Interview with Benjamin Netanyahu
Aired November 17, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE
IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Benjamin
Netanyahu, elected prime minister in Israel in
May 1996 in Israelís first direct election. As
prime minister, he combined fighting terror with
the advancement of the peace process. Through his
three-year term, the number of terror attacks drastically decreased.
In the U.S., heís been credited for his central
role in changing American policies on
international terrorism. Now, heís come out with
a bold, new statement: urging the world to pay
attention to Iran and warning we could be facing World War III.
Powerful, influential, and frighteningly honest,
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tonight faces honest questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Welcome to the program. On Fridays, this
show breaks every rule. Well, it kind of does
that all week. We spend an hour talking about one
person, one thing, one item. This week, the focus
of our program has been our special, which was on
Islamic extremism. We wanted to spend an hour
with a gentleman who knows it extraordinarily
well, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Hello. Welcome, sir.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, FMR. ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Hello. Good to be with
BECK: This program and this particular hour, we
spend time asking just sometimes I think
politically incorrect questions. Iím a regular
American shmoe that quite honestly, right before
9/11 -- and I donít mean any offense, sir -- but
Israel and the Palestinians, everybody whoís been
arguing for so long, as a typical American before
9/11, I was like, "Oh, you know what? Just set it
out -- you can all just fall into the middle of
the sea and it doesnít matter to me, because youíre always fighting."
Now 9/11 happened. I thought, "Gee, maybe I
should pay attention to this." And many Americans
did and saw, "Wait a minute. Thereís trouble."
But now thatís changing even more, and you said
something in Los Angeles that Iím so grateful
that somebodyís finally saying, that this is
World War III, this is Germany 1938.
Could you explain that?
NETANYAHU: Iran is Germany, and itís 1938, except
that this Nazi regime that is in Iran, thatís a
religious kind of fanaticism, but it wants to
dominate the world, annihilate the Jews, but also
annihilate America. Remember, weíre the small Satan. Youíre the big
NETANYAHU: Weíre just the first way station en
route to you. So there is this fundament
fanaticism that is there. Itís a messianic cult.
Itís a religious messianic cult that believes in
the Apocalypse, and they believe they have to
expedite the Apocalypse to bring the collapse of the West.
BECK: See, nobody is saying -- why isnít George
Bush saying this? Why is it nut jobs like me who
is saying this? Why isnít the media bringing this stuff out?
NETANYAHU: Well, I think theyíre getting around
to it, but it has to be explained. And thatís why
I appreciate the opportunity to say it. But if I
had to offer an analogy -- you know, Glenn, I was
looking for an analogy to try to explain to
Americans what it is that is so dangerous about
Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. You remember
those crazy people in Waco, Texas?
BECK: Yes, David Koresh.
NETANYAHU: David Koresh?
NETANYAHU: So imagine David Koresh with nuclear
weapons. Imagine David Koresh, not with hundreds
of followers, but millions of followers, with
nuclear weapons, wanting to obliterate America,
wanting to obliterate Americaís allies, wanting
to take over the worldís oil supply.
If the lunatics escape from the asylum, thatís
one thing. But if they can get their hands on a
nuclear weapon, thatís another. And this is that
kind of cult. Itís the cult of the Mahdi, a holy
man that disappeared a thousand years ago. And
the president of Iran believes that heís supposed
to -- he was put here on Earth to bring this holy
man back in a great religious war between the
true Muslim believers and the infidels. And
millions will die in this Apocalypse, and the
Muslim believers will go to heaven.
Thatís dangerous, if they have nuclear weapons to
realize this fantasy. And that is where the world
is coming to. Now, people said that of Hitler in
the 1930s. They said this man has a mad ideology,
very fanatic, very dangerous, and if he gets his
hands on a military power, he would use it.
Hitler did use it, but Hitler developed atomic
weapons, tried to develop them only after embarking on the world
Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, is first
trying to develop nuclear weapons and then going
about his mad fantasy of global conflict. So he
has to be stopped. I think when you have
something as fanatic and as dangerous as this,
the question now is not whether he should be
stopped, but howís he going to be stopped?
