Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Netanyahu talks to FOX Business on Iran and Peace: "The settlement issue was overblown"

"Israel sees no connection between the peace process and the planning and building policies in Jerusalem that have not changed for the last 40 years, Building in Jerusalem has never interfered with the peace process'' said today a statement from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speaking today to Fox Business Network in New York, Netanyahu said the settlement issue was "overblown.''

"That will be an issue that we'll discuss but I think it's overblown,''.

"You are talking about a handful of apartments that really don't affect the (peace) map at all contrary to impressions that might be perceived from certain news reports. So it's a minor issue that might be turned to a major issue.''

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Netanyahu called Palestinian complaints about Israeli settlement construction “a minor issue” that has become “way overblown.” He said previous settlement construction hadn’t prevented Egypt or Jordan from concluding peace agreements with Israel.

“In many ways it’s a minor issue that has assumed center stage for no objective reason.” .

Netanyahu said he doesn’t believe the U.S. midterm elections will change Israel’s relationship with Washington, D.C.

“The outgoing Congress was friendly to Israel, the incoming congress will be friendly to Israel".

“I think there is fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of - the close nature between Israel and the United States. It is so close…It is a powerful bond and President Obama has expressed it more than once. We have had security cooperation in the last year that people don't know about but I think has surpassed all previous levels,”

A Nuclear Iran Netanyahu told Fox Business anchors Liz Claman and David Asman, "would be a global threat to the Economy...Iran’s reach is far and wide. A nuclear Iran would be a global economic threat.”

For that reason, Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons is not a problem for Israel alone. “It has to be dealt with by the international community.”

Netanyahu said he is pleased that President Barack Obama “is determined” to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms.