they murder, we build. You
ordered the building of 500 more building settlements. It's a strange
moral equivalence, Prime Minister.

I mean, part of the problem that you face now in Israel is perception
around the world. Your PR is not good, as you know. When people heard
about what happened, I think the international community completely on
your side and the people of Israel. When they see you immediately
ordering more settlements, I'm sure you did it to calm down the people
as you say, a lot of that sympathy erode. People think, come on,
there's got to be a better way of responding to this kind of thing than
doing that.

NETANYAHU: Well I wanted to send three messages. The first one I told
you about, that is a message of restraint to the settlers. The second
is a message to the terrorists. I was telling them, I know you think
you're going to uproot us with this savagery, with the violence, with
terror. You're not going to uproot us. So you kill us, you want to
drive us into the sea, that's not going to happen. You only way we'll
have a settlement is through peaceful negotiations. So you kill, we'll
build. But coincidentally I chose to build in the large populated areas

that are going to stay in Israel anyway. And not 500 new settlements
but 500 apartments, which is very different.

And third, I wanted to send a message to the international community. I

said to the international community that rushes to condemn Israel for
every building that is build. You know, a Jew builds an apartment in
the Jewish homeland. What a terrible crime. But they seldom go and
condemn this kind of savagery without any ands, ifs and buts and I
wanted that condemnation. I was glad to see –

MORGAN: But is that true?

NETANYAHU: - I was glad to see –

MORGAN: But is that true? I mean, does the international community
really not just condemn that kind of outrage out of hand? Because I
read that they did. And the point about the settlements is surely that
you are trying to get a peace process to work. You're trying to get to
some settlement.

The Middle East quartet only yesterday said they've almost given up hope

that peace is achievable at the moment. You were the first prime
minister of Israel to be born after '48. You can a key position is
history here. You've been prime minister before. You didn't get the
peace process through then. You've got another chance now.

Doesn't part of you, Benjamin Netanyahu, look at yourself and think, I
want to be the guy that makes this happen, not the guy that didn't make
it happen?

NETANYAHU: Seven prime ministers have tried to get peace with the
Palestinians since the peace process began in Oslo in 1993. Some of
them made extraordinarily generous concessions and it didn't work
because the Palestinians first under Arafat and now under Abu Mazen (ph)

have not picked it up. They refuse to go the distance and actually
recognize the Jewish state and make the compromises that are required
from both sides.

The entire world is focusing on the compromises that are necessary from
Israel's side. And I'm prepared to make a lot of those compromises for
peace. But they're not focusing on the fact that the Palestinians
refuse to make the necessary compromises that are required on their side

for peace. And the simplest thing to do - here you're talking about
moving the peace process forward - how do think - what do you think is

the best way to arrive at a negotiated settlement?

MORGAN: Honestly? What do I think?

NETANYAHU: Yes.

MORGAN: When Sadat (ph) came to Jerusalem bearing concessions it
worked. Why don't you go to Ramallah and be the big guy here? Why
don't you go and take concessions, which are perhaps more than you're
prepared to give right now and say, I'm calling the bluff here, not just

as the Palestinians but as the international community.

Because I'll tell you what would happen. The international community is

desperate for this to work. They would come with you. And yes, there
would be, of course, problems. Yes, there would be more outrages.
Everybody knows that. But in the end somebody has to be the big guy
here and that could be you, couldn't it?

NETANYAHU: I'm pretty big.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Yes, you are. You are.

NETANYAHU: But, to get –

MORGAN: But doesn't history need people to be courageous?

NETANYAHU: Yes. Yes, it does. But peace requires two to tango. And
what I'm - what I said - suggested the simplest thing is exactly what
you're said. I said to Abu Mazen who was flying around in the world –
the Palestinian president - I said, don't fly around the world. You
want to make peace? Ramallah, where you said, is 10 minutes away from
Jerusalem where we're sitting right now. I'm willing to come to you.
You can come here. Let's sit down, shut the room, you know, basically
sit down until smoke comes out.

That's the way you make peace. That's how we made peace with Egypt.
That's how we made peace with Jordan.

MORGAN: Why isn't it happening?

NETANYAHU: Because I think the Palestinian society is split into two –

those who are openly calling for Israel's destruction like Hamas, and
those who are not calling openly for Israel's destruction but refuse to
confront those who do. And that's the Palestinian authority. I think
they're timid, I think they're afraid to actually stand up to these
killers. And I think that they're afraid, maybe for their own sake, for

their own political hides (ph), sometimes for their own physical safety.

And they don't take that necessary plunge.

I think it's possible to achieve that peace. I'll tell you what, I've
always wanted it because I went through war. I went through war in
Egypt, I nearly drowned in the Suez Canal in the fire fight during the
War of Attrition –

MORGAN: You were shot, yourself.

NETANYAHU: Yes, I was shot rescuing a hijacked –

MORGAN: You know the reality of war.

NETANYAHU: I've lost –

MORGAN: They will say military people that have been through that kind
of thing, they've seen friends, colleagues get killed, they understand
better than most and need to bring peace.

NETANYAHU: Not only understand but cherish it. I mean, I've nearly
died several times in fire fights. I had a brother lost in a battle. I

had many friends lost. I mean, one of - the experience that I remember

was as an 18-year-old soldier, just a few short weeks after entering the

army, holding a friend who died in my arms. You don't want war.

Amid (ph) all the pundits who explain to us that Israel doesn't want
peace, where are they living? We're an embattled country. They're
trying to destroy us. They threaten our –

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: What parallels do you see?

NETANYAHU: We want peace more than any other people. We pray for
peace, yearn for peace, dream about peace. I want to make sure that the

peace holds. One of the things that I've said in this part of the
world, the only peace that would hold is a peace that you can defend.
So I'm willing to make that kind of peace, a peace with security.

People say to me, hey listen, just sign on the dotted line and
relinquish those things, those security assets that allow you to protect

the peace. Then I'll say we'll end up without security and without
peace. But I'm willing for a defensible peace to make the tough choices

and I call on Abu Mazen, the Palestinian president, to - I don't fault
him for traveling around the world. If he likes it, he can do it. But
I'm saying, listen, come back here. I'll go to Ramallah and you can go
here –

MORGAN: What is the big concession? What's the concession you're
prepared to make to make this happen? Because you know if you don't
make one, if you don't do something dramatic here, nothing's going to
happen. You'll go down as a guy who was prime minister twice and it
never happened. And I don't think that's a legacy you really want, is
it?

Why would you want that legacy?

NETANYAHU: Well the legacy I want is that I hope secure the life the
Jewish state and its future. We did have - we did act precipitously.
We walked out of Gaza. We uprooted. Talk about concessions. We
uprooted 10,000 Israelis out of Gaza, just eliminated the settlements
that were supposed to be the obstacle to peace. We walked out, Iran
walked in. We didn't get peace.

We walked out of Lebanon, every last inch. We walked out, Iran walked
in. From Lebanon they fired 6,000 rockets at us. This is a country the

size of New Jersey. From Gaza, after we walked out, they fired 6,000
rockets at us. Now, they say, "Just walk out of the West Bank. Make
the concession. Come on, do it again, a third time."

We could be in a position where we can't live. So my concern is, I want

peace for Israel but I want a peace that we can defend and I want a
peace that will hold. And I know that that's peace with security. I
know that's what we have to insist - and I insist - unabashedly so –
on peace with strong security arrangements.

One of the leading European statesmen told me the other day - I was
sitting where you are - well in that couch. He said, you know, three
months ago when you said in the context of a peace treaty between Israel

and the Palestinians that you would need to stay along the Jordan River
because you never know what would happen on the other side.

The Jordan River, mind you, is all of the distance of the Washington
beltway, greater Paris from here. Nearby. So we'd have to have some
line on the Jordan River to prevent Iran from penetrating into Israel
and placing another 100,000 rockets aimed at our cities. He said,
people didn't understand what you're talking about. He said, now after
the convulsions, this earthquake people understand your insistence of
security a lot better.

So I would say the first condition of peace, we'll make concessions,
obviously. We'll have to make territorial concessions and that's hard.
This is our ancestral homeland. This is the land of the bible.

MORGAN: Would you give up Jerusalem? Everyone tells me you would if I
came to it.

NETANYAHU: I don't know what everybody is saying. I'll tell you what
we say. We say that Jerusalem has to remain united under Israel.
That's our position going into the negotiations. I know it's a very
emotional issue for the Palestinians. So we've agreed - I've agreed –

to have this issue brought up in the negotiations –

MORGAN: Could you imagine –

NETANYAHU: We'll have to look for very creative solution here.

MORGAN: I understand. I understand. But that's what you need to do.
I mean, I've just read Tony Blair's book, for example, who's the Middle
East envoy now. I know you know him well. His account of –

NETANYAHU: And appreciate his - appreciate his efforts.

MORGAN: Right. His account of how he finally won peace in northern
Ireland is a riveting account. Two completely intransigent parties
living side by side. The parallels are pretty obvious. Different
circumstances. But you have two people who don't trust each other,
they've been killing each other for decades but eventually they brought
peace. And it can be done. But it needs big people of big times to
take big decisions.

NETANYAHU: It needs one other thing that you overlooked.

MORGAN: Which is?

NETANYAHU: Look at northern - everything you said about north Ireland
is right except one thing. The IRA never wanted London. They never
wanted to destroy Britain and take over it.

MORGAN: They wanted to give everyone in the British government and
tried.

NETANYAHU: Maybe. But they had no –

MORGAN: But a maybe? They did.

NETANYAHU: But they had no territorial claim over the British isle.
They wanted what they wanted in northern Ireland. In the case of the
Palestinian society, Hamas openly declares that it wants to wipe out not

the heads of the Israeli government, but every Israeli. Wipe away the
Jewish state. They openly say so. Their constitution –

MORGAN: But if you made the big move –

NETANYAHU: And –

MORGAN: Let me just say this. If you made the big move, you know that
the international community and crucially America, would be absolutely
side by side with you. They want this to happen. And you also know if
you don't make this happen, then the opposite may happen. You may lose
the support, not just of large parts of Europe, which is already
beginning to (INAUDIBLE), you can feel it, but America may start going
cold because they'll say, come on, this has to be done. It's too
important now.

And also it's no longer just about Israel and the Palestinians. It's
about the whole region. The whole region is unstable. You have many
battles to right now.

NETANYAHU: The instability in the region is not a result of Israel and
the Palestinians. That was never the cause of this instability.
Instead, the disfunctionality of many of these societies that have
failed to modernize –

MORGAN: Well, that wasn't the point I was making. The point I was
making, though, is that it's no longer the only story in town, is it?

NETANYAHU: No, it's not.

MORGAN: But isn't this a good - ironically we're sitting here now with

this part of the region being one of the calmer places. Isn't that the
perfect time to make this happen?

NETANYAHU: If you can be sure of who your partner will be tomorrow.
You're not even sure of that. You want to make sure that you have solid

(INAUDIBLE) of security and you also want mutual reconciliation.

We recognize the rights of the Palestinians for a state of their own.
Even though they're sitting in part of our ancestral homeland, it's very

painful to do that. But I've been doing it. I've been saying it. But
they refuse to say that they recognize a Jewish state, a nation state
for the Jewish people.

I'm talking about - I'm not talking about the Hamas, I'm talking about
the Palestinian authority that should confront Hamas and confront their
own people and say, hey, it's over. We give up the ghost of dismantling

Israel or dissolving Israel or flooding it with refugees. It's over.
No more war, no more bloodshed. Just as Sadat said. I want to hear
that clear statement but I'm willing, I've already made those
statements.