BECK: I was in the Holocaust Memorial in
Washington, D.C., and one of the more powerful
rooms for me was the room where they have all of
the newspapers up on the wall and all of the
headlines. And to me, what stuck out was, Hitler
was very clear, very clear. Basically, he was
saying, "Take the Jews before I kill them." And everybody was in
Now, let me play devilís advocate with you. Weíve
heard nut jobs, especially in Iran, for a very
long time. What makes you say we should take this
nut job at his word? Why is this guy different
than what we have seen with religious fanatics
that are really only interested in power and not interested in the
NETANYAHU: Well, I was getting this question in
the 1990s, and I said that the West really
doesnít understand militant Islam. So I wrote a
book in 1995, and I said that, if the West
doesnít wake up to the suicidal nature of
militant Islam, the next thing you will see is
militant Islam is bringing down the World Trade Center.
Other nut ideologies donít do that, but militant
Muslims do, and they are competing. They have two
strains: the Sunni type, led by Al Qaeda, who
have done the World Trade Center; the Shia types,
led by Iran, who want to top that by having
nuclear weapons with which they can dominate the
world, ultimately bring down America.
Weíre merely the first target. They hate us
because weíre you, and weíre the first station,
in the Middle East. They hate Israel because it
represents America. They donít hate America
because of Israel, because weíre part and parcel
of that same free, to their minds, hated hedonistic civilization.
NETANYAHU: So I think the real problem is: Do we
let this fanatic regime, this messianic cult of
the Apocalypse, get their hands on atomic weapons? I think itís folly.
And I donít think itís just an Israeli question
any more so than Hitler was just a Jewish
question. Hitler started with the annihilation of
the Jews, but pretty quickly moved on to threaten
the entire world. And America woke up late, after 6 million Jews died.
But in our case, you know, we donít have to wake
up dead in order for people to realize that he
threatens America. We want to both defend
ourselves, defend the Jewish state, certainly,
but also defend America and free civilization
against people who would extinguish our freedoms and our lives.
BECK: I am amazed at the parallels of World War
II, just it is incredible, all the way down --
you hear people say all the time, "Well, itís the
Jews. Itís Israel. Theyíre causing the problem.
Theyíve done all these horrible things, yadda,
yadda, yadda," just as though Hitler used the
Europeans and saying, "Well, itís the Versailles
treaty, and itís this, and itís that." That was a
mask to bring in the real point of Hitler.
NETANYAHU: Well, let me ask you a question, you
know, because people really donít get this.
Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, and the cult
that he represents, they couldnít care less if we
made a deal with the Palestinians or we didnít.
As far as theyíre concerned, the only deal
possible is the elimination of Israel. And even
that would merely remove an obstacle on the way
to Europe and on the way to the United States.
Israel could disappear, and it wouldnít make a difference.
NETANYAHU: Because theyíre out to get you;
theyíre not out to get us. Weíre simply standing
in their way. Theyíre not interested in Israel,
per se. Theyíre interested in bringing down
Western civilization, led by the United States.
Thatís why youíre the great Satan, and weíre just the little Satan.
BECK: Tell me what the world looks like if we donít act.
NETANYAHU: If you donít act, it means that it
will be the first time in the history of the
world that a totally unstable, globally mad
regime will have atomic bombs and the means to deliver them.
This means, a, that they will dominate the Middle
East very quickly. They will make the Persian
Gulf an Iranian pond. They will control the
worldís oil supply. And they will probably use
the weapons, first against my country, and then
to intimidate or threaten Europe. They want to control the world.
Now, eventually, theyíll be brought down. How
many millions will have to die for that? How many
cities will be wiped out before the Western world
and civilization realizes that this is not a
local problem, that this is their problem, that
itís directed against them, directed against you?
BECK: OK. When we come back -- we have to take a
break -- but when we come back, I want you to
answer my fatherís question. My father told me on
the phone a couple of weeks ago, "You know what?
Weíre the United States of America. Nobody can
defeat us. Stop. Itís not that big of a problem."
And the second thing I want you to address is,
how long do we have before we are right on the front lines?
