3:44pm

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

In Arab TV Interview, Netanyahu Says 'Everything Is On The Table'

In an interview with Al Arabiya News, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, "Everything is on the table. But we need to get to the table."

The interview marked Netanyahu's first appearance on an Arab television outlet and it comes a few months before Palestinians are set to go before the United Nations to seek recognition of their independence. The vote would be largely symbolic but Palestinians think it would isolate Israel and provide them with leverage in negotiations.

The Los Angeles Times spoke to Israel's first official Arabic-language spokesperson for the prime minister's office, who said now is the time to get Israel's message out and "speak to Arab public opinion."

The AP has a bit more on the interview:

In the interview, Netanyahu says he is willing to negotiate anywhere and with anyone who accepts Israel's right to exist.

...

"I'm prepared to negotiate with President Abbas directly for peace between our two peoples right now. We can do it here in my home in Jerusalem, we can do it in Ramallah, we can do it anywhere," he said.

Netanyahu said he realized he would have to make "difficult compromises for peace," but he offered few new details about his plans.

The interview also touched on the Arab Spring:

"If there's genuine democracy in the Arab world, in the Arab countries, then there will be genuine peace. Because a genuine democracy reflects the desires of the people, and most people Arabs, Jews, anyone they don't want their sons and daughters dying on battlefields."

He said, "If it goes toward an Iranian-style dictatorship, as it did, unfortunately in Iran and in Lebanon, then it's bad. It's bad for the peoples there, but it's also bad for peace."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.