60 Minutes: Netanyahu wants to scuttle the Iran deal, thinks Trump can help

Benjamin Netanyahu on CBS 60 Minutes.
Benjamin Netanyahu on CBS 60 Minutes.” I know Donald Trump. I know him very well. And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people and about Jewish people. There’s no question about that.

By: Lesley Stahl

The following is a script from “Benjamin Netanyahu,” which will air tonight on 60 Minutes. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Shachar Bar-On and Alexandra Poolos, producers.

On our recent trip to Jerusalem, we found a surprisingly optimistic Benjamin Netanyahu, who has served the longest stretch as prime minister in Israel’s history. He told us his country has never felt as secure or less isolated.  But it’s been a tumultuous eight years between Israel and the U.S. over the Iran nuclear deal and the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. So part of his optimism relates to the election in the U.S. Netanyahu and his followers on the Israeli right, are greeting the idea of President Donald Trump with a resounding l’chaim.

Benjamin Netanyahu: I know Donald Trump.  I know him very well.  And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear.  He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people and about Jewish people. There’s no question about that.

Lesley Stahl: With Trump, do you think that Israel will not be as at odds with the United States as you have been under the Obama administration?

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yeah, we had differences of opinion with– I had differences of opinion with President Obama and most well-known, of course, is Iran.

Lesley Stahl: Was it personal between the two of you?

Benjamin Netanyahu: No. No. I don’t think so. I think that suppose we had the greatest of personal chemistry, OK? So, what? You think I wouldn’t stand up against the Iran deal if I thought, as I did, that it endangers the existence of Israel? Of course I would.

He says it wasn’t personal but there were times when it sure seemed that way. The relationship, often rocky, hit bottom when Mr. Netanyahu took the provocative step last year of lobbying against the Iran nuclear deal and by extension President Obama in a speech before Congress.

Netanyahu in Congress: It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves Iran’s path to the bomb. So why would anyone make this deal?

Lesley Stahl: When you campaigned against him and you spoke to the Congress, it was read as a lack of respect and something that had never been done before.

Benjamin Netanyahu: No, it was not borne of any disrespect, because I have the greatest respect for him.  I had then and I have now.

Lesley Stahl: But do you regret that you did that?

Benjamin Netanyahu: No, on the contrary.  I think it’s my responsibility, to speak up when something threatens our very future.

He’s says he’s going to see Mr. Trump soon to lobby him to scuttle the deal. The president-elect has called the agreement “stupid” and “a disgrace.”  But Trump’s choice for defense secretary, General James Mattis, has advised against pulling out.

Lesley Stahl: If it were to be abrogated wouldn’t that put you in a more precarious position than you are now? Because they would obviously then rush to the bomb.

Benjamin Netanyahu: I think Iran didn’t rush to the bomb before there was a deal.

Lesley Stahl: Really?

Benjamin Netanyahu: No, because they were afraid of retribution.

Lesley Stahl: But if– OK, you get rid of the deal. Then what?

Benjamin Netanyahu: I think what options we have are much more than you think.  Many more.  And I’ll talk about it –

Lesley Stahl: Like what?

Benjamin Netanyahu: –with President Trump.  Well, I think quite a few, actually.

Lesley Stahl: Because if you, you know, put sanctions back on, the other signatories to the deal won’t.

Benjamin Netanyahu: There are ways, various ways of undoing it.

Lesley Stahl: You have something in your mind.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yeah, I have about five things in my mind.

Lesley Stahl: Well, give me one.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Well, I’d like to talk to the president before I talk to the 60 Minutes.

Lesley Stahl: What about the intelligence that the West is getting from on-site inspections?  Apparently, most of the intelligence community thinks it’s worth keeping the deal for that intelligence.

Benjamin Netanyahu: I think we have– the deal is not the critical thing of intelligence. Intelligence is a critical thing.

Lesley Stahl: Which Israel is really good at.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Which is– we’re very good at. And you know, with a little help—

Lesley Stahl: So you don’t think we’re—

Benjamin Netanyahu: –from our friends.

Lesley Stahl: –gaining that much by these on-site inspections?

Benjamin Netanyahu: For intelligence?

