Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to be personally “changing the course of Jewish history”, in an interview published yesterday by pro-settler outlet Arutz Sheva.
In remarks designed to mobilise his right-wing base, Netanyahu warned: “We’re going to lose unless people show up and vote for Likud”.
“Likud has to be bigger than [Benny] Gantz and [Yair] Lapid and, right now, we’re smaller. All the polls show that,” the prime minister said, addressing the threat posed by his Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) rivals.
During the interview, Netanyahu stressed his record in defending Israel’s grip on the occupied West Bank, and the settlement enterprise.
“For over 8 years,” he told Arutz Sheva, “I blocked the attempt to push us into the ‘67 borders, to uproot settlements”, referring to the two-term Barack Obama presidency.
Then, in the last 3 years, I’m changing the course of Jewish history by getting recognition for settlement, for the borders. Strategic areas are key to our future
“I was pleased that I persuaded [US President Donald] Trump to recognize Jerusalem as our capital, move the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognize our sovereignty in the Golan, get out of the horrible Iran deal that Gantz and Lapid supported,” Netanyahu continued.
“And now I’m doing the same thing vis a vis the Jordan Valley, but also all the settlements inside and outside the blocs [in the occupied West Bank]. This is crucial.”
Asked about the reportedly imminent Trump peace plan, Netanyahu argued that he was best placed to defend Israel’s interests in the diplomatic arena.
“Who do you want to negotiate with Trump on this deal? Gantz and Lapid? If you want me to do it – vote for me and Likud,” Netanyahu said.
Urging right-wing voters to back Likud, rather than smaller parties such as Otzma Yehudit, Netanyahu told Arutz Sheva: “I believe in our common mission. Help me protect the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the Jewish homeland. Give me your vote.”