Back with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in just a moment.
BECK: Back with a full hour with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, about the situation weíve
been talking about all week. Before we broke, I
told you that I was on the phone with my father,
and he says, "You know, youíre talking about this
scary stuff. Glenn, weíre the United States of
America. Nobody can come in here and destroy us."
And I said, "Dad, if people donít wake up, thatís
exactly whatís going to happen."
Please convince my father and others like him that that is a
NETANYAHU: What your father says is absolutely
true in the case of deterrable powers. The Soviet
Union had enough firepower to destroy the United
States, but they realized that you would destroy
them, so they were deterred. They were not suicidal.
But militant Islam is suicidal. They often put
their zealotry, their ideology above their
survival. Thatís why you didnít have any
Communist suicide bombers, but militant Islam
produces hordes of them, battalions, and they
smash into buildings in New York.
Now, do you doubt that if, for example, Al Qaeda
had nuclear weapons, this city would not exist today?
BECK: Oh, it would be gone.
NETANYAHU: Where does your father live?
NETANYAHU: No, thatís far away, but they could
get there, too, right? And Seattle could
disappear, because theyíre not deterrable. Thatís the whole point.
If they were a normal power, a normal regime,
without this crazy messianic cult of death, the
idea that millions have to die in order for their
particular Islamic messiah to come, millions have
to die, and the sooner the better, in their view,
because they have this cult, thatís what makes
them so dangerous, if they acquire nuclear
weapons to realize it. So your father is right if
you were dealing with the Soviet Union...
NETANYAHU: ... or with Russia, or with China, or
with India. None of the powers that have nuclear
powers today have this zealotry, this mad
ideology, but Iran does. So if Iran acquires it,
and they think that you are their worst nemesis,
weíre just an underling, weíre just your
subordinate, we happen to be a small Satan, a small appendage of
But their goal is to reverse a thousand years of
history. The rise of the West, the rise of
America. This was the mistake of history that has
to be corrected through this Apocalypse. Donít
wait for them to realize this; donít let this
David Koresh in Tehran get his hands on atomic
weapons so he can test out his theories on us or on you.
BECK: OK. I had a conversation with Rush Limbaugh
this week. And when youíre on his program, you
donít usually disagree with him, because heís a
pretty bright man. And he said, "Glen, I think
this is coming, and I think weíve got -- and the
world is going to change within the next 15
years." And I said, "I hate to disagree with you,
but I think we may have three." How long do we
have before it is just too late to wake up?
NETANYAHU: There are different estimates, but
they all hover between the two- to four-,
five-year range, and we may be wrong. We were
wrong about North Korea. And it turned out that they could get...
BECK: But North Korea, when you say North Korea,
you know, North Korea, we said itís unacceptable
for North Korea to have nuclear weapons. I think
when you -- you know, we saw those pictures of
that mountain where they tested. I think, when we
see the ground rise up in Iran, I think when you
see that theyíve successfully tested a nuclear
weapon, I donít think they say, "Hey, well, Iím
going to wait for the U.N. to tell us" -- I think
they make a call to us and say, "Get all of your
stuff and get out of the Middle East," and then game on.
NETANYAHU: Yes. And, well, theyíll go a lot further than that, I can
BECK: Well, yes.
NETANYAHU: How long will it take? The estimates
could be wrong. I was referring to the fact that
people thought that North Korea would take longer
to produce a device, first device. And here, we
think -- we donít know -- the official statement
give by the chief of Israeli intelligence -- and
I can say this because it was publicized -- it
was said in our foreign affairs and defense
committee in our Knesset, our parliament, he said
it will take them anywhere up to three years to
cross all the nuclear technology threshold, and
then it takes about a year or two to weaponize.
But this at most would give us five years. It
could very well be next year. Ahmadinejad, the
president of Iran, is boasting that heís on the express train.
NETANYAHU: Yesterday, the international atomic
agency commission two days ago found enriched
plutonium traces in Iran, which means that
theyíre moving ahead towards making that weapon.
Again, that weapon is aimed at my country. I want
to be, as you say, complete open...