Lesley Stahl: Yeah.

Benjamin Netanyahu: No.

Lesley Stahl: What about the silver lining? That because of this deal, you now have all this– these better relationships with your neighbors.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Oh, well, that’s true. I would say- I will say this. The only good thing I can say about the deal with Iran is that it brought the Arab states and Israel closer together.

It’s the old proverb: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. On a trip to the desert town of Be’er Sheva, he told us there’s been a tectonic shift: it’s been reported that Israel and the Arab world are sharing intelligence.

Benjamin Netanyahu: All I can tell you is that Israel’s position in the Arab world has changed because they no longer see Israel as their enemy, but as their ally, in their indispensable battle against the forces of militant Islam, either those led by Iran, the Shiites, or– and those led by Daesh – by ISIS, the militant Sunnis.

Lesley Stahl: We hear that you have dramatically improved your relationship with Egypt. Is that correct?

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: Jordan?

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: Saudi Arabia?

Benjamin Netanyahu: No comment.

Lesley Stahl: I have to ask you, because it’s the most fascinating of all: Israel and Saudi Arabia. Are you actually developing an anti-Iran alliance in the Middle East?

Benjamin Netanyahu: Doesn’t have to be developed. It’s there anyway.

Israel is developing a whole skein of new alliances, in some cases with countries that have been challenging the U.S. around the world like Russia which has placed its troops in Syria, Israel’s next door neighbor.

Lesley Stahl: How would you describe your relationship with Russia right now?

Benjamin Netanyahu: It’s amicable. But the minute Mr. Putin decided to put his military forces in Syria, I went to see him.  And I said, “Look, here’s what I’m doing.  I’m not intervening in Syria. But at the same time, if Syria tries to intervene with us, if Iran tries to use Syria to attack us, we’ll stop it.

Lesley Stahl: You’re telling Mr. Putin that you will attack if you’re attacked?

Benjamin Netanyahu: I said, “We should avoid this.”  And he said “I agree.”  So we coordinated between our militaries because no one wants an inadvertent Israeli-Russian clash.

Lesley Stahl: You have a friendship with Mr. Putin, and a friendship with China. You seem to be inching toward an anti-American bloc.

Benjamin Netanyahu: God, no.  Let me tell you something—

Lesley Stahl: Well, talk about that ‘cause I think there’s an impression of that.

Benjamin Netanyahu: That’s a false impression.  First of all, there is, there is an irreplaceable ally.  It’s called the United States of America.

Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but here you are making friends with our adversaries—

Benjamin Netanyahu: So no. You have relations with Russia and you have relations with China. We can have relations, economic relations, trade relations with other countries as you do.  Why not?

He has used economic and trade relations to improve Israel’s standing in the world by selling and in some cases giving away its high-tech inventions. Israel boasts of more start-ups per capita than anywhere in the world, many based in Be’er Sheva, and nations have lined up to buy drones, as India has, and cutting-edge agricultural technology, as China has. There’s excitement about a new innovation that extracts drinking water out of air.

Lesley Stahl: So this is Israeli diplomacy through technology?

Benjamin Netanyahu: Exactly right.

Lesley Stahl: Countries that used to vote against you regularly at the U.N., are now your clients. I mean African nations – .

Benjamin Netanyahu: It’s a revolution there.  We can’t keep up.

What’s surprising is that he’s making progress with all these countries without making any progress with the Palestinians, who’ve lived under Israeli occupation in the West Bank for half a century.

Lesley Stahl: What about the quality of Palestinians’ lives. You know, it’s 50 years since what people call “the occupation.”  It’s 50 years. You still have checkpoints.  People have to be cleared. Soldiers everywhere in their lives.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Actually, I’ve lifted checkpoints quite a bit and

we’re trying to create bridges and thoroughfares and so on so we can have freer movement. Palestinians know– they look at Aleppo in Syria, and they look at Yemen, and they look at Libya, and they look at other places, and they know that our intention is coexistence.

Lesley Stahl: You told us that Israel is less isolated today than it has been in many years in the past. And yet, at the same time, you’re losing support in– in Western Europe.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Isolated?? All these countries are coming to Israel and it’s a fantastic change.