And so the problem you have in the international community is that the
Palestinians do not want to put a finality to the conflict, do not want
to say that a Palestinian state will be an end to a conflict and not a
stage in the dissolution of Israel. Now, they speak peace to the
outside but not to their own people.

To their own people - on the day that these people - this family was
savagely brutalized - brutally murdered - babies were stabbed - on
that day, the Palestinian authority had a square called al-Bireh, which
is a suburb of Ramallah, in name of a terrorist who murdered 37 Israelis

on a bus, including 12 children. To the outside world they speak peace.

Internally they foster a culture of hate.

And I tell them, enough. We don't have that. We're a totally
transparent society. I'm ready as the prime minister of Israel to
deliver peace. I have - I give you an opportunity. I'm willing to do
this and I can deliver a peace. Because if I sign a peace –

MORGAN: Will you do what it takes –

NETANYAHU: If I sign a peace –

MORGAN: Will you do what it takes to make it happen?

NETANYAHU: If I sign a peace, people of Israel will follow me. But
you've got to give us the two elements of peace that are required to
have a real peace, not a fake peace. The real peace requires security
and the real peace requires that you actually reconcile yourself to a
Jewish state here, permanently. This is what we want.

Look, it's very easy to sign a fake peace and then have it collapse.
Most wars started from a conditional peace –

MORGAN: But it also (INAUDIBLE) very easy, cannot go after a proper
deal at all. I mean, there is an argument, why should you bother?
Israel's doing very well economically. You've been growing at five
percent a year for a while. There's a real boom going on. Meanwhile in

the Palestinian refugee camps the conditions are appalling. So you have

a real "them and us" situation.

There's no real urgency and you could easily hide if you wanted to. I'm

not saying you are doing this, but you could hide behind all the turmoil

in the Middle East and say, you know what, we don't need to do this
right now.

NETANYAHU: Not at all. First of all, Palestinian economy has been
growing at 10 percent.

MORGAN: But there's no equivalence between what's happening in Israel
and the state of the refugees in Gaza.

NETANYAHU: It's true.

MORGAN: They can't be. Come on.

NETANYAHU: No. Gaza is growing now at 17 percent because we lifted all

the restrictions –

MORGAN: Yes, but you wouldn't want your family living there, would you?

NETANYAHU: No, of course not. But certainly I think the people of Gaza

would like to be relieved of this Hamas tyranny and this medievalism.
But as far as the West Bank, I changed the policy. In fact, (INAUDIBLE)

what you say. I thought that it's important to add, in addition to
security and recognition, to have prosperity as a third pillar of peace.

So I've been - I removed hundreds of road blocks, check points and so
on and the result is that the Palestinian economy and the West Bank has
grown at 10 percent, which is - which for me is very hopeful because I
like to see apartment towers sprout out of the soil of the West Bank of
Ramallah and not missiles. And I think this is an important component
of peace. But the economic peace is not a substitute for political
negotiations.

And on day one of forming my government, I called on President Abbas and

Abu Mazen to come here and talk people. The second step that I took,
it's a tough decision, I froze construction in the settlement. I know
this is not the issue, I know construction in the settlements are not a
real issue, they're an artificial issue. The settlements cover only one

or two percent of the territory of the West Bank and a few hundred
apartments in this one percent is meaningless. But it's become an
issue. I said, all right. You know, if it makes it easier for you,
I'll freeze construction for 10 months. They didn't come. And when
they finally came, they bolted after two weeks.

I recognize the principle of two states for two people. I agreed to
another extension, three months. I did all these things. And what do I

find? That the Palestinians can walk away from the negotiations, make
pre-conditions, call public square in honor of terrorists and now
they're talking about a national unity with Hamas that calls for our
destruction. How can you be for peace with Israel and peace with Hamas
that calls for our destruction?

MORGAN: I'm going to –

NETANYAHU: It's one or the other. Not both.

MORGAN: I'm going to take another short break. When we come back I
want to talk to you about Israel's position in the world now and the
international community in view of Israel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Prime Minister, picking up on a point that you made just before

the break. The Palestinians have said they are prepared to bring Hamas
into government. What is your position? Could you ever imagine having
any kind of workable administration that involved Hamas?

NETANYAHU: Can you imagine a peace deal with Al Qaeda? Of course not.

MORGAN: But there was, crucially, a peace deal in Northern Ireland that

involved Sinn Fein. And you had the bizarre situation of somebody like
Martin McGuiness, who had been a former IRA chief of staff, becoming
education minister. But sometimes to make things happen you have to
think the unthinkable, don't you?

NETANYAHU: You can make peace with an enemy, if the enemy abandons the
idea of destroying you. That is the critical test. Democracies fail to

understand what I just said. In the 1930s, with Hitler, they failed to
recognize that. He said, well, I'm willing to sign this, or that,
document. But in reality they could ascertain easily that he was dead
set on conquest and annihilation.

I think we face, in the Middle East, an ideology that is
absolutely-absolutely opposed to peace and coexistence, and that is
Hamas.

(CROSS TALK)

MORGAN: You could never come-

NETANYAHU: Well, if Hamas has a constitution, if it tore it up, and it
if the constitution calls for the annihilation of Israel, not only that
but the expansion of radical Islam throughout the region and the world.
If they got rid of that, yes, I could contemplate that. If they
stopped firing rockets, or importing now, rockets to launch on our
cities. They just intercepted some Iranian rockets yesterday that were
intended for Hamas. If they stopped terrorism, if they stopped calling
for our eradication, yes, of course, we would be happy to talk with
them. But the fact is that Hamas has not stopped being Hamas. Hamas
continues to call for our liquidation. So what am I going to negotiate
with them? The method of our decapitation? The method of their
exterminating us? Of course not. Any country would take a stand
against somebody that is completely committed to its obliteration. And
that was not the case in Northern Ireland, because the IRA never wanted
to exterminate Britain.

MORGAN: Can I ask you about the suggestion, in parts of the media, that

there is a growing tide of anti-Semitism in Europe. Do you believe that

there is? And if so, why?

NETANYAHU: I think there is-first of all, I think there is a structural

difference between the way that Europe views Israel, and America views
Israel. The European view is informed by the importance of colonialism
in Europe's past. So for Europeans we are, I don't know, we're like
Belgiums in the Congo, or the French in Alger, or the British in India.
You know, strange interlopers in somebody else's land. But in fact,
we have been here for 4,000 years. This is our ancestral homeland.

My name, Benjamin, my name sake, Benjamin the Son of Jacob, roamed these

hills four millennia ago. There is a signet ring, in my office, found
next to where the Western Wall is now, from the time of the Jewish
kings, not that distant from King David. And there is a name written on

it in Hebrew. The name is Netanyahu. That is my last name. So we have

been around here. We're not foreigners. We're not the Belgiums in the
Congo. And the Americans understand that instinctively because for
America this is not a colonial past. This is the Promised Land.
America was the new promised land, we are the original Promised Land.

MORGAN: How solid are the Americans. The reason I say that is the
former U.S. State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, recently said, if
and when Israel offers its own thoughts on how to move the peace process

forward, we will be listening tentatively. Now that is diplomatic speak

for, you are not doing anything.

NETANYAHU: Oh, sure, I mean, look, I think people expect that. They'd
like, I think, honest and fair people understand that Israel wants
peace, that the Palestinians have rejected negotiations. And I hope
they change their mind.

But you ask me about anti-Semitism in Europe and I said, first of all,
there is a difference in the way that Europeans view Israel and
Americans view Israel. But there is also anti-Semitism in Europe.
There is the new boiling anti-Semitism of radical Islam that sweeps
Europe, as a whole. And there is a strange fusion-that is the only word

I can use to describe it-a fusion with the anti-Semitism of the radical
far, far left. And you know this is the strangest view you could
possibly contemplate. Because the radical Muslims, you know, they stone

women, they execute gays, they against any human rights. They are
against feminism, against what have you. And the far left that is
supposed to be for these things, they all unite on one thing, you know,
bashing Israel state. And that is a terrible union and one that I think

should be excoriated. It should be condemned. Because the last thing
these people have in mind is peace-maybe a peace without Israel.

MORGAN: Do you believe you are losing the support of some of the
European leaders?

NETANYAHU: I think there is a great commonality of interest and values,

there are differences that have been there for a long time. I expect
Europe, on whose soil 6 million Jews were exterminated, to display some
understand, to put it mildly, for Israel's security concerns. And, you
know, often I'm advised on what is really good for Israel. Be a little
more humble. I mean, we have-we didn't do too well in Europe where only

a few courageous people lifted their-lifted themselves up and try to
save Jews, but in general, European society-

MORGAN: I hope-I can understand that, but there is also-and you are
aware of it-there is a growing frustration amongst European leaders
about their perception that there is inactivity here moving the process
forward. And you were reported to have had a pretty lively conversation

with Chancellor Merkel, in Germany, where you rang to berate her and she

ended up giving you her very forthright views on your lack of any
action.

NETANYAHU: That is actually an entirely false report on both the tenor
and the substance of this conversation. I appreciate Angela Merkel. I
think she generally wants-she is a friend of Israel. She wants to see
peace here. But we can have differences, you know why? Because we live

here and we are going to have to continue to live here and live with the

consequences of the decisions. If you make a bad peace, you know, some
of the most celebrated peace agreements, in history, were short-lived
and turned out to be calamitous, even catastrophic arrangements. I want

a peace that will hold. And I know that people berate us. You should
read some of the things they said about Begin. I think "TIME" magazine
says it rhymes with Fagin. You know, from Dickens? They said horrible
things. He doesn't want peace. He's extreme. What nonsense. And the
same kind of nonsense is leveled at me, at my government, and at my
people. There is no people that wants peace more than Israel. There is

no people who have been threatened with annihilation who understand what

the benefits of peace-

MORGAN: But what happens if your continued inability to move this
process forward means the international community decides that they are
going to go away from you. Go with the Palestinians, and set up a state

of Palestine, recognize it officially. Where does that leave you?

NETANYAHU: Well, in fact, that is what they are doing. They are
actually accelerating the movement away from peace. Because when the
international community says to Israel, you are the only one who has to
compromise, but they don't ask the Palestinians to compromise. To
actually recognize the Jewish state, to understand that we'll have to
have security arrangements, otherwise we could get Iran walking in
again, a third time, into territory that we vacated.

MORGAN: Are the Americans doing enough now?

NETANYAHU: If we have-if the international community says, hey, listen,

let's just line up with what the Palestinians say, why should the
Palestinians negotiate? Why should they compromise? Peace requires
mutual compromise.

MORGAN: But that can't be good for Israel if that happens. And that
could happen.

NETANYAHU: But in fact it is happening, because a lot of the
international community who think that they are advancing peace are
lining up unilaterally with the Palestinian demands. And in fact, what
they are doing is pushing peace further away, because rather than
compromise the Palestinians-

MORGAN: Well, no, hold on-

NETANYAHU: -say we don't have to do anything.

MORGAN: No, by looking at it they keep pushing Israel away. Isn't that

worrying for you? I mean, what they are doing is isolating you and
saying if you don't do a deal here, and you are in a position to do
this, well, OK, we are going to bypass you. And that puts you in an
even more isolated position, doesn't it?

