Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first Israel interview since elections

In his first interview since the elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked about his recent meeting with US President Barack Obama, the phone call to the parents of the soldier who shot a neutralized terrorist and the failure to lower housing prices.
"I always enjoyed meeting Obama," Netanyahu said Photo credit: GPO/Channel 2 News

For the first time since the last Israeli elections, Netanyahu granted a special interview tonight (Saturday) in New York to Channel 2 News and discussed his last meeting with Obama, the failure to lower housing prices and the phone call to the parents of Elor Azaria, which provoked controversy. “Contrary to what people think, I always enjoyed meeting Obama,” Netanyahu stated. “We disagreed on some issues but agreed on most.”

When asked whether Obama promised not to promote a one-sided political plan, Netanyahu said that the two did not discuss it but that he hopes Obama will not. “The only time Obama vetoed a vote in the UN was during an anti-Israel vote in 2011,” said Netanyahu. “I hope that he will continue to be consistent until the end of his term.”

Netanyahu also discussed the phone call with the father of the soldier who shot a neutralized Palestinian terrorist, Charlie Azaria, at the beginning of the trial against his son and said that he does not regret the call. “Do you know what I told him?” Netanyahu asked. “Word for word: put your faith in the IDF, in the Chief of General Staff, in our commanders and soldiers and in our justice system.” He admitted that he had not called other parents in such circumstances but added that he had called parents who lost their children who were serving in the IDF. “There is a great distress here among Israeli citizens,” he added. “I want you to understand that.”

During the interview, Netanyahu was asked about the housing crisis and the new initiative led by Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to heavily tax owners of three or more apartments. “I have a conflict of interest. I have three apartments,” he stated, hinting that he may not take part in the vote on the issue. “I will examine the issue with the authorized parties.”

When asked whether he knew what allegations the police are investigating about him, he stated that he has no idea. “I think there are many efforts to create something out of nothing,” said Netanyahu. “I will repeat what I have said before- there was nothing because there is nothing.” Netanyahu also commented on the accusations against his wife in the Prime Minister’s Residence case and said that his family is in the process of appeal against the court decision. “I admire her,” Netanyahu proclaimed. “She is under an incredible attack. No one would like to see their wife under such attack. She is so strong. She worries about our soldiers, she visits families who lost their children.”

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