Netanyahu: “I de facto put an end to the Oslo accords.” And beat up Palestinians “so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable”
“I know what America is,” asserted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in their way.”
This quote from the hard-line right-wing Israeli leader is well-known. What is much less known are the more egregious comments he made at the same time.
A 2001 tape of Netanyahu speaking in private to a group in an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank was leaked in 2010. In the video, Netanyahu’s extreme views are made clear.
The only way to deal with the Palestinians is to “beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable,” Netanyahu insisted in the video.
He claimed “that the only way to deal with the Palestinian Authority was a large-scale attack,” Tablet Magazine reported.
Netanyahu also “boasts of having derailed the Oslo accords with political trickery,” Tablet added.
“I de facto put an end to the Oslo accords,” the then-former prime minister bragged.
“Since the accords state that Israel would be allowed to hang on to pre-defined military zones in the West Bank, Netanyahu told his hosts that he could torpedo the accords by defining vast swaths of land as just that,” Tablet explained.
“They asked me before the election if I’d honor [the Oslo accords],” Netanyahu detailed. “I said I would, but … I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I’m concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue.”
“Smiling, Netanyahu then recalled how he forced former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher to agree to let Israel alone determine which parts of the West Bank were to be defined as military zones,” Tablet wrote.
A video of the meeting can be seen here:
Renowned Israeli journalist Gideon Levy quipped in Haaretz at the time that the video should be “banned for viewing by children so as not to corrupt them, and distributed around the country and the world so that everyone will know who leads the government of Israel.”