NETANYAHU: You can't by pass, you can't bypass the parties to peace.
You can't oppose peace from the outside. You can't have a fiat, or a
dictum, that says, "Thou shalt have peace." No, peace comes from the
actual negotiations that both sides do, and the compromises they give
each other. That is what happened with Begin and Sadat, with Israel and

Egypt. That is what happened with Rabin, and the King Hussein, the late

King Hussein, with Israel and Jordan. And that is what has to happen,
began happening when I negotiated some arrangements with the
Palestinians. They are the only two agreements that have held up in the

18 years since the Oslo peace process began. The two agreements that
have held up are the peace agreement I negotiated on Hebron, and the
peace agreement I negotiated at Wye. These are partial agreements.

I am prepared to negotiate a final agreement, but I need a partner.
That partner, right now, because of the international, reflexive
attitude against Israel, that puts the onus on Israel's side, Israel is
proven guilty, is judged guilty until proven guilty, and the
Palestinians are deemed innocent. They don't have to do anything. They

can call public squares in honor of terrorists. They can teach their
children in textbooks that Israel doesn't exist. They can have their
state media, state controlled media-Israeli media is not
state-controlled I guarantee you. They are-phew-vigorously independent.

They can do whatever they want.

That is not the case in the Palestinian media. They spout horrible
anti-peace, anti-Israel things. They are given a pass, the Palestinians

Authority. And I say stop giving them a pass. You want peace? You
have to get both sides to compromise. And above all, you have to get
both sides to sit down and negotiate.

For God's sake, Abu Mazen is 10 minutes away. I'll come to him. He can
come here. I can go anywhere.

PIERS MORGAN: When was -

NETANYAHU: By the way -. I'll go to Damascus. I'll go to Riyadh. I'll
go anywhere.

MORGAN: When was the last time you spoke to President Obama?

NETANYAHU: Oh, I speak to him regularly.

MORGAN: And is he as supportive now as he's always been?

NETANYAHU: I think there's no question, he's – he's expressed the
support for Israel, and especially for Israel security. And I have to
say that he's acted on it, in ways that are not commonly known. Because
if the United States has recently supported our anti-missile defense, we

cooperated with security in ways that people don't normally know. So,
there's been important cooperation -

MORGAN: Is he personally pushing you to make this happen? Is he saying,

we need to do this? What can I do, President Obama, to help you, Prime
Minister Netanyahu, make this deal happen?

NETANYAHU: He's said that quite a few times, and I told him what I
think is required, and we're engaging in this discussion. I have to tell

you where a lot of it is not public. I did appreciate the fact that the
president vetoed one-sided and unfair resolution at the UN Security
Council.

I think that part of the way that we see American support for Israel is
the willingness to stand up if necessary alone against unfair,
unbalanced resolutions. And that's important to put balance in the
reflection -

MORGAN: Are you coming under more pressure – are you coming under more
pressure from the president and America to get this done?

NETANYAHU: I suppose there's always this desire on the part of the
United States. It's expressed publicly and privately. But I think that
people in the United States recognize that Israel wants peace, needs
peace, but needs a peace that can be defended.

You know, peace is not a piece of paper. You can have a peace agreement
that is absolutely meaningless. It's not a power point presentation,
where you say oh, security, right, dot, put a V there. No, it means you
have to be underground. You actually have to prevent the infiltration of

terrorists into territory that abuts our cities.

You just flew into Israel the first time, right?

MORGAN: Um-hmm.

NETANYAHU: Ben Gurion Airport?

MORGAN: Um-hmm.

NETANYAHU: Nice, big, international airport. Well, a couple of miles
away from that airport is the West Bank. If that is not demilitarized,
then you'll have rockets that will bring down the aircraft that you
landed in. They could be rockets that are directed against all our
cities, our air fields, our communications centers. It could collapse
and paralyze our country.

So, my formula that I put forward in my speech at Bar-llan University,
for peace between us and the Palestinians, is demilitarized Palestinian
states, that recognizes the Jewish state. Demilitarized, because if it's

militarized, then we won't be able to defend the peace, and won't be
able to defend ourselves in case peace unravels.

Recognizing the Jewish state, because that's the corollary to our
willingness to recognize the Palestinian states. We already given that
recognition, and I hope the Palestinians reciprocate. That's something
that we can do. Now, it won't take care of the world. Just as the
Israeli/Palestinian problem is not the cause of the instability between
the west of India and up to Morocco. Then resolving it is not going to
resolve that either. But, it will give us a chance to disentangle our
two people.

You're still going to have people attacking this. They'll say that the
Arabs sold out, that I sold out.

MORGAN: But that's always going to be the case.

NETANYAHU: But it's important for us here. I don't think it stabilizes
the entire region. People often say, well if you do that, then everybody

will line up against Iran. I think it's actually the other way around. I

think that if we could neutralize Iran, defang (ph) it from its nuclear
capability, we'll have a lot greater chance and moving peace between
Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the rest of the Arab world.

If Iran goes, we'll have a brilliant future goes with all the
difficulties. If it doesn't, we'll have to create a defensible and
secure peace but protect ourselves from the worst.

MORGAN: I want to take a final break now Prime Minister. When we come
back I want to talk to you about you, your personal life and your
heroes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Prime Minister, I want to take a short break and when we come
back I want to zero in on exactly what concessions Israel may be
prepared to make, to make peace happen.

(BACKGROUND INSTRUCTION)

MORGAN: When we come back, I want to talk to you a little bit more
about this peace process and how we can –

(BACKGROUND INSTRUCTION)

MORGAN: When we come back from the break I want to talk to you more
about this peace process.

(BACKGROUND INSTRUCTION)

MORGAN: We'll be right back after a short break, Prime Minister.

(BREAK)

MORGAN: Prime Minister, who are your heroes?

NETANYAHU: Oh, people who mattered, changed the lives of mankind and
the lives of my people. First year, I suppose, Theodor Herzl - how old

are you?

MORGAN: I'm 45.

NETANYAHU: Forty-five. Well he was dead by then. He began at 36. He
was a journalist in Vienna, saw the Dreyfus trial, understood that the
Jews were going to be exterminated in Europe and began the movement that

resulted in the creation of the modern Jewish state. He worked all of
eight years. Like a prophet of old (ph) who came out of nowhere and
changed the history of our people. He was a pretty big hero.

I admire Winston Churchill because I think he saw the danger to western
civilization and acted in time to staunch the hemorrhage. I have other
heroes.

MORGAN: You lost your brother in this conflict in the Raid on Entebbe,
the famous occasion when so many sacrificed their lives. Would he be
one of your heroes? And he'll be looking down on this like so many
who've lost their lives in the name of Israel, I would imagine hoping
that his brother can bring resolution to this. Because in the end,
peace is always the better option, isn't it?

NETANYAHU: Sure is. But rolling back terrors (ph) - a compliment to
peace, not a - it's a necessary condition for it. And my brother lost
his life in the battle against terror. Made a profound impact on me. I

have to tell you it changed my life and steered it into its present
course.

MORGAN: In what way did it change you?

NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, it's a terrible blow because it's like,
you know, it's like taking an axe, cutting off your arm or tearing out a

piece of your heart. You live like an amputee. I mean, people don't
see that because your limbs are intact but, in fact, something is gone
and so every time that I have to make a decision to put our soldiers in
harm's way, and if they are lost, I go to the families, the bereaved
families and I think of these are my parents and my brother is me.

And so my brother once said that the test of a commander - of a great
commander is not merely to win the battle, but to win it with the
minimal loss of life. That's what he always did. That's what I try to
do. And his last battle at Entebbe at the rescue at Entebbe, in fact,
he was the only soldier who lost his life. First of all, economize with

lives. They're too precious. And second, seek to bring the world to
peace.

It's actually astounding and remarkable that Israel is getting this bad
press. It's amazing that people who have stood, you know, in the
ramparts of war and know the cost of war, that they're accused of not
wanting peace when they're - we've done concessions, we've done steps
for peace that no one has ever done. We've given up the Sinai. We've
given up all our oil. Can you imagine people doing that anywhere else
in the world? And we're prepared to do more. And yet it is Israel that

is being castigated.

I often have a somber thought about that. I think about that. You say
the entire world is thinking that. Piers, do you think what the entire
world was saying about the Jewish people for centuries?

I mean, educated and intelligent people believe the worst thing about
the Jews. There was a pestilence, the Jewish fault. Famine, the fault
of the Jews. Political instability, the fault of the Jews. And I
thought that was gone. And yet it comes back. After the Holocaust you
thought it was gone but it's come back and it's become fashionable now
to say it's not the fault of the Jews, it's the fault of the state that
the Jews built. That wasn't true then and it's not true now.

And I use this opportunity that the tell you. You say I look - I think

of my brother, I think of my sons, I think of our children, I think of
the Palestinian children. We could have a better world. We could have
a world of peace and considerable prosperity as it turns out. But it
has to be based on truth. It can't be based on distortion. And the
worst distortion is that we who pray for peace and are threatened with
eradication, that we don't want peace. We do. With God's help we'll
find it. With God's help, I'll find it.

MORGAN: Could you imagine the scenario in your lifetime where this deal

doesn't get done?

NETANYAHU: Well that's been the case for nearly a century. So
supposedly that's the - you know, that's the normal course of things.

But there has been a change in Israel. It's interesting. There's been
- I think two parallel things have happened. One, a political
readiness on the part of the public and I represent a mainstream party,
a center right party. It's got its fringes here and there but people
know that if I bring a peace, they'll be willing to follow it, including

territorial concessions. They'll buy (ph) it.

And yet at the same time that there's been a political softening of the
position of the mainstream Israeli public, there's been a hardening of
the security requirements. So the peace has to be a lot more robust in
terms of security. Why? Because we've seen that we walk out and Iran
comes in time and time again. We see the instability in the region,
this earthquake, all kind of corruption –

MORGAN: In the end - in the end –

NETANYAHU: So they want both. They're willing to make compromises but
they expect me not to compromise on our –

MORGAN: I completely understand the argument you put forward. What is
not so logical for you - and I'd like to end with this really - is
just that everyone watching this, this is the first time you've spoken
this year on television about any of this. And the Middle East is now
this extraordinary, evolving, moving, revolutionary story. Everything's

changed.

NETANYAHU: Changing.

MORGAN: Changing. And changed in some places already. Everyone's
looking at you. The whole world is looking at Prime Minister Netanyahu
to do something. They're looking to you to be the hero, not to be the
villain. And I can't believe, given your love of history, given your
position in Jewish history, that you don't want to be that guy that
delivers what the world wants you to deliver.

NETANYAHU: Well then if I end up meeting your expectations, you'll have

to invite me back to another interview, won't you?

MORGAN: I will do that with great pleasure.

NETANYAHU: I'll come with great pleasure.

MORGAN: Prime Minister, I look forward to it.

NETANYAHU: Good to see you.

MORGAN: Thank you very much.

NETANYAHU: Thank you.

MORGAN: And now we go to Anderson Cooper who is live the Japan, with
the latest breaking news from there.

END

Post by:
Filed under: Piers Morgan Live
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Kathi Twomey Wahed

    Mr. Morgan, you can slobber over Charlie Sheen and act like he's a charming celebrity buddy (despite his mental illness and lunacy) but when you interview an educated, cultivated leader of a major democatic nation like Israel all of a sudden you're an aggressive, challenging investigative reporter who has no respect. How transparent and embarrassing! Netanyahu won this one - thanks to his calm and cool - but you looked like you couldn't wait to "get him" on every issue. Typical of the British, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rant of the liberal Left. When is the world going to wake up and realize Israel and the Palestinian Authority/ Hamas are NOT a moral equivalence. It would be like putting the U.S. on equivalence with Iran. Why can't the US press give Isreal a break and realize they're on our side rather than an enemy? Our press makes such fools of themselves.

    March 18, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • wisetulip

      I saw kindness and respect in this interview not aggression or anti antisemitism. I respect Morgran for the interview and the direct questions, and very remarkable in fact every part of this interview was about Peace and bringing peace thru the Prime Minster. I found both men amazing, with great dynamic of two individuals who are honest and who respect each other. I think much of what you see is your own projection not reality of the dynamic dance of this interview. I found it very heart felt and genuine.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • preston

      piers just broke the jewish media taboo, jews are going nuts!!!!!!!

      March 18, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chase

      Perhaps because they aren't??

      March 18, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • aatg

      great comment!finally someone says the right thing-the press is biased against Israel and it has been this way for decades ,but no one admits it...

      March 18, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Billy Spudd

      Actually, I thought he was fawning all over what Natanyahu said. An aggressive, honest reporter would have made Natanyahu speak the truth, instead of abetting him in repeating the usual propagandizing lies.

      March 18, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brian

      Piers missed the key point when Netanyahu mentioned "Ancestral Homeland" and "Biblical times"
      Duh!
      That is the key issue which becomes apparent if any other country in the world claimed its boundaries to be those as of "Biblical times".
      Only the theocracy of Israel can claim such rubbish and get away with it.
      According to that theory aboriginal people could claim all of North America and the Romans most of Europe.

      March 18, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Hal

        Brian, Israel is a sliver of land in the Middle East. Although it is a Jewish state, anyone can claim citizenship and live, vote even represent themselves in government, be they Arab, Christian Coptic or Jew. There is NOWHERE in the rest of the Middle East where a Jew can live. In 1948 Jew where thrown out of other Middle Eastern countries and all their land and whatever possessions they owned confiscated. Get your head out of your rear and realize that it was like a trade off.

        March 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Barrett

      Excellent comment Kathi, I would have loved to hear the Prime Minister's complete answer's... I have lost all respect for Morgan, and cnn, they both owe the Prime Minister an apology...

      March 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ethan

      A supporter of Israel myself, I was glad that Morgan wasn't throwing softballs. It gave Netanyahu an opportunity to directly address some of the most excoriating criticisms of Israeli policy–which he did, compellingly.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Miriam

        Stunning! absolutely breath-taking to have granted Netanyahu this interview and given him a free pass to propagandize with as much impunity as they kill Palestinians. Truly pitiable when you obviously know that DIMONA is not a textile plant but an aged nuclear bomb facility that has NEVER been inspected and is continues to be lied about but accepted the lies about OSIRAQ's destruction in 81 as being Saddam's alleged weapons plant. The NEOCONSERVATIVES 3 wks ago sent Obama a letter similar to their letter to Clinton in the 90s and Bush 43 to go after IRAQ –then, now to "liberate" Libya....and as all READING THINKING people understand it is for Israel' divide and conquer the region plan written in 82 by Oded Yinon for KIVUNIM (world zionist journal) to break up the entire region militarily to empower Israel as hegemon and provide endless supply of (our) oil under (their) sand. PIERS you gave Bibi total free pass. exempted from telling the truth. At least could have asked him if DIMONA is still their "textile" plant....where all the thermonuclears are stored.

        March 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott GSW

      Kathi, you hit this right on the head. We should be supporting Israeli not disrespecting Netanyahu.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marisol

      Thank you Kathi. VERY well said. I watched the Charlie Sheen interview and it was ridiculous. And the disrespecto to Mr. Netanyahu was embarrasing.

      March 18, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicola Vollkommer

      Piers Morgan, who is a master of coquettry and sleasy flattery when flirting with the decadent elite of society, shows a callous, arrogant and steely ruthlessness while rudely trying to lecture a courteous Statesman about how to handle a brittle crisis which has been hounding the planet for hundreds of years. This display of naive immaturity on the part of Morgan took my breath away and sent chills down my spine.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • peacebeyours

      Amen to that, Kathi! You know, Christian Americans have really laid back too much, and let radical (and often times, immoral) factions lobby all kind of anti-Christian beliefs, and it's good to see some pro-Israel posts! Mr. Netanyahu is right on target about the biases that the press and world leaders have brought to his country and life! Israel has suffered more genocide attempts than any other race, and still has had the history of making the most concessions since they have regained their nation! I haven't seen a single concession out of the Palestinians that doesn't include a half dozen from Israel. And he is right about that Iranian president, too! That guy wants to be the next Hitler towards world domination, and he is the one to really watch out for! I get tired of ignorant Americans trying to put out this Zionist movement in America, when the news is obliterated with the real truth – the radical Muslims! I haven't heard a single piece of news that involves Jewish people terrorizing other countries in the world like the radical Muslims do! I firmly believe that the day we don't side with Israel is the day that our country is in big trouble!

      March 21, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth Einhorn

      Kathi, you are so right, I have sensed the same ,very provocative questions, understable for a journalist who is looking for some scoop, but am proud of President Nethanyahu not to have lost his calm and amazing rhetoric capacity .

      March 21, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      Kathryn, you have got to be kidding. "The Fox network reports the truth?" Come on

      May 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. colombo

    Kathi, I completely agree with you. I thought this was an interview, but looked more like a debate between an angry teenager and his dad. Mr. Netanyahu was patient, rational, and intelligent, while Piers was defiant, horribly rude, woefully unintelligent, and just plain wrong much of the time. Very upsetting, Piers. Awful, actually.

    March 18, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ron

    I completely agree with both of you. A horrible display by Piers Morgan and very typical anti-Israel stuff by CNN.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Scott

    Very much enjoyed the interview but would have liked to hear Mr Netanyahu's replies without you constantly interupting him. I don't watch your program too often but in this case I thought you were boorish, inconsiderate and rude!

    March 18, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ralph Anspach

    Good interview. But I don't know what Mr. Morgan's real views are but he seems still not to get it in company wilh all the Europeans and the American State Department folks and left-winger who tell Israel to follow their advice "for its own good." Other countries can lose wars but they don't lose their country at the same time. If Israel loses one war, it disappears from the map. Curtains.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. michael

    cmon guys give him a break, hes right for peace you have to compromise fairly not just giving them a stripe the size of a bathroom and ask to accept it it was their land in the beginning ......

    March 18, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      The land belongs to the Jewish people and always has.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • key

        ever heard of the concept of "sharing" ? it's what we teach little kids in school so that more of them might be happy.

        March 18, 2011 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Ryan

        @key: Would you 'share' land with a group of people whose intention was to eradicate you not only from this land you were sharing, but from earth? Seems counter-productive to me!

        Sharing is a nice thought, but unfortunately in Palestinian schools kids are being taught to hate Israelis and the Jewish People. Fortunately, when we teach kids to share in school, their lives don't usually rest in the balance.

        March 18, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Olivia

        Operating from your said premise then, the US rightfully belongs to the Native Americans who presently live on the reservations, Hawaii then rightfully belongs to the Hawaiians. And so the land should be given back to its rightful owners? Right?

        Your statement is less than intelligent – sounds like "my dad is bigger than your dad" or Israel/Jerusalem belongs to the Jews 'just because'....

        March 18, 2011 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
      • Chris

        Please. This argument is bogus. Prussians held Prussia and lost it. Does that mean they should return and claim it? The fact is that Israel has violated all UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions. They refuse to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Why? Why are they so superior to the US or any other country? Why does Bibi want the US to hit Iran? The natural gas he refers to is not off Israel's coast. Look up the actual information on where it is located. Please, let's be willing to discuss facts that are not spun. Israel must become a part of the global community, not an isolated me, me, me land.

        March 18, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Billy Spudd

        No it doesn't! only in that fantasy work 'the Torah' does Palestine belong to the Jews. All through history, every ANCIENT nation around 'Israel' ALWAYS referred to it as Palestine, from the Egyptian word "Paleset", meaning Philistines. Only a part of what is now the West Bank was every actually historically Jewish, which is why the settlers and Israeli government keep trying to steal the land from the PALESTINIANS still living there. Israel is a joke idea and a foul nation that only religious fools and criminal deviates support.

        March 18, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
      • mike

        Brian

        Piers missed the key point when Netanyahu mentioned "Ancestral Homeland" and "Biblical times"
        Duh!
        That is the key issue which becomes apparent if any other country in the world claimed its boundaries to be those as of "Biblical times".
        Only the theocracy of Israel can claim such rubbish and get away with it.
        According to that theory aboriginal people could claim all of North America and the Romans most of Europe

        March 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • double j

        i love it when people try to sound smart. im from texas and im not a jew but i hope isreal destroys anyone who comes against them. the indians lost cuz they divided into fractions and some helped us some with the english had they stood together they may still own this land but they did not and that is bacause they are not one people but many different peoples. they are not indians but mant different tribes of people wring amongst themselves when the british ran home many of them were left enemies to eachother and us. isreal has right as long as they can hold it. i hope they destroy all the terds who come against them and guess what they will.

        March 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      "Resl interviewers interrupt"? I rarely hear that in any other mainstream media interviews, particularly interviews of a head of state of a democracy. Obviously, Morgan had an agenda and I am disappointed with CNN.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. frances farmer

    wow netanyahoo lost alot of respect tonite, he came off looking like a cheap con artist that needed to be constantly cut of before he started in with propaganda, i think piersplanned to make a statement by showing he would force bibi to answer questions not even obama would ask him publically. bibi was reduced to a frowning fidgeting child right till the end and even clumsily agreed to "run along and make peace now cause you'rr annoying us" and then come back on theshow when you've finished doing what your told.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryan

      Well don't you seem intelligent. Next time try using proper spelling and even an attempt at proper grammar usage. Now, please explain and provide support for how Prime Minister Netanyahu was "a cheap con artist" and how he "was reduced to a frowning fidgeting child."

      For the most part this conversation was interesting and enlightening. Piers Morgans delivered many hard and unique questions which were answered thoroughly and thoughtfully by Prime Minister Netanyahu. However, Piers Morgans constant interruptions of Prime Minister Netanyahu greatly 'cheapened' the interview.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Ryan

        Oops. Guess I should get Piers Morgan's name spelled correctly...and use proper grammar myself.

        March 18, 2011 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca Dent

      Francis, I agree totally!

      March 18, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mathew Shapiro

    Piers is good, but he needs to figure out how to not interrupt his guests so often.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Suzie

      Yes, I so agree. Piers needs to stop cutting off his guest. It is not polite to interrupt. I do like Piers as well, but when he cuts them off I so much wish I could tell him to stop doing that. Piers needs to give them time to complete what they are saying. Don't interrupt and cut them off, let them finish. Please.....

      March 18, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • mike

        "Real interviewers" have to cut off the person they are interviewing because the person being interviewed tries to speak of materials not really related to the topic. you have to interrupt to get a real answer sometimes. plus the interviewer has a limited time of asking questions. it is not good to waste time. I thought Morgon was leaning toward the prime minister. he didn't ask him about the wikileaks, which really would have showed how hard he has been trying to get peace,.

        March 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jared

    Piers acted like an arrogant buffoon in this interview. How dare he speak at someone as noble as Netanyahu in that tone... Very telling of his character.