NETANYAHU: ... divulgence. How do you call it?
BECK: You want to be cards face-up on the table.
NETANYAHU: Absolutely, yes. Iím worried about the
survival of my country, but so is Czechoslovakia.
NETANYAHU: It was engulfed, and the Jewish people
were engulfed by Hitler. So what? That was on the
path towards engulfing the world. And when you
have this religious fanatic cult, you do not let
it, hating the United States, wanting to bring
down the United States, and anything associated
with it, like Israel, you do not let these
fanatics get their hands on atomic bombs.
NETANYAHU: And tell your father that theyíre not
deterrable. Thatís the main problem: Theyíre not deterrable.
BECK: People have said that I was nuts when I
said, before we went into Iraq, it is about Iraq.
This is about Iran, right, wrong, and why?
NETANYAHU: I think youíre right. I think in the
larger Ė thereís a pecking order here. I think
Afghanistan was the first one. It dispatched Al
Qaeda. You got the right to do. By getting Iraq,
you got Libya. Libya dismantled its nuclear program.
But Libya and Saddam Husseinís Iraq were
essentially neighborhood bullies, very dangerous,
very, you know, poisonous, but you could either
bring down their dictatorship or force them to
become reborn, OK, as Gaddafi was trying to be. They are not suicidal.
If you got Iran, you would have folded the entire
chain down and you would have eliminated the most
virulent and the most dangerous of the lot. This
is a regime that seeks to influence a billion
people worldwide, a billion Muslims. Now,
granted, theyíre not going to influence a billion
Muslims, but suppose they influence 10 percent.
Thatís 130 million or over 100 million people.
And itís not merely the ability to incite
radicals in every Western capital, or in anywhere
from San Francisco to Bali, Indonesia, and Bali
and even north, south, anywhere. It is that they
will have the nuclear weapons to back up terror.
Theyíll have terror with a nuclear umbrella, so
the terror that weíve seen will be on a scale we
havenít seen. And the greatest terror of all is
that they may actually use atomic bombs against our cities and our
BECK: OK. More with Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu in just a minute. And we get to Iraq
and also why so many Jewish people here in America vote for the
BECK: Welcome back to the program. Weíre spending
a whole hour with ex-Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu from Israel. Are you going to run again?
BECK: Good. Letís talk a little bit about Iran --
Iím sorry, about Iraq. First, honest question:
Are you afraid of us? Are you afraid that weíre going soft?
NETANYAHU: Maybe in the short term the United
States could have some setbacks. In the long
term, the free peoples always win, you know? But
the question is: At what cost?
BECK: That really wasnít the question. Iíll let you escape.
NETANYAHU: Well, come on...
BECK: Iíll try one more time. Are you afraid weíre...
NETANYAHU: I got out of that one.
BECK: We are now proposing a phased redeployment,
which, if you would translate, would be cut and
run. What happens if we get out of there?
NETANYAHU: I think youíre going to find it a lot
more difficult than you think, because what
happens when you run, when you cut and run, from
terror, terror has this unfortunate quality of
chasing you. This is, however, an American decision you make.
BECK: Yes, but a lot of people believe that if we
just -- you know, they havenít stood up. I donít
think most people understand the fear that people
live under of these kooks that are, you know,
beheading people. But theyíre saying, "If the
Iraqis want it so bad, they should step up for it
and we will leave them, because most people think
that, well, itís their responsibility."
NETANYAHU: Look; I wonít get into a debate on
Iran -- Iraq, rather, because in a way I think it
sidelines the main argument. What you decide to
do -- itís an American decision...
NETANYAHU: ... whether you leave in phases, you
leave with a timetable, you leave with no
timetable, you stay in Iraq, OK, either way, if
Iran acquires nuclear weapons next door, you lose
Iraq. Not only do you lose Iraq, you lose the
entire Middle East, and you lose control of the
world oil supply, and your cities come under a
nuclear threat of a crazy, fanatic regime.
