Netanyahu to human rights activists: Sail to Tehran, not Gaza
Prime minister says the real human rights violations are in Iran, warns that Israel's legitimacy is under attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called on human rights activists who participate in Gaza-bound flotillas to sail to Tehran instead, where he says real human rights violations exist.
"I call on all human rights activists in the world - go to Tehran, that's where there is a human rights violation," said Netanyahu during his meeting with the Austrian Chancellor, Werner Faymann, in which he discussed Israel's ease of the Gaza blockade and flotillas planning on breaching Israel's Gaza blockade.
"Today, after we lifted the civilian blockade of Gaza there is no reason or justification for further flotillas," he said. "These flotillas are organized by those who oppose peace, not those who support it. These people just want to break the security blockade."
Netanyahu also said that the list of items forbidden to enter Gaza will be published in the coming days.
Earlier on Wednesday, during a Knesset discussion on Israel's collapsing international status, Netanyahu warned that Israel's legitimacy is being attacked.
"We know that the attacks on Israel are threatening its existence, since we constantly hear people saying 'go back to Poland or Morocco'. They are essentially telling us to dismantle the Zionist enterprise."
Netanyahu went on to criticize the United Nations and other international institutions for targeting Israel alone for condemnation.
"They want to strip us of the natural right to defend ourselves. When we defend ourselves against rocket attack, we are accused of war crimes. We cannot board sea vessels when our soldiers are being attacked and fired upon, because that is a war crime."
"They are essentially saying that the Jewish nation does not have the right to defend itself against the most brutal attacks and it doesn't have the right to prevent additional weapons from entering territories from which it is attacked," he said.
Netanyahu stressed that Israel has taken steps to push forward a resolution with the Palestinians though they have not reciprocated the gesture.
"The Palestinian side promoted the Goldstone report, organized boycotts, and tried to prevent our entrance into the OECD. The Palestinian Authority has no intentions of engaging in direct talks with us," Netanyahu exclaimed.
"I call on [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas, yet again, to enter direct talks with us, because there is no other way to solve the conflict between us without direct dialogue. How could we possibly live side by side if they can't even enter the same room as us?"
Also during the discussion, Kadima MK Dalia Itzik called on Netanyahu to form a unity government with Kadima.
"If you truly want to form a unity government, a new government in line with the people of Israel, you should understand that what matters is not Likud or Kadima, not your ego or our ego, not you or me, but what should guide us is the good of the country," she said.
Earlier, Balad MK Hanin Zuabi, who took part in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla raided by the IDF on May 31, accused fellow MKs of hypocrisy for attacking her for her criticism of the blockade of Gaza.
"I was attacked personally and politically, but two weeks later the prime minister decided to end the civilian blockade of Gaza," she said. "Three weeks ago, I spoke on this podium, after nine people were killed to preserve the blockade. And now, after the prime minister ends the civilian blockade, as he calls it, no one yelled, no one even said a word."