    March 18, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Richard

    Piers either does not "get it" or does not care about what is true, fair or just. The FACT is that the Palestinians are not the least bit interested in peace; rather, they are committed to Isreal's destruction. There are NO concessions that Isreal can offer that will result in peace with the Palestinians - except to give up their land and sovereignty. Piers' bias was obvious, shameful, and abhorent! By contrast, Netanyahu was thoughtful, truthful, and right.

    March 18, 2011 at 4:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      My goodness. I am amazed that you would have the audacity to say what is in the hearts of mind of all Palestinians.When was the last time you spoke with a group of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories? Your unwillingness to accept that the majority of Palestinians want peace and want the settlements to stop (settlements violate all agreements made by Israel in the past) and want to get on with the peace process when Israel accepts responsibility for their past agreements is the quite something. Israel could be a good friend in the region if it were to cease its irresponsible actions and accept the responsibilities a true global partner would accept.

      March 18, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • aatg

        Chris,i'n from Israel and i know the feelings among the Palestinians-more than 50% percent are definitely willing for peace but ,unlike Israel,there are also more than 30% percent that are willing to wipe Israel off the map.Therefor,you can't sign a peace agreement with the 50%(or so) unless you certified that you'll be able to protect yourself against the 30%.This a simple idea and Netanyahu was trying to convey this message during the whole interview but Piers seemed to be too biased to get it.And you,Chris, seems to be biased too...

        March 18, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anthony Harb

    Netanyahu is flawed in his statement that Israel "walked out of Lebanon, every last inch". Selective amnesia has forgotten several UN Security Council resolutions which recognize that Israel continues to occupy several strips of fertile Lebanese territory. This slips of memory do not help to build credibility.

    Piers Morgan, you are truly a genius in your interview methodology and you are very riviting to watch, much better than King! Bravo sir – keep up the good work!

    March 18, 2011 at 4:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • haj chicago

      good response ,mr morgan needs to know if he keeps pressuring lying politicians like netanyaho or wolfwets and rumsfeld he will be fired like rick .this how they always fight you when you speak the truth you cant make a living any more ,right wingers and arab dictators are the same .democracy in any arab country is not good for israel every one knows that .israel love our dictators ,they make peace with god father and forget 80 million egyptians .we love american style democracy because america stil a conservative country.slowly we will get there.all we care about is a good job love life and enjoy it.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth Einhorn

      And you should be better informed before saying such nonsense in public

      March 21, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Suzie

    I was very impressed by the Prime Minister of Isreal. I believe what he had to say was right on. I really believe in his mission. He has my vote .Thank You, Mr Netanyahu for being who you are.

    March 18, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rebecca Dent

      He has your "vote", Suzy? What mission do you believe in? His "mission" to steal all of Palestine and kill the Palestinians? Yeah, right.

      March 18, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Sophie

        Rebecca, while everyone seems to be coming here to give their opinion on the interview, you seem to come here for the sole purpose of picking fights. What exactly is your point? Netanyahu's so-called 'mission' is not to annihilate the Palestinian race. His mission to help Israel establish a secure border and be recognized as a legitimate country by all Palestinians who will be sharing this land. His priority is clearly his people. The fundamental problem in the Middle East currently is the lack of true leadership among the Palestinians themselves. They're more divided than the Republicans and the Democrats. If they had a leader with even half of the caliber of Netanyahu, we'd be seeing much more progress by now.

        March 18, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Truthwillout

    netanyahu and being noble.in a same sentence:dr who episode huh.iran is not the problem israel is.iran may not be an attractive country but if you search a little you can see that the world's hideous regime is israel.apartheird,occupation,theft,murder...and lies,so many lies.before it is too late stop israel otherwise it will devour many countries including US.as americans stop giving your money to this war seeking greedy monster...

    March 18, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • tired of nonsense

      we are willing to see exhibits that will prove your arguments against Israel..Meanwhile,we only have exhibits that show Iran stoning women and so on..

      March 18, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Ethan

        Who is this MIKE person who argues with a straight face that Iran is not oppressing women? Based on this and other posts I see here on CNN and HP, I am becoming more and more convinced that nefarious middle eastern regimes routinely employ trolls to spread inflammatory rhetoric about Israel and exculpatory rhetoric about their own regimes on the Web.

        March 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      @Truthwillout: Yes, some supporting evidence would be great. Unfortunately, all you are going to find is that Israel is the only conventional democracy in the Middle East.

      March 18, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rosemary mckeon

    Piers you are a genius!..I just love the way you handle people and are not afraid to ask questions that some would be afraid to ask!..Mr Parkinson ..step aside we have a new kid on the block!

    March 18, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Debra

    Unfortunately, after reading this transcript, I realize you didn't emphasize the point Mr. Netanyahu brings up time and time again. You cannot negotiate peace with a government bent on your eradication. Until the Palestinians (Hamas specifically) recognize Israel's right to exist, you have no basis for an agreement. What would Israel be agreeing to?? I wish you hadn't overrun the Prime Minister's words and I wish you had seen fit to understand that THIS is the primary roadblock to peace. You don't negotiate with terrorists...And Israel is not the terrorist regime here. Very impressed with Mr. Netanyahu. Not so much with your editing and interview skills.

    March 18, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marisol

      I completely agree with you Debra!! You can´t negotiate with terrorists and yes, Mr. Netanyahu was amazing! Very impressive!

      March 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. A

    @ryan Palestinian children do not have to be taught to hate Israelis, they learn it for themselves when they see israeli bulldozers demolishing their homes and settlers living a life of luxury while themselves being forced into a life of abject poverty. Maybe take a trip to palestine an see for yourselves.

    March 18, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryan

      @A: I have been into the West Bank and I can tell you first hand that many Palestinian people live in a dreadful situation. However, this can be attributed to the futile nature of their own governing party, a governing party too concerned with the destruction of their neighbour to provide any development within the area.

      March 18, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • mike

        The Palestinian government has no say so on anything that Israel does not agree with. And oh yeah one more thing, In 2 DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS hosted by the U.S. Hamas won the majority of the votes with more than 90% of the votes. Why isn't Hamas in power than? Because the U.S. and Israel rejected that decision after having 2 elections. Then the U.S. and Israel decided to keep Mahmood Abbas as the PM of Palestine. Mahmood Abbas is a traitor to the Palestinian people and he was appointed by Israel and the U.S.. Israel doesn't want arab countries to have real democracy and yet it brags on how it is a democratic country. More than 90% of Palestinians want peace, and yet Israel says we can't make peace with terrorists! Israel is the terrorist!

        March 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Beacon

    Mr Morgan, take heed of all those who weren't amused by the constant interruptions. Perhaps if you were'nt so keen on upstaging Mr Netanyahu and getting that killer statement of agreement to your point of view, you would have got the information you required without much effort. If the world expects Israel to roll over and play dead, I think it is very clear from this interview that it will not happen anytime soon. Good try, though.

    March 18, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Peter

      I think you are not sure of Piers interview format. This is not a live interview and it's edited. So for your information , the carry ons will not be shown. the interview subject have the chance to see the edited version before it's aired. Argue about the interview questions but not your grievance on interruptions. piers task here was to ask how the Bibi would make peace without going into the emotional history of the conflict. Yes, for your small brains you can make peace some " terrorists". Mandela was one for more than 27 years.

      March 21, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Becky

    Prime Minister Netanyahu is an amazing leader! Would like to know if any other world leader would be chastised for having a good economy? Why did Piers have such a look of disdain on his face the entire interview? America needs to stand by and support the only successful democracy in the middle East.

    March 18, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • mike

      Why? shouldn't the U.S. just stop vetoing peace treaties between Israel and Palestine, just because Israel tells the U.S. to? Don't the 1.5 million Women, children, and civilians that have been killed by Israel since 1948 mean anything? The Palestinians have been begging for peace but Israel denies that by saying that the palestinian people are split into 30% tererrorists and 70% civilians. STOP THE LIES.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Laurie

    Would you say that it is possible to make peace with the Taliban? Or Al queda? Do you want to negotiate and have talks with the terrorists that blew up the World Trade Center? Do you truly believe that it is possible? In basic psychology you learn that it is not possible to reason and understand the behaviors of the mentally ill. Israel and Palestine cannot be compared on any moral or ethical level. Why and how should "Netanyahu and Israel be the bigger man"?? It is not only about giving up parts of our homeland but it is about the safety and security of the people of Israel. Netanyahu has to do what is best to protect his nation. How can one bring himself to the level of a brutal group of barbarians who murdered and slayed a family in their own home. A 3 month old. We all want to know, how does one approach a group of terrorists and try to negotiate peace?
    Piers Morgan was rude and very obvious with his thoughts and beliefs while i truly feel that an interveiwer must remain nuetral in his reactions. Netanyahu greatly impressed me.

    March 18, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • justice

      Laurie,

      Although you may find it difficult to believe, sometimes making peace with your enemy is necessary. If you keep up with whats going on in Afghanistan you will learn that the US and the current Afghan government are speaking with the Taliban. They are intelligent enough to understand that the Taliban will remain a part of Afghan society whether they like it or not. If you take a step back and analyze this as a neutral third party it is very easy to see how similar the Israeli government and Hamas really are. Both governing groups are trying to "protect its people" at the expense of innocent lives. I condemn the actions taken by both parties. Israel is by far more blessed because they have the power and financial support to oppress Palestinans.

      You refer to the the Palestinians as a "brutal group of barbarians", but I'm sure those who have lost their family members at the hands of IDF soldiers use the same words when referring to Israelis. Honestly, have you ever thought of why some Palestinians act in such a "barbaric" manner? You seem to be very educated. I'm sure you are slightly aware of the living situation in Gaza. Do you think its right for children in Gaza to be born into a caged land? I know Israel is protecting its people and I respect that. However, I think there are a lot better methods to use. Building a wall or "fence" as most people like to call it is very degrading to the Palestinian people. I've seen animals controlled by humans in this manner in zoos and this is the way Israel treats Palestinians.

      If Israel is the only real democratic nation, it SHOULD set the example no matter how difficult it may be. Oppressing others to "protect" yourselves is not right. Palestinian lives are just as valuable as Israeli lives. Blood shed needs to end on both sides.

      March 22, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jack

    Did I hear Piers Morgan at one point say to Prime Minister Netanyahu "Let me finish" ?

    March 18, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  21. sam

    Morgan treated Netanyahu with kid gloves. He did not once asked him about the settlements which are illegal. Most decent people would like jews to have a homeland but you can not go on demonosing the palestinians. Hitler an evil man did that a while ago and we know what happened. I am positive there must be something good about Palestinians and that they deserve a homeland too.

    March 18, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ethan

      Sounds like you didn't watch the interview very attentively–they discussed the settlements at length.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Billy Spudd

    Morgan gave an hour long platform for Natanyahu to spew the same old sophistry that has come out of Israel for decades. Israel has acted as a secretive arsonist in the area, starting fires then standing back and as people try to put out the flames, call them 'arsonists'. All the facts and figures of the Palestinian conflict are readily available and not once were any quoted. Natanyahu was allowed to babble on about how the Palestinians are villians, treacherous, etc without ever being called on the atrociously lopsided casuallty rates between the Israelis and the Palestinians, like....128 Israeli children killed by Palestinians over the last decade against 1500 Palestinian children killed by the Israelis.

    Just like here, a bunch of complicit Zionist no-nothings spew propagandistic crap about 'how unfair' things are for Israel as it routinely engages in activities that Nazi Germany was put on war crime trials for. Regardless of how much you wish for a fantasy world to exist....it can't, since it isn't a real thing. What is coming to Israel is 'reality'. Israel, as it exists now, will not be around by 2020. It will have collapsed under the weight of its own crimes and lies.