So the question is: Why is the American debate
exclusively focused on Iraq when you should look
next door? And the last thing you should do --
whatever you decide on Iraq, I would give one
piece of advice: Do not mortgage that solution to
the Iranians. Do not get into a situation where
you are giving the Iranians any kind of license
to develop their nuclear program in exchange for
anything that they do with you in Iraq, do or not do.
You should stop the Iranian nuclear program
because it is a great threat to the security of
the world and the security of the United States.
BECK: Let me give you my biggest fear. My biggest
fear is -- we only have one minute? Let me state
it, and then I want to come back, because I want
to hear your full answer on this.
My biggest fear is that youíre being set up, that
Israel is going to - - weíre not going to do
anything about it. The rest of the world is
already starting to talk, "Hey, letís talk peace
with Iran. Letís bring Iran and Syria in as
partners for peace," which is absolutely insane.
You will be sitting in a position saying, "OK,
well, we canít deal with it". Youíll go in and do
something about it, and then the whole world will
turn and say, "Itís Israel. We were close to peace."
NETANYAHU: Yes, well, thatís what they said about
Czechoslovakia when they sacrificed it for Hitler
and they thought theyíd have peace in their time,
and the Munich Accords. And it turned out to have
been merely feeding the wolf and wetting its appetite.
But Iíll tell you one thing: Somebody has to take
out the Iranian nuclear program.
BECK: OK, I want to get to that. We have to take
a quick break. Back in a minute.
BECK: Back with Benjamin Netanyahu, the former
prime minister of Israel, talking a little
fear-mongering here with Glenn Beck. What a surprise.
We ended with my belief that youíre being set up
to make your -- because youíre going to -- well,
let me ask you. Are you going to make a move, if
nobody else does, on Iran? Do you feel that you
would have to make a move if nobody else does to stop them?
NETANYAHU: If thatís the only option. It has to
be stopped. And if it means saving the life of
the Jewish state and another 6 million Jews who
live in Israel, then the answer is yes, because we reserve the right to
The Jewish people are not going to be set up
again for a second Holocaust by a man who denies
the first Holocaust as he prepares our mass
annihilation. What would you do? Suppose somebody
said, "Weíre going to bomb America. Weíre going
to destroy America." And you sit back and you
say, "Oh, he doesnít mean it." And he prepares,
and he does mean it. Are you going to sit back and let him do it?
BECK: I got to tell you, Iíve said this many
times before -- no offense, Canada, because I
know weíve got a lot of Canadian listeners, but
youíd be toast. I mean, if we had somebody
sitting on our border saying the same thing, that
people on your border are saying, oh, weíd roll
over him or her with a steamroller.
But what does that mean? I mean, letís say you go
in. Theyíre so far underground. Do you, a, have
the capability of doing this? And, b, if you did,
what does that do to the Middle East and the whole world?
NETANYAHU: I think that itís not particularly
useful to discuss these kinds of questions. I
would say that thereís a time factor. The longer
you wait, the harder it becomes, the more firepower you need.
The earlier you do it -- and you may even -- the
earlier you do it, you can actually avoid the
need for military action. If you had, for
example, a concerted international effort, you
could probably get Iran to back off. But the
longer you wait, the more you have to get into
the harder options and the harder the options become.
And I think that that is unfortunate. But you
asked me, what will the world look like if action
were taken against Iran by us or by you? Would
they retaliate? Yes, of course. But they wouldnít
have nuclear weapons to retaliate with. You do
not want them to have these atomic bombs.
BECK: I get that. I get that. Iím with you.
However, you know, when you say -- if you go in and take it...
BECK: ... and people will rise up -- you know, I
was talking to James Baker, and I said, you know,
how much trouble is Europe in? We think of these
-- oh, well, weíll just be able to, you know,
rely on our European allies. My gosh. If the
Muslim extremists that are in the center of those
cities all throughout Europe ever decide to rise
up and connect, the armies of Europe are going to
be busy in Europe doing guerrilla warfare street to street.
NETANYAHU: But, you know, itís an interesting
question. There are Muslim communities
interspersed now throughout the world and
throughout Europe, as well. Many of them, most of them are peaceable
NETANYAHU: OK? But thereís an extremist core. The
extremists core gets more extreme as the two
virulent strains of militant Islam get more and
more powerful. When they knock out the World
Trade Center, they get new adherents. When Iran
acquires nuclear weapons, they get more adherents.
