(Barak Ravid -Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday blasted Israeli and world politicians who support the Arab Spring revolutions and accused the Arab world of "moving not forward, but backward."
In his sharpest Knesset comment since the wave of uprisings swept out of Tunisia and across the Arab states in January, Netanyahu expressed his complete contempt for the Arab people's ability to sustain democratic regimes, and his nostalgia for Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt. He said he feared the collapse of Jordan's Hashemite monarchy and also reiterated his absolute refusal to make any concessions to the Palestinians.
"In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we're facing a new era of liberalism and progress...They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don't see where things are heading."
"Our forecast that the Arab Spring would turn into an 'Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli and anti-democratic wave' turned out to be true."
Netanyahu also slammed Western leaders, and especially U.S. President Barack Obama, who had pushed Mubarak to resign from power. At the time this was happening Netanyahu said in closed talks that the American administration and many European leaders don't understand reality. On Wednesday, he called them "naive."
"I ask today, who here didn't understand reality? Who here didn't understand history? Israel is facing a period of instability and uncertainty in the region. This is certainly not the time to listen to those who say follow your heart."
"I remember many of you urged me to take the opportunity to make hasty concessions, to rush to an agreement, But I will not establish Israel's policy on illusions. There's a huge upheaval here...whoever doesn't see it is burying his head in the sand."
"That didn't stop people from coming to me and suggesting we make all kinds of concessions. I said we insist on foundations of stability and security...all the more so now."
"I will not ignore reality, I will not ignore the dangers, I will not ignore history, I will not ignore the present or give up on any of our security requirements that have increased because of the recent crises and not diminished. This is not the time to yield them, it is not the time to rush into things, it is the time to be cautious in our connections with the Palestinians. Today it is clear that the careful approach I chose was the right approach, the smart approach, the responsible approach.
"Israel is facing a period of regional instability and uncertainty. This is certainly not the time to listen to those who said then and now, time and time again, to act according to our wishes and desires. There were those who promised at the time of the disengagement that the residents of the South would get peace and quiet, but we got terrorism and rockets, just like my friends and I warned. In this difficult and sensitive time, our policy is clear. We want to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians that will withstand the test of time and will not buckle as soon as it is signed; that we will not get, like we did in Gaza, Iranian presence, and now we have the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as Hamas."