    March 18, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • COF

      So, do you lob terrorist rockets into Israel in you spare time? People lik you need to be willing to make the peace. Thanks for letting us all know there is much work to be done in th peace process.

      March 18, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Anna

    Ryan, Chris, et al - while the plight of the Palestinian people is indeed dire, I find it odd that no one ever questions the role that the Palestinians' own leaders play in this - from Al Husayni in 1948, to Arafat and the billions of dollars that he stole from his own people, to the proxy Iranians in Gaza. In the Palestinian territories, such questioning of authority will get you killed, but in the West, we have the freedom to question this leadership. Yet, curiously, it is always the Israelis. A convenient scapegoat, but hardly the ones who got the P's into this mess....

    March 18, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Lea

    I was stunned by some aspects of the interview – "raised eyebrows" for responding to blatant, heartless CHILD MURDER, with stabbing a family IN THEIR BEDS with some houses? If such a thing happened anywhere else, say, oh, the US, wouldn't most people be justifiably clamoring for justice? Israel responds without taking lives, and that "raises eyebrows"? Glenn Beck, whom I usually do not consider a legitimate source of news, had the proper reaction – and now I know that Piers' has no human feeling.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Voice of Peace

    Watched your interview last night. You certainly played the part of the Devil's Advocate. Thank God the world has principled leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu who defend the Good. My only comment to you is this: Regarding your (2x) urging Netanyahu to "go down in history" as the man who negotiated a Middle East Peace deal - please note, Netanyahu is NOT like Obama - whose ego and legacy-driven Presidency subverts the good of the people to some narcissistic endeavor to be "historical." Netanyahu would never elevate his ego above the interests of the brave Israeli people. You really illustrated the ridiculous anti-Israel bias in the world today. I'm glad Netanyahu had the opportunity to set the record straight. And, finally, it's not polite to constantly (and rudely) interrupt a world leader...or didn't you learn that in your journalism classes.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Susan

    I agree with the comments regarding Mr. Morgan's aggressive, contemptuous, angry interview of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Quite honestly, I almost had to turn the TV off because I was so offended by his approach to the Israeli Prime Minister. I hope that CNN takes notice of these comments and provides Mr. Morgan with this feedback. He continuously cut the Prime Minister off and spoke as if he knew the situation better that Mr. Netanyahu and could solve the conflicts in the Middle East himself. If that is so, why doesn't he run for the position of Prime Minister? Oh yeah, he is not an Israeli citizen, doesn't live in that region, and is not a politician. So, stop spewing your ideas Mr. Morgan. Piers Morgan was presumptuous, arrogant, aggressive, dismissive, and ultimately extremely disrespectful in his interview. Mr. Netanyahu handled the interview with grace, intelligence, humility and did not get caught up in the aggressive format in which the interview was conducted. I'm not sure what happened to CNN that they would hire such an arrogant (potentially anti-semitic) Narcissist to replace Larry King.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marisol

      Thank you Susan, you are so right!

      March 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Bruce

    Piers was very disrespectful to Netanhayu, cutting him off repeatedly. More importantly he came off as anti-semitic, when he was pressing Netanyahu on being responsible for attaining peace with the Palestinians when it is obvious to any non anti-semite westerner that Hamas will never be a broker for peace. Come on Piers, everyone knows that if the Palestinians lay down their arms, you have immediate peace. Israel is all alone at the peace dance with no one to dance with.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  28. marvin rotman

    As a supporter of Israel I found it refreshing to see an interviewer who has done his homework. The content of Piers's question were fair , tough and balanced and at the same time very revealing. Both PM Netanyahu and Mr. Morgan handled the interview with style and grace which is a pleasant change from the superficial and attack dog like questions we see from most interviewers who are trying to make headlines rather than deal with the real issues. Good job Piers.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ethan

      Also an Israel supporter who felt the interview was handled very well by both individuals.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Linda

    Pierce has proved to be just another European talking head. He posted the usual questions toward the Prime Minister, even though PM Netanyahu has given the same pre-conidtions for peace for years. The world villifies Israel, a tiny country surrounded by Arab land, yet cannot be left alone. It is sad how Christians are so ingorant of their Jewish history and how most (secular) Jews don't care about their history going back 4000 years. It is covenant land given by God to the Jews as a homeland and history will prove that is not going to change by man's schemes and demands.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Norseman

    The liberal media is opposed to Israel. Its very obvious. I see Mr. Netanyahu as a noble man who seriously handles the problems facing his nation. He does not reply with Politically-correct B.S. that we are so accustomed to.

    Mr. Morgan on the other hand....I found was very arrogant and rude. WHY should Israel be the "big man" to step up to the plate when they are surrounded on all sides by Arab nations who spew hate and anti-Israel sentiments???

    Perhaps Mr. Morgan is simply arrogant because he has his own over-hyped tv show.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Hanna

    Kudos for Piers Morgan for his unbiased, fair questions.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • w

      Hanna, his questions were very biased and unfair. Piers is not interested in the notion of Palestinian accountability.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • rebecca

        W, Netanyahu is a war criminal who has absolutely no interest in peace. Hearing these Zionists claiming he is anything else makes me want to vomit.

        March 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Gerald Lewinsohn

    Having seen the interview and have read most of the comments above, one has to conclude that Israel has no choice but to remain strong and not give in to the radical left whose rantings and ravings make no logical sense other than to exhibit their ignorance, prejudice and in some cases mindless hatred of Israel and Jews. The fact of the matter is Netanyahu spoke plainly and with great patience and was very clear and logical on the issues. Piers tried in vain to get him to lose his cool (what Piers' agenda was I can only speculate) but was just out of his league. Netanyahu displayed grace and statesmanship; Piers was boorish,rude and unprofessional and for someone of his supposed reputation, simply lacked class. Walter Cronkite,where are you when we need you.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Stopoilnow

    Netanyahu gave you the solution for peace. Get Hamas to accept Israel. But instead of the light going off in your head DAH! you totally ignored what he said.
    This was a good example why people look at journalists as entertainers and not serious. Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.
    Netanyahu explained several times in detail that you cannot negotiate with people that want to destroy you ie Hamas ie in their charter etc. and even added the analogy of negotiating with Al Qaeda but even said he would negotiate with Hamas if they accept Israel etc. But you still chose to ignore the obvious!! That would have been intelligent, unique, news worthy but I guess supporting Israel is too much for a European.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Anne, NJ

    I watch your show and last night was an unprofessional interview/attack.I agree that you were very Aggressive and rude to the Israeli PM. When you interviewed Celebes, or others on your show, you had more respect and didn’t interrupt them at all. You kept interrupting the PM before he could finish an answer. Your expression wasn’t friendly and you were very cold to him. Then, you say that Israel has bad PR. Of course they do, and a lot of it has to do with the media who always portrait Israel as the villain. People, Israel means no harm to anyone. The Palestinians live better than their Muslim brothers in Libya and other parts of the world. No one goes there and bombs them for no reason. Piers, you should be more friendly to the people who are trying to make a better world.

    March 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marisol

      I agree!! Mr. Pierce has to learn not to interrupt and was disrespectful in some parts to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu on the other hand showed his good manners.

      March 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Jason

    Some up you people have no idea what you are talking about. Have any of you anti Israel bashers been to Israel before? What do you know about the problems that actually go on there? Have you ever sat at an outside patio and had someone try to blow that patio up? Have you ever seem a missle fly over your head and hit a neighbors house?

    I didn't think so. I actually thought Morgan did a good job last night I didn't mind his hard hitting questions because it showed what the Prime Minister felt and what the people he is representing felt. I believe that both sides have had their problems in this ongoing conflict but don't forget who wants what.

    I propose this one statement to all of you. Let's say Palestine throws all of their guns into the Dead Sea and accepts peace, there WILL be peace. Let's say Israel throws all of their guns in the Dead Sea, there won't be an Israel anymore. How can a Country defend its self against that

    March 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      Jason, I can't imagine what it's like to sit at an outdoor cafe and have bombs flying over my head, but I also can't imagine bulldozers showing up at my front door and bulldozing my home and all my belongings into the ground!

      If we would not suffer collective punishment here in our own country, then why do we turn a blind eye to Israel's use of collective punishment against innocent people?

      Peace!

      March 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Gordon

    Great job and great interview! And I learned a lot. In fact I started agreeing with the PM of Israel and that is unusual (usually take the underdog if they are not instigators of their own misfortune). The bible (or religious issues) bear no relevance in my view (sort of like me asking what the price of tea is in China).

    I hope the opportunity to come to a resolution to this stability in this region takes place soon.

    Thank goodness for the internet , (facebook and twitter – not a subscriber to either) and the young people getting a lot more access to accurate information.

    Keep up the great interviews Piers.

    PS. It really burns my butt that in Europe we are constantly interrupted with breaking news interrupting your program. When I record later time slot on CNN International you are replaced with other "breaking news"... What can be more breaking news than you followed by Anderson Cooper (big fan of Aaron Brown). It is like your station is getting into breaking into the breaking news when we are already in the process of watching breaking news.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Gerald Lewinsohn

    John:Please tell me what so-called "occupied land" Israel was supposed to vacate to placate Nasser? I will save you the trouble of answering. It was the entire Jewish State. I suggest you study the facts before you display your true prejudices.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  38. haj chicago

    mr morgan,you always gona have people who agree and dis agree.but you need to be careful because they will make you lose your job they will acuse you of anti this and anti that ,when arab youth have freedom and democracy thats bad news for netanyaho and his hench men.because they love our dictators .we gona extend our hands in peace and respect to israeli people and show them we want a nice life no fear or corruption.netanyaho will be exposed by his own people and will be voted out the ultimate punishment for a politician.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  39. abram epstein

    Morgan, you should have gotten advice from Peace Now and JStreet to make your questions more effective in evoking the man behind the mask that is Netanyahu.

    Everybody wants to believe there’s a different Bibi. Supposedly the real Bibi has some secret side cast from the mold of Ben Gurion or George Washington. He’s biding his time, the fable goes, and then will pronounce a new peace compromise beyond the Palestinians wildest dreams. Well, dream on. It`s time to call a Bibi a Bibi. He has only one agenda: An Israel that rules from a position of paranoid mistrust of all Arabs. He can’t change. He even said it himself. His life is based on retribution and reaction for the death of his brother. The wars are indelibly saturating every fiber of his myopic vision. He has no concept of the power of generosity and giving. The power of stopping the settlement expansion as a gesture for peace utterly contradicts his every instinct. As Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Camp David negotiator has said: “(Netanyahu) believes in getting something for everything he gives.”
    Today, Israel is a theocracy, one unfortunately largely guided by religious fundamentalists whose power rests on their sufficient number of Knesset seats to demand excessive influence in the coalition they join.
    Recently the government has been beset by issues of allegiance oaths, as well as intermarriage with Arabs, and even rental rights Jews have to turn down prospective Arab tenants. An “in-your-face” program of demolition of Arab housing is supported by Israel’s rightwing, is an ongoing policy of Netanyahu, As these misadventures of Israeli policy are tested in the courts, Israeli Arabs are increasingly relegated to second-class citizenship.
    Speaking as a Zionist and a Jewish educator, I believe it is unreasonable and unrealistic to demand Palestinians recognize Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state. I cannot imagine, even today in the United States, an American Indian saying the US had a right to take their land and create living space for them on reservations. If they said it, they would be lying.
    I only wish, Morgan, that you had pressed him to justify his refusal to stop the expansion of settlements for long enough to bring Abbas back to the table. Bibi, the real Bibi, won't risk peace. He thinks it would only weaken Israel.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Marisol

    I would like to congratulate Mr. Netanyahu, he was very very good. Israel is lucky to have a well prepared leader like him. He was right in everything and you can´t trust or negotiate with terrorists. I wish them the best, and he is a great person, he worries and protects his people. That is his job, not world peace. Ps. I really liked that when Mr. Morgan interrupted him, he continued with what he was saying.... and then he answerd the question. Mr. Pierce, we understand you have time limits... but it´s bad manners and you have to be smooth. Don´t interrupt with your questions....