So the Muslim communities around the world are
looking at it. Theyíre sitting in the bleacher,
and theyíre looking at this, and theyíre saying,
"Whoís winning, the West, the forces of
civilization as we understand it, or the
militants?" If the militants appear to be
succeeding, then the ability to recruit more
radicals in Europe and elsewhere, in the United
States, grows. So itís important...
BECK: Well, thatís because they have an
understanding that the reason why they are still
living the way they are with sticks and stones is
because they havenít been militant enough in
their own religion, that they havenít submitted
enough to Shiva law, et cetera, et cetera.
NETANYAHU: Not true. I think it`s actually the
other way around. I think that, if they see them
winning, then they say, "Ah, Allah is with us.
That means that the direction of extremism has a future."
What you want to do is actually create despair in
the militants. You want to create despair that
nothing will succeed; you will never defeat the
West. Even if we have setbacks, the free
societies, this pro-realistic, free societies
that we have, weíll defeat you. Your way of this
pre- medieval, crazy creed that you have, itís
not going to govern the world. Thereís no chance
that it will govern the world, because the free
societies are much tougher than you think.
When they think that, they canít recruit. When
they think the opposite, they do recruit. Itís
very important that they understand theyíre going to lose and early.
BECK: OK. Now, weíve talked about millions of
people possibly dying in World War III, and
nuclear holocaust, and another Holocaust for the
Jews, but now let me get to the tough question.
NETANYAHU: That was the easy part?
BECK: That was the easy part. Hereís the tough
question. I am so frustrated -- and I said you
were going to be on. I got so much e-mail from
people asking me the same question that we canít figure out.
Why is it that it seems as though conservatives
are the ones that are the most strong on the
protection of Israel, we are the most -- that
weíre the strongest in defense, and yet so many
Jews here in America are so on- fire liberal and
they side with the people, the politicians who
are ready to just give away the candy store?
I donít understand it, and so many Americans
donít. What is it that they canít see whoís
willing to stand up and think itís important to defend Israel?
NETANYAHU: There is a difference of opinion,
obviously, on what is the right sort of defense.
And Iím not going to get into that. I mean, Jewish-Americans...
BECK: I told you it was going to be the hard question.
NETANYAHU: ... Jewish-Americans are loyal
Americans. They just have a different...
BECK: No, no, no, no, Iím not saying...
NETANYAHU: They have differences among them. You
know, some of the most staunchest conservatives
in the United States are Jewish, and some of the
most staunchest liberals are Jewish, so there are
different views. I have enough in my politics in Israel not to get
BECK: Sure, not to get into ours.
NETANYAHU: ... American politics. And I have
enough Jewish politics in Israel, by the way, more than you can
BECK: Then let me go here on politics where I
think youíre a little freer to talk, the United
Nations. Holy cow, I donít understand the United
Nations. I donít understand -- I donít even
understand -- when I went to Israel for the first
time, it was after 9/11, and I really wanted to understand.
And I went to Israel, and I went up to the
Israeli-Lebanon border. And I was standing there,
and I saw a billboard with beheaded Israeli
soldiers and underneath, in Hebrew, it said
something along the lines of, "Sharon, your dogs
die here." And it was one of the most shocking --
Iím an American -- one of the most shocking
things I had ever seen. And it was sitting next
to a little, like, pillbox area, and it had two
flags. It had the Lebanese flag...
NETANYAHU: And the U.N. flag.
BECK: ... and the U.N. flag.
BECK: What does that say to you?
NETANYAHU: It says to me that the U.N. is a
pretty good separation between consenting adults.
If you have two governments who want to make
peace between them and they put an U.N. tripwire
basically symbolizing their agreement to make peace, then the U.N.
Anywhere where you have real combat, anywhere
where you have real enemies, anywhere where you
have a crazy outfit like Hezbollah, which is
really a proxy for Iran that weíre talking about,
then the U.N. is fairly useless. It doesnít
really get the job done, and that billboard was a perfect example.
