one of the bloodiest weekends of terror in the history of Israel,
many are calling the post-attack Palestinian response a moment of
truth, a time when Yasser Arafatís true colors will be seen.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBN that Arafat
is a seasoned terrorist who has been playing games all along, and
his regime must be removed from power.
PAT ROBERTSON: Joining us from New York is the former Prime Minister
of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. So good to have you back with us on
The 700 Club.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Good to be with you.
ROBERTSON: It is a tragic moment. Yasser Arafat has been warned
by President Bush to bring the killers to justice. Do you think
he can do it?
NETANYAHU: He can, but I doubt he will. He will probably make some
show of rounding up a few dozen people, putting them in what I call
the revolving door so they come in and out of detention as fast,
you know, in one rapid move. I don't think he's done anything serious,
I donít think heís going to do anything serious. We
have to tell him what you told the Taliban in Afghanistan ó
surrender terrorism or surrender power. They didn't surrender terrorism
and you threw them out of power. I think Arafat has to understand
that will be the fate of his terrorist regime. He has literally
hours, or should have only a few hours to crush the terrorist organizations,
both those that he harbors and those that he operates directly under
his own command. And if he does it, fine. If he doesn't do it, I
think that regime will have to go.
ROBERTSON: What is the alternative if he does go. And do you think
the Sharon government has the willpower to take him out. And if
you do, who do you remove him, do you kill him or arrest him or
NETANYAHU: Iím not talking about him directly, but I think
the equation Iím giving you is Afghanistan. I think what you
are doing in Afghanistan is you are not looking for the Al Qaeda
fighters, you are not going cave by cave looking for them. What
you are doing is you are going after the regime that keeps bin Laden's
operation possible. So in fact, this is the right policy because
once the Taliban terrorist regime collapses, Al Qaeda and bin Laden
falls in your lap. And I think that's what we have to do. We cannot
go out against every Islamic Jihad fighter, after every Hamas fighter,
after every of those terrorists. We have to go against the regime,
against the terrorist regime of Arafat that makes their work possible.
And once we do that, then the rest will fall in place.
ROBERTSON: You mentioned Saturday night on CNN a particular quote
from the press that is controlled by Arafat about the New York City
bombing. Could you tell us what they said in Arabic?
NETANYAHU: On the day the two suicide planes crashed into the Twin
Towers in New York, Arafat's mouthpiece, his official mouthpiece
ó mind you, all of the Palestinian newspapers are his mouthpieces
because it is a dictatorship, but this is his official mouthpiece.
This is what it said on behalf of Arafat, it said: the suicide bombers
are the salt of the earth, they are the engines of history, they
are the most honorable men among us. This is what Arafat is telling
his own people in Arabic, and it is very different from what he
and his henchmen say in their doublespeak to the West. To the West
they speak of peace and they condemn terrorism. In the Middle East
they practice terrorism and they glorify the suicide bombers.
† It is time to tell Arafat, the jig is up, you can't play
the game any more. Youíve got a very short time to crush the
terrorists and change the message of war to one of reconciliation
ó the message you broadcast to your people. If you do, you
can continue. If you don't, out you go. My feeling is that he doesn't
do it. You may ask me, what will happen afterwards? Do you really
care what happens after the Taliban goes? Yeah, you care, but itís
not really that important because you know, whatever government
comes into Afghanistan after the Taliban, you know that for many,
many years to come, there won't be a single terrorist action against
the United States from that country. Because whoever rules that
country will know not to tread on the United States, not to attack
you. Similarly whoever comes after Arafat would know if they want
to live and govern next to Israel then they better stop terrorism
against Israel. I think that is the most important thing. When you
are fighting an evil like terrorism, just like we fought the evil
of nazism 60 years ago, we didnít say, "Gee, what will happen
after Hitler goes down?" You said, "We have to crush and defeat
this evil." And that's the kind of attitude we should have now vis-?vis
the evil of terrorism whether in Afghanistan or in Arafatistan.
ROBERTSON: And has the population of Israel and the government prepared
to take the steps necessary to remove the government of Arafat from
the Palestinian area?
NETANYAHU: To give him the message surrender terrorism or surrender
power, and act if he doesnít stop the terrorism. Yes, I think
there is a growing public mood that is emerging and people are realizing
that Arafat either because he won't stop terrorism ó some
think he canít, I think he can but will not do it ó
either way, he's not a peace partner. We will not have peace as
long as there is a combination of bin Laden and Taliban there. And
Arafat is different from bin Laden and the Taliban only in one sense
ó he is much more seasoned terrorist. He knows how to hoodwink
the West and some people in Israel. He has figured that out, he
has to talk peace and donate blood for the victims of terror in
the United States. This is a day after his official newspaper glorified
the suicide bombing. This after a summer in which he had suicide
kindergarten camps, Pat, suicide kindergarten camps! They take 3-year-old
Palestinian children and prepare the next generation of suicide
bombers by brainwashing these kids. This is what Arafat is really
like. I think that more and more people in Israel are coming to
this conclusion, as long as this mentality and this regime governs
the Palestinians, we will not have the peace we pray for.
ROBERTSON: I appreciate your time, you are always so insightful.
And I hope some of your countrymen share your point of view because
something has got to be done right now. We stand with Israel on
this and I thank you for the insight.
NETANYAHU: Thank you, Pat, and thank you for your consistent support
ROBERTSON: Itís there. Benjamin Netanyahu, former prime minister
of Israel, and with clear insight of what needs to be done.