    March 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Joseph T. Fercz

    Mr. Morgan:

    I am deeply disappointed with your handling an interview with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    You allowed Netanyahu to spread his propaganda without asking questions about the most critical issues.
    How is it possible for the Palestinians to have the peace negotiations with Israel when Israel is in the process of stealing Palestinian lands? Why you never asked about it?
    It is clear that Israel wants “peacefully” steal from others.
    Israel completely ignored American initiatives for the peace negotiations.
    Do you realize how much it costs our country to support the policy of Israel?
    Doesn’t it bother you? Why you did not raise those issues?

    Joseph T. Fercz

    March 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Moudy

      Well said. I think Netanyahu can get some credit for this.. Usually piers plays the "Devil's advocate".. but not this time..

      March 20, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • peacebeyours

      Amen to that, Joseph! I always thought journalism was supposed be neutral on subjects while interviewing, if anything, to prove that their parents raised them with some manners and intellect! How do you get the truth on a subject, when you've already made up your mind on a person before you even interview them! Piers, you really sucked on this one!

      March 21, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Brian

    Zionists control American media. Israel doesn't want peace just more settlements.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Julian

    Ben Netanyahu, is correct on all his answers, I had an Isreali tell me that Muslim extremists would attack the US long before it happened,if we had payed attention to the Israelis' long before the 911 attack it would not have happened. I have talked to people on the far left that actually think that Isreal should not exist or walk away from Jerusalem The far left would be the first to have their heads chopped off if Sharia law existed in the US. They don;t seem to understand the laws like it takes two woman to equal a man in their court systems. Oh and by the way Isreal is the only democracy in th middle east, maybe that is what the arabs really want, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, instead of the Theocracies that exist in most middle east countries. Religion is for spiritual guidance not for conquering the world . Anyone who kills in the name of their religion is doing the devils work not gods work.

    March 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  44. john torrey

    Congratulations Piers for pushing Netanyahu. You did more in your interview than any diplomat would do. The Israelis don't want peace. This is quite clear from their lack of action over the last 60 years. If they had wanted peace it would have happened a long time ago. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is really an Arab-Israeli conflict- this is the reality that Netanyahu and his Likud Party don't get. As someone who lived and worked in the ME for many years (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) as a city planner, I can back up my opinion with many conversations and correspondence with Arabs. When democracy starts to take hold in the ME, the Arabs will no longer tolerate the Israeli apartheid.

    March 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • joe

      You are still going to have to wait some time for this Democracy thing. The idea of some of these regimes not tolerating Israel is absurd. Some of them already don't tolerate Israel, while they themselves oppress their people and have a history of slaughtering those who will speak out. Don't expect any of these to absolutist states to legitimately speak out any time soon. Especially seeing the violations of states in the region they would have to utterly ignore to do so. Not to mention their own.

      March 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  45. George

    Israel and the free world are fortunate to have Netanyahu as Israel's leader. He understands the basic problem - the root cause of the conflict; i.e., the Arab/Muslim kids are taught in their schools that (1) the land on which the State of Israel lives is Arab land - all of it; and (2) in accordance with the holy Koran, non-believers in Islam ("infidels") are to be reviled and killed unless they convert. The settlements are a poor excuse for the continuing conflict. As Netanayhu explained, the Israelis are building apartments within exisiting settlements, which themselves represent less than 5% of the West Bank .
    I have discussed this with intelligent Muslims who told me about their schooling.
    There is another theory as to why Arafat and other Palestinian leaders have walked away from negotiations: How did Arafat become a wealthy man? Wasn't the reason for Hamas beating out the PLO in the election because of the extreme corruption of the PLO? Where have the billions given to the PLO gone? Why do the Palestinians have to live in refugee camps? Why didn't they maintain and build from the prosperous businesses left behind when Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip? Why was Israel ablto live inaject misery and poverty.e to build a society that contributes to world health and technology since its founding in 1948, while the Palestinans contribute only rockets and weapons to attack Israeli villages and citizens - and celebrate their nefarious accomplishments?

    March 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  46. michael

    the jewish covenant land is not just israel only it's mainly egypt from where they got kicked by the pharaohs long time ago that's their goal that no body knows and the jewish orthodox people want to eliminate and burn the all arab race, in addition to the other jewish who hate muslims and they are using their soft face to get christians ( the majority) an their side then get rid of them after the muslims.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  47. mona odeh

    Mr. Morgan the killing of the settlers in palestine was from an Asian decent, it was not a Palestinian people, get your facts right before u air it on tv, he was denied his pay

    March 20, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jeffrey

    It was painful to see Piers Morgan struggle against his own limitations in his interview with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

    March 20, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Aida

    انا عربي - مسلم. مواطن اسرائيلي. التواء نفسي يكمن في إعادة تأهيل ما يسمى العربي الفلسطيني ، وحان الوقت ليقول ذلك علنا - الأمواج. نحن ، العرب الذين يعيشون في اسرائيل والعرب فقط. اننا لم نكن يوما "الفلسطينيين" لأنه لا يوجد شيء اسمه فلسطين. "أبدا. ولدت معظم العرب في إسرائيل في الدولة - إسرائيل. جاء أسلافنا من الدول العربية المختلفة مئة وعشرين سنة ، وتقدم فرص العمل والدخل للمزارعين التالية اليهودية أو فرص العمل للبريطانيين لمدة ثلاثين عاما.

    وفي الواقع ، كان عدد قليل من العرب هنا قبل تحت العثماني - التركي ل400 سنة. أي فلسطيني "." وقد جمعت هذه حفنة من أسلافه وذريته يستمر العرب مثلي. اختراع للشعب الفلسطيني ، وبالتالي الطلب من اجل اقامة دولة فلسطينية مستقلة هي كابوس بالنسبة لي.أنا لا أريد أن يعيش في أي بلد عربي ، ولا حتى في شخ ". وستجرى آخر دولة عربية مثل أي دولة عربية أن أي العربية - الاسرائيلية يجب مراعاة حق معارضتها. أي من البلدان العربية اذا بلد واحد هو الديمقراطية.

    لا صراع - أي تمييز

    انا عربي - مسلم - اسرائيل تريد ان تعيش في - الوطن القومي في إسرائيل - ديمقراطية للشعب اليهودي هو أيضا بيتي. كما اليهود العرب / / الصينية / يعيشون خارج بلدانهم الأصلية تلقي حول القوانين والقواعد الجمركية المحلية. أطالب المساواة التامة بيني وبين المواطنين من أي يهودي آخر ، سواء الحقوق والواجبات. أريد أن توزيع عادل ومنصف للموارد اللازمة لجميع قطاعات السكان.العرب في حالة اسرائيل ليست أفضل من حالة المهاجرين الاثيوبيين ، ولكنهم يعرفون أيضا واحدة بديلة لتلك الدول العربية أسوأ بكثير. الصراع بين العرب واليهود يفرق بيننا وبين المجتمع الاسرائيلي يتطلب منا أن تنطوي على تمييز ضد اليهود سلبيا. لن يكون هناك صراع ، لن يكون هناك أي تمييز. بسيطة.

    انا لست وحدها. هناك الكثير من العرب في اسرائيل الذين يعتقدون مثلي في أعماق قلوبهم ، وحتى يعطي التعبير في الهمس. انها ليست موضة في الكلام والكتابة حيث الغربية - كنا نعيش في المجتمع الإسرائيلي ، وعلمنا فصلا أو اثنين من طرق الحياة ، ويجلب قتل قتل الحق في الحياة هو أعلى قيمة من أي شيء آخر. انا عربي - مسلم وعلماني اليهود الذين عاشوا بين العلمانية وإلا إذا كنا تنفق هذا هراء يسمى "فلسطين" في قاموسنا ، لن يكون هناك فرق بيننا يجب أن يكون الفرق.

    نريد دولة عربية؟ - الخروج من إسرائيل!

    ولا بد من الاعتراف ، واليهود يريدون أن يعيشوا في سلام مع العرب فيها. اننا يزعج لهم كل أنواع القادة العرب "لدينا" إلا إلى إدامة العداء. صلاح ، والحروب ، والآن هذا هو واقع ، والدولة - ولا يمكن لإسرائيل العيش في سلام قليلا معنا.
    مصطفى حمدان بن علي الحاج احمد

    March 20, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • michael

      you know something? it makes more since in the english version, which means this wasen't written by an arab. So stop faking arabic writings using google translate
      ciao :))

      March 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • michael

      you know something? it makes more since in the english version, which means this wasen't written by an arab. So stop faking arabic writings using google translate. I speak arabic as a matter of fact. so........
      ciao :))

      March 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  50. israeli

    very good interview. morgan was mostly fair.
    netanyahu is right on most issues. esspecialy the ones related to security and who's to blame for the lack of peace,
    Just 2 years ago PM olmert offerd the Muhmood Abbas an offer that has wider concessions from even the clinton plane. abbas, as he said himself in an interview to the Washington Post, refused,
    so how come is the one blamed by some Europians?

    March 20, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  51. nancy

    excellent, far sighted interview. it has realism and history.

    March 20, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  52. Jim

    Terrorism is a huge problem for our country. And we pay a huge price for fighting terrorism. Hundreds of young Americans were killed and billions and billions of taxpayers money were spent on war. What causes terrorism? The main reason is Israeli occupation of Palestine. Al Qaida repeatedly said: “as long as Palestine doesn’t have peace America will not have peace”. For that reason the current administration, (and also previous administrations) tried to arrange peace negotiations. But Israel says No. Facts clearly indicate that Israel intends to occupy Palestine permanently.
    Netanyahu statements are simply lies designed for the international community.

    March 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  53. Erika

    So I've been trying for years now to try and understand the Israel/Palestine/MiddleEast issues in all their complexity. I guess it's multi-faceted?

    Like first, there's the issue of scarce resources – everybody's staking a claim on a limited amount of resources. Which is stressful, and tends to make people feel territorial – you see this sort of power struggle domestically all the time when it comes to budgets, right. It's stressful and can get very heated.

    And then, there's the issue of oppression. Israel is an historically oppressed people (by others). And since the arab nations in the Middle East are all dictatorships (are they not?), the majority of citizens of the middle east tend to be oppressed people as well (by their own rulers). And oppression must be stressful – to have to live in fear, to not be able to feel like you're in full control, to yearn for freedom. From listening to PM Netanyahu, I guess this is a big one for Israel, the continued threat from Iran?

    So there's that too. And then, there's the injustice angle on top of that, right? Is this another big one – all the water under the bridge. An injustice is committed, and then there's that thirst for justice, even vengeance.

    Then there's the economic disparity. Also the different religion.