BECK: I donít mean to be crass here, but they
were meat shields for Hezbollah over the summer. They were...
NETANYAHU: Well, you know that we had this whole
war in the summer. And Lebanon was ignited by the
kidnapping of a few of our soldiers.
NETANYAHU: The previous...
BECK: Which seemed to get lost in the shuffle.
NETANYAHU: Well, the previous kidnapping took
place -- there was a previous kidnapping of three
of our soldiers by Hezbollah, and the U.N. was
there. You know what the U.N. did? They photographed it.
So what are they going to do, bring bigger
cameras to photograph it, and to have bigger
billboards? I mean, this is not -- I think the
U.N. is of limited value. It started out as a
wonderful idea, but the U.N. is a reflection of
its components. And if thereís not enough
political will to actively face down the
extremists, the radicals, the murderers, the
killers in the world, then the U.N. canít really
do the job. It`s left to the free societies to do it, unfortunately.
BECK: Then let me go here. Weíre going to have to
take a break, but when we come back I want the
ask you about political will. There were a lot of
us rooting for Israel over the summer and saw the
way the war was fought and the saw the
concessions made and were horrified. Your answer
to that here in just a second.
BECK: Back with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Sir, I watched the fight this summer with great
interest, and it didnít take me very long to
figure out -- I watched the events unfold. And
within just a couple of days -- and, again, Iím a
rodeo clown -- but it took me a couple of days to
go, "Wait a minute. This is all about misdirection. This is all about
And for you to lose that war was pretty
significant. And I donít know if you perceive it
as a loss, but it certainly was a shift of
perception by the rest of the world. You seemed
to be the "drive them all the way back to Saudi
Arabia" kind of act. Did you perceive that as less than stellar?
NETANYAHU: It certainly wasnít a victory. I think
basically the war was not won because we lacked a
strategy, and the strategyís a very simple one.
We faced about 5,000 Ebola, which are really
Iranian forward infantry with missiles, when you
-- in a war, in order to win, you take
overwhelming force, with the firepower and
mobility. You move very quickly at the enemyís
weakest point. Thatís basically how you win wars.
And in our case, we went with almost the same
number of troops against right into their gun
sites. Not smart. We should have come from the
behind, if you will, with 10 times the force.
BECK: So you would say that it was a lack of
strategy. It wasnít your catching our politically
correct disease? Youíre not fighting a war for media or anything like
NETANYAHU: I think the decisions, the strategic
decisions were flawed. No, the people fought,
even under bad strategy, the Israeli soldiers fought very, very well.
BECK: No, no, I donít mean -- yes, yes, yes. I donít mean that. I
NETANYAHU: ... and ultimately defeated any
Hezbollah that were there. But in order to crush
an enemy, you have to find his weak point and
apply maximum force, and that wasnít done. And
thereís a whole range of commissions now
examining in Israel why it wasnít done. But I
think it was basically a problem of strategy and leadership.
BECK: Can either of us win against a foe that
understands how to use media, how to manipulate it...
NETANYAHU: Yes, we can win. Of course we can win.
We could have won that war. And the next time
they do it, you know, if I have anything to do
with it, I can guarantee you that the results will be different.
And I think the people in Israel have that power.
The soldiers have that power. They have that
fighting spirit and ability. But even the best of
soldiers need to have the right guidance, the right direction.
And so I wouldn`t give up on the free societies,
but we always learn. In history, we see that the
free societies, they always get it at the end.
But the question is: Do they need what Churchill
called a jarring gong of self-preservation? You
sort of have to be woken up from your stupor,
from your sleep to realize that youíve got a new
Hitler around the block and you have to take
action. Do you let him first demolish a few
countries and a few millions of peoples?
I hope not. I hope that we have the ability to
learn something from history. And certainly, I
think that weíre facing a juncture of history
unlike any other, where primitive religious
creeds are trying to acquire the weapons of mass
death. That has never happened before, because
nuclear weapons have been around only for half a
century. And now the most primitive creed on
Earth is trying to get the most advanced weapons on Earth.