Lesley Stahl: But not Western Europe.  Not you, your natural allies, or your older allies yet.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Well, they’re coming—

Lesley Stahl: They call you colonials.

Benjamin Netanyahu: They’re coming around too.

Lesley Stahl: But they call you occupiers.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Well they call us a lot of things but I think they’re coming around too, I have to tell you.

But criticism has spread, on U.S. campuses too.

Lesley Stahl: There’s a movement called BDS, to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel and its products, because of the Palestinian issue, the unresolved Palestinian issue. And this is the playbook that they used, you know, against Apartheid in South Africa—

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yeah, well, I don’t buy it. It’s not about this or that issue. It’s against the very existence of the State of Israel.

Lesley Stahl: You know what they want? I know what they want.  They want you to stop expanding and building settlements.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yea, well, we did. We stopped. We stopped in Gaza. We tore out the settlements and gave the Palestinians Gaza.  And what happened?  Did we get peace?  We got 20,000 rockets on our heads and terror tunnels.

Still, his critics argue that’s not a justification. For the steady expansion of the settlements in the West Bank. Those settlements are smothering Palestinians’ hope for their own separate state.

Benjamin Netanyahu: I think the obsession, the focus on settlements as though this were the issue and this is the obstacle to peace, I disagree with that.

Lesley Stahl: But it is an obstacle. I mean—

Benjamin Netanyahu: No, it’s not an obstacle.

Lesley Stahl:  Well, you say that, but they don’t say that.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yeah, but I’ll say something else. The real reason we haven’t had peace is because of a persistent refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state in any border. “You ask us to recognize you, I’m willing to do that. I ask you to recognize us. Recognize the Jewish state, for God’s sake.” And if they do, this thing will begin to correct itself very quickly.

It’s a condition he doesn’t put on his new friends.

Lesley Stahl: Have any of the Arab states said they accept Israel as a Jewish state?

Benjamin Netanyahu: Yeah they say a lot of things in various forms.

Lesley Stahl: And never actually said they accept you.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Do they say it publicly at this point?  Not yet.

He acknowledges that the Arab states want to see movement on the Palestinian issue.   But despite Washington’s call for a halt, settlement expansion has continued, even after the U.S. gave Israel a $38 billion military aid package. Netanyahu and the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas recently greeted each other at the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres. But the two have not held open, direct negotiations in over six years, for which they blame each other.

Lesley Stahl: What kind of a state is it going to be if you just, you know, don’t do anything?

Benjamin Netanyahu: I’m not going to just not do anything. I’m going to do something.

Lesley Stahl: Well, if you don’t negotiate with the Palestinians—

Benjamin Netanyahu: Well, I’m willing to negotiate with them at any moment.

Lesley Stahl: And if it doesn’t happen?

Benjamin Netanyahu: I haven’t reversed my position.  I’ve said, “Look, we will solve this because we want two nation states at peace and with the proper security arrangements.

Lesley Stahl: You would be pushing for a two-state solution if that—

Benjamin Netanyahu: Two states for two peoples. And that’s where I’m focused.  Yeah, I’d like to have President Trump, when he gets into the White House, help me work on that.  I’d like to see if the Arab states can help me achieve that.  It’s a new reality.  A new possibility.



23 responses to “60 Minutes: Netanyahu wants to scuttle the Iran deal, thinks Trump can help”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Switching over to a reality … and perhaps Christmassy, BUT really an example of people working together on something GOOD, as a ‘Hobby’ in a place where there’s time for it without the worries of putting bread on a table every day.
    FREEDOM to have a hobby which fires imaginations.

    “*A short review: It was started by two brothers as a place to show their hobby and then began growing by leaps & bounds.*
    *Soon they were joined by other ‘Model Railroad Clubs’ and other craftsmen. Some were electricians, model makers, Carpenters, computer programmers. Their wives would stop by to see what they were doing and usually bring them a lunch.*
    *One thing led to another. Three of the ladies had worked at a bakery, several visitors would ask if they had a snack bar. The Idea was planted; some of the carpenters came and built a nice restaurant area for the bakery and a kitchen too. If the fresh Coffee smell didn’t get you then the bakery definitely would.*
    *This was about 5 years ago. One of the Breweries came and furnished all of the tables and chairs, serving counter and, etc.*
    *Their latest finished area is the airport. Planes look like they are flying and landing.*

    1. O'Matrix Avatar

      This hobby is making millions – 80 € for a season ticket.
      Multipley 13 € with the amount of visitor’s per day and you understand that the hobby is no longer a hobby.