    March 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  54. Erika

    I thought that was interesting what Thomas Friedman pointed out when he was on the show – that when Mubarak was in power, Israel had peace with him and he delivered the rest of the nation. And what democracy will mean now is that Israel will have to seek peace with the millions.

    It's kind of a good sign, isn't it that as soon as Mubarak was toppled, the interim powers that be came out right away to reassure that they'd honor Egypt's peace agreement with Israel? I guess there's always that concern that radicalism might take root, borne from economic frustration or religious fundamentalism. But on the other hand, Egypt doesn't have ongoing border disputes with Israel, and their people don't have a bad history with Israel to create a thirst for justice like what seems to exist in the West Bank. So with increased freedom and empowerment of citizens in Egypt, hopefully things will stay positive?

    So then you would think, if peace can be had on that side of the border, why is it so hard to achieve on the other side? Why? Would it be possible to turn the West Bank into a park? You think if the land dispute aspect of the conflict were put to rest that maybe over time that sense of injustice over the past might abate as life goes on? Or is that naive? This being the internet, if it's naive, I'm sure somebody won't hesitate to let me know if it is LOL ...

    As for Iran – I suppose there's always the chance that the citizens of Iran don't share Ahmadinejad's preoccupation with Israel. Despite the oil, isn't the average citizen dirt poor? People who are struggling don't think about establishing caliphates – they just want to feed their kids. It kind of sounded like PM Netanyahu was wishing the international community would take on Iran and take out the powers that be. Ideally, it'd be great if Iran were more democratic, but how would you bring that about short of war? He didn't sound convinced that sanctions were working to curb Iran's nuclear program ... aren't the Chinese still buying oil from them though?

    March 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  55. Cris

    Pires Morgan exhibited all the time an air of superiority, of "knowing better" that was frankly annoying..He interrupted Netanyahu constantly in a very rude way. Piers Morgan may see things differently from Netanyahu but the point of the interview was to get to know the views of Netanyahu,not the opinions of Morgan.He should have remembered that.

    March 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  56. mathew garth

    What a tough interview? Piers did the required groveling.

    March 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  57. Hickiana

    I'm not saying Israel has no right to exist and I am not saying that the Palestinians are totally blameless in all of the mess going on in that part of the world. One thing that struck me was one of Netanyahu's answers. It was a question about his legacy, and he replied with a statement that sounded waaaaaaayyyyyy too much like the "14 words" so common amongst white supremacists in America. Not saying it was intentional, it's just kinda scary that here those are words of hate and destruction but in that part of the world it is a normal sentiment to have, on either side of the aisle.

    March 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  58. Gahgeer

    "We want peaceful negotiations" but "we will build in areas that will remain part of Israel anyway" – isn't this political BS? how can you, Netanyahu, say you want to negotiate on something you already decided will be part of Israel?

    Otherwise, well done Morgan – your interview proved Moshe Arens's theory – that Netanyahu has anxiety attacks. Xanax anyone??

    March 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  59. Don R

    Don R
    I would love to se peace but until the Palestinians agree to recognize Israel and stop teaching their young the goal is it's destruction there will never be peace.

    I AM AFRAID THE THIS AXIOM IS TRUE: If the Palestinians laid down their arms there would be peace but is Israel laid down their arms there would be no Israel.

    March 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    March 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • michael

      axiom? that's non-sense bec. the israelis teach their childrens that the State of Israel is from the Nile to the Euphrates. which is passing the stripe of gaza and is past the egyptian borders (technically all egypt), so how is that a desire in peace? because it sounds as a desire in expanding the state of israel through Africa. Don't act that you are neutral about the Israeli-Palastini conflict bec. it seems to be you are either a jewish who wants that to happen or a zionist.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  60. george

    Michael:
    Where did you get that garbage? I attended six years of Hebrew School and have studied the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (even lectured on it, including how best to solve the problem), and have NEVER heard/read what you claim. On the contrary, I have talked to well-educated Muslims and been told that they were taught in their schools that the land on which the State of Israel lives is Arab Land - all of that land! Think about it. . .
    As a matter of fact, when the State of Israel was formed in 1948 by decree of the UIN and League of Nations before the UN, the Israelis accepted whatever land was assigned to them (with over one-half being barren desert land). The surrounding Arab countries did not and, instead, attacked the new State form all sides. It was a miracle that the poorly armed and staffed Israelis were able to be victorious. (I guess God was looking over them.)
    The fundamentalist Muslims have one goal - to get rid of Israel and the Jews who live there. The Israelis have one goal: To live in secure peace with their neighbors and the rest of the world. They do not seek conquests. . . Indeed, just the opposite: They returned the Sinai to Egypt (giving ujp the oil resources there) and offered to return the Gaza Strip but Egypt (wisely for them) refused. When Israel moved out of the Gaza Strip, it was rewarded with more rockets launched at its villages by the Hamas.
    george

    March 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • michael

      what are you talking about??? hebrew school means pro-israelis and no one says he's the bad guy ever. And if you are talking about infidels, the jewish, and christians also want to kill them if you never read the bible or tourah. So it doesn't differ alot atleast muslims only kill them if they attempt to fight them back is in the early days of islam. but otherwise they live peacefully together and if muslims hate christians how are they allowed to marry them??? and they have to accept what's assigned to them it isn't their lands anyways they just went their and kicked the palestinians and killed them away from it as far as they could and they are still occupying parts of lebanon till our day and lots of civillians died in the israelis attacked. and if you are talking about set by people with strong agendas how I know you are not so yourself bec. lots of people oppose what israel is doing of all races, different religions and ethnicities throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe .

      March 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  61. peacebeyours

    Dude, you should really listen to the news before you try to speak like a know-it-all! That Iranian president has yelled out about exterminating Israel so loud, that only a deaf person living in a cave hasn't heard it – lol! Do you even know why severe sanctions are already in place for Iran with his nuclear intentions? That may be news to you also, since you missed the boat on the rest! Israel making peace with Hamas is like expecting bin Laden to go bar hopping with Obama! Get real!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • fase

      Right... and Israel has occupied Palestine for over 60 years and killed thousands upon thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese. You'd have to be blind not to see that. What's your point???

      March 21, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  62. Kathryn

    I agree with whoever suggested that "Mike" was set to post by people with a strong agenda. I have been to Israel on missions before and after Israel uprooted their own ctizens from their homes and businesses from Gaza. They had their own soldiers throw settlers from their homes. These people had built homes and left them intact for the Palestinians. They also left beautiful thriving greenhouses that produced top quality vegetables and flowers. Do you think the Palestinias made use of these greenhouses? NO. They burn them to the ground. The Palestinias are murderers not the Israelis. Omg just keep track of the attacks on innocent Israels! Oh right, you can't because Cnn doesn't report most of them. Try Fox. They actually report the truth. Go to Israel! See what's on the shelves in the Gaza stores. Most of them chose to live the way they do. I have seen it with my own eyes. Israelis killing innocents? Never! Palestinians put human shields in insane places and the Israelis jump through hoops to not hurt them. After watching the interview, I was shocked at how condescending and rude Piers was. I don't know why I expected anything else from CNN.

    March 21, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • michael

      I see you have been fouled by what they call "The Zionist Propoganda"

      March 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  63. Kathryn

    Get it straight! Israel defends itself! Thy don't murder innocents like the Palestinians. Read the Koran doll. They believe that any infidel is to be killed. That means you unless your Muslim.

    March 21, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justice

      Have you read the Quran? Please read the Quran with a correct translation and transliteration before you attribute any guidance set forth by it.

      The Israeli- Palestinian conflict can never be resolved if everyone blindly accepts what is being told to them about the opposite party. These means that both sides need to educate themselves. I am neither Israeli nor Palestinian and therofore will never have that close connection to the conflict that others have. However I have spoken to people on both sides of the debate and the one flaw I see in everyone is their unwillingness to actually understand the other side.

      Supporters of Israels government should see how Palestinians in Gaza are treated before they openly support everything that Israel does. Also, supporters of the Palestinian government should not associate every "Pro-Israeli" as a "bad guy". They need to understand that there are a lot of people that understand their struggle and they need to lose the mentality that everyone is out to get them.

      Please be more open minded.

      March 22, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • michael

        i read the qur'an and i agree with you finally someone who takes a step forward and too take a step forward we have all to know the others point of view. If all who hates muslims just read the qur'an and get their point of view that will push us a step forward to international peace bec. ppl hate the old traditions made by muslims that islam forbidden it but they never look to someone who follows the entire qur'an.

        March 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Shaun Wayne

    An incredible interview with a man of outstanding leadership and substance. I'm glad that Israel has someone of this nature and character to lead them during these times of mounting international pressure to hold the hands of terrorists in the name of peace while they seek the demise and destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Stand firm Netanyahu and resist any temptation to give another grain of soil to those who have no legitimate claim to Israel and whose religion and God is as dead as that claim. If you want properghanda why not change channels and watch Aljazeera instead. The truth for a change!

    March 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  65. mona

    For all you anti-semites, anti-israelites, anti-jewish we're back and its killing you all. You cant stand to see the jewish people prosper stay alive and flourish. You see it doesnt matter if we make peace with the palestinians cause the truth of the matter is we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't in your eyes. When jews die the world always stays silent. when jews stand up for themselves and protect themselves against terror-the world condemns them as though they are the perpetrators. I hope and pray that Netanyahu isn't influenced by people like Peirs who foolishly claim that it is solely up to him to make the peace process happen. It is like saying that Obama should sit with Osama bin Laden and lets give him and al queda New York while we"re at it. You fools Israel now has an army thank G-d and can protect herself from all who want us dead. We have our country back once again and finally have a place we can call home again.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  66. Agamera kevin

    Gud interview bt Mr. Morgan should realize that this is CNN and not D.TRIUMPH'S boardroom...avoid interuptions, or do it politely with conjunctions such as besides, despite...but utterin LEMMI FINISH makes no difference with the clowns in the streets who are just putz!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  67. michael

    So........what do you think know? israeli forces attacked gaza's strip and killed nine 6 of them were children. So who wants peace now??????????

    March 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  68. Lisa GadElmawla

    Netanyahu is EVIL PERSONIFIED. He murdered 5 children this past Monday (22nd), babies!!! For what??!!! And no media agency in America reports on that, but they report on a so called bomb in jerusalem days after Gaza has been under attack. I hope the monster rots in hell. There is no Israel, only Palestine.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • michael

      I totally agree with you finally someone saw this the news just say radical palastinians took out a terrorist attack against israel and they sympathy with it. civil palastenians are in a war alone against militant israelis what a shame....

      March 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Noor

        If only all these Israel supporters actually picked up a book and would read, they would know that the Zionists are not even Semites. They are Khazars and not even related to any of the actual Jews that lived in Palestine thousands of years ago. Catch up on your history folks, and @double j: I love it when people like you from Texas try to be intelligent, yet you can't spell. Maybe that's why you still believe that Palestine belongs to Jews and Zionists, because you can't read.

        March 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Long walk of a short Piers

    Peirs, you really took Benny to task, old Boy. Brilliant questions! Your wasting your talent as an Interviewer. You should be negotiating a peace deal between Hamas and the Israelis! I'm sure Benny was on the phone with Abbas right after you left, kicking himself for not thinking of it sooner. And your brilliant 30 second followup interview with the Palestinian Ambassador. He answered your one question with the poise of a man who honestly wants peace?? Oh Right, he didn't answer your one question in any way shape or form. Great job Piers! Get out of our country you pompous POS!!

    March 29, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
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