And weíd better wake up. Weíd better hear the
jarring gong of self- preservation and act to
preserve our lives, our cities, our children, and our civilization in
BECK: What is a sign that people can recognize
here? What is it that you -- the first sign that
you said, back in Israel in the day and you went,
"Oh, boy, thatís not good." What is the sign that
may be just beginning to hit over here, that
people can recognize over here, and say, "Oh,
wait a minute. I have noticed that." Do you
remember the first signs you saw over Israel?
NETANYAHU: I think the most important thing to
understand is that -- you know the best sign of
how dangerous things are? That the president of
Iran is not even trying to fake it.
You know, normally, if he wasnít as fanatic as he
is, heíd say, "Well, you know, yes, I think we
could recognize Israel if it made the right
concessions to the Palestinians." Heíd play
along; heíd play the game. Heíd say, "Weíre not
really developing nuclear weapons. We just want
nuclear energy for peace." You know, heíd say all that.
But thatís not what heís saying. Heís saying --
and listen to him carefully. Heís saying, "Weíre
going to wipe Israel off the map. The Holocaust
didnít happen. Americaís the great Satan. Iran
will have the power to reshape history."
Now, a normal person would not say that. An
insane person says that. In the 1930s, an insane
person wrote in a book called, "Mein Kampf," "My
Struggle," and that was Adolf Hitler. He said
exactly what he would do. He was stark-raving mad, but he communicated.
You asked for a sign? That was a sign, 300 pages
of signs, OK? Ahmadinejad every day is writing a
page. Heís saying what heís going to do. Thatís
the best sign. That tells you that thereís a
fanaticism at work here which is not even
calculating. Heís just going to do it. And letís
not enable him to do it. Letís stop him.
BECK: It is interesting to me that "Mein Kampf"
is "My Struggle." Jihad is "my struggle." Back in a moment.
BECK: Back with Benjamin Netanyahu. In the last
break, you said that Islam is the most primitive religion.
NETANYAHU: I didnít say that.
BECK: You didnít say that?
NETANYAHU: No. I said that militant Islam is a primitive religion.
BECK: How much of...
NETANYAHU: Most Muslims are not part of this crazy creed.
NETANYAHU: You know, just like you have crazy
creeds and crazy cults in Christianity or in
Judaism, you have people who are crazy. The
difference here is that here you have a crazy
cult that is a small percentage, but these are
very large numbers when you talk about a billion
people. And itís very violent, very violent, and
it may get its hands on nuclear weapons. Thatís
the reason weíre discussing it.
BECK: All right, only time for one e-mail here.
This is from Michelle in Ohio. She says, "I am
just an average, middle-class mom and wife in
America. What can I do to fight this extremist
terrorism? I try to stay informed by listening to
Glennís show and reading, but I feel helpless."
So many Americans feel this way. They donít know what to do.
NETANYAHU: Well, they shouldnít feel helpless,
because the difference between this, whatís
happening now and the 1930s, is that, at the
time, America was an isolationist power and
didnít operate on the world stage. So as we were
facing the tremendous fanaticism and destructive
power of Hitler, there was no one to face up to
him. France and Britain at the time did not have
the kind of leadership or the kind of power to stop him.
The fortunate thing is that, in the first half of
the 20th century, the dominant power in the world
is the United States. And citizens like the one
that wrote in do have power. You have
representatives. You have a voice. You have
Internet and you have congressmen and senators. Make your views known.
If citizens in a free society rise up, in a
society like America rise up, and they say, "We
want to act in time while action can be
effective, while the danger can be stopped,
before it gets out of hand," then America will
act. And in that sense, I have the confidence
that we live in a different age because weíve
already witnessed the horrors of the previous
century and we know that we have to stop it. And
thatís why it fills me with hope that action is possible.
BECK: We are up against the clock here. Iíve only
got 15 seconds, but I want to thank you, sir. And
thank you for joining us for this hour. And thank
you for your service to, not only your country,
but, I believe, the rest of the world, as well.
NETANYAHU: Thank you very much.
BECK: Thank you.
NETANYAHU: Thank you.