      I presume you didn’t seen this Miniatur Wunderland in Speicherstadt, then why do you switching over to a reality……

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        We needed something ‘good’ in here … saw it in earlier years too, when the first concept arrived.
        And if people wish to spend money to see something good – even in museums – why not allow that? No-one says you need to have the same hobby, of course. So don’t buy a ticket.
        Or don’t contribute a skill.
        At least the children who can gaze in wonder – as well as many adults – can choose to.

        1. O'Matrix Avatar

          There are more adults than children visiting this Miniatur Wunderland in Speicherstadt, Ich war schon mehrmals – jedes Mal, wenn eine neue Landschaft abgeschlossen wurde.
          Have a season ticket. 😉
          Now I’m too weak to visit, hoffnungslos.

      2. I was stationed in Germany 69-71. We took a trip to the Netherlands and visited Madurodam and thought it was amazing. This Miniature Wonderland is off the charts. The detail is amazing, the crime scenes, accidents and even the “working girl”.

  2. Mileikowsky deserves several Guinness World Records for spitting this many lies in such a short period of time.

    1. “We’re God chosen people” is the most ridiculous thing i hear in my life, every crime is good for god, we take from the not-chosen what we need we give nothing in return- We can ruin everybody’s life because we’re the children of Israel . Your Bible is stories for children”


      1. The God’s chosen machination was crucial to reach their objective of IsraHell and have the Americans support the endeavor .

        ps – a certain du con should appear soon.

        1. Atheist Fascist Khazar hijacked Zion the religion for World power in the name ‘Septuagint’ bible translated in Alexandria in AD.
          PS., du con idiot mérite aucune réponse

          1. Two Arab Nazis having a leisurely chat about the only thing that makes Arab Nazis tick – Jooz and their evil plots. How cute. If only they were a little less retarded… 🙂

          2. ‘Judah married at the beginning of this period and had three children from one wife. The oldest then married, died, and his brother succeeded him (the famous Onan ‘seed spilling’ story). Then Judah had intercourse with his daughter-in-law. Having found her by the side of the road, he assumed she was a harlot. She bore twins from this union and then the oldest twin became a father, and all of this in 22 years. (Judah hypocritically decided that she should be burned to death for playing the harlot, but relented). When Jacob came to salute Pharaoh, he was 130 years old. Deduct 22 years of sorrow for Joseph, 17 years for his age, and 7 years of service for Rachel, and Jacob must have been 84 when he married Leah. Dinah would have been 7 when raped by Shechem and Simon and Levi would have been 11 and 12 when they spoiled the city in revenge. From all this Spinoza drew the OBVIOUS conclusion that the source materials were ‘promiscuously’ collected and tossed into a heap’.
            PS. Abraham in his 90 fathers a son from 90 years old wife. WTF

          3. I lost you at “Onan”. Not that i ever intended to read any of your bedsheet-sized posts. Doing that would be a much bigger sin than masturbation. 🙂

          4. Not that I’m interested in your decadence, Onan a son of Judah slain by God… “Doing that would be a much bigger sin than masturbation. :-)”
            Onanism was coined masturbation
            Disgusting Zionist language glad, it’s on record

          5. O'Matrix Avatar

            Zzzzzz, Zzzzz, Zzzz, Zzz,….

          6. 5thDrawer Avatar

            hohohohoho … such fairy tales exist … ;-))

  3. The Palestinian version of the 2SS is Palestine and Jordan. The efforts to achieve that goal have continually failed with and without the help of surrounding Arab nations. Abbas will not negotiate any further, doesn’t want the legacy of giving into the “Jews” and still awaits the Islamic Cavalry to charge over the borders. Fat chance.

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