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1 – When Palestinian terrorists hijacked an aeroplane approaching Israel in 1972, he was among the commando team that successfully carried out the rescue mission, during which he was shot in the arm. (His brother Yoni, famously, gave his life during a similar mission in Entebbe four years later.)

2- As Saddam Hussein attacked Israel with scud missiles in 1991, Netanyahu was being interviewed in a CNN studio. He placed a gas mask over his face and carried on with the interview.

3 – In September 1996, during his first term as Prime Minister, he met Yasser Arafat at the Erez checkpoint in Gaza to begin peace negotiations.

4 – He later negotiated with Arafat in Washington, shaking hands on the White House lawn as Yitzhak Rabin had done.

5 – In January 1997, he handed most of Hebron to the Palestinians.

6 – In October 1998, he and Arafat signed the Wye River peace memorandum.

7 – When Israel voluntarily and unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Netanyahu correctly warned it would lead to increased aggression from Hamas.

8 – As Prime Minister again in 2009 he made clear he is ready to negotiate with any Arab leader and that he endorses a Palestinian state alongside Israel. (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the speech as “bad news”.)

9 – In the same month he removed many West Bank checkpoints, directly leading to a dramatic upturn in the Palestinian economy.

10 – In September 2009 he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, the first of several negotiations with the Palestinians.

45 Responses to “10 things they don't want you to know about Benjamin Netanyahu”

  1. Ed West says:

    You’re always going on about Binyamin Netanyahu. Let it go, Chas, you’re never going to meet him.

  2. Moira says:

    This is a brilliant idea and you made good start with this one. I knew maybe a third but you’re raising my awareness with your posts.

  3. Neil says:

    I like it – small bite sized pieces containing useful facts to counter the Israel bashers.

    Speaking of which, this made me raise an eyebrow: http://twitter.com/yvonneridley/status/36723398948302848

    I think the virus she refers to is Hamas, of course.

  4. Avram says:

    If I’m not mistaken, Yoni wanted to be on the Sabena rescue operation but was not allowed due to Bibi being on the operation too. Yoni watched it from the ‘sidelines’

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chas Newkey-Burden and Stand4Israel, OyVaGoy!. OyVaGoy! said: This is the first in a series of new posts. 10 things they don’t want you to know about…Bibi http://is.gd/lKToMN [...]

  6. Jonathan S says:

    excellent Chas.

  7. Gail says:

    Very useful – People think Netanyahu is bad for peace – these facts tell a different story. I would love one on the settelements. I find this the hardest to debate.

  8. blahblahblah says:

    5.In January 1997, he handed most of Hebron to the Palestinians.
    Yeah,wasn’t there a bit in Louis Theroux’s recent production
    that looked at life in Hebron?
    You know what’s really funny about you Chas?It’s the way you present yourself as ‘pro-Israel’ whilst exlicitly supporting the most extreme strands of Israeli public life,and explicitly supporting policies which are leading to Israel being recognised as an outlaw state.Why don’t you ever have anything nice to say about Israeli human rights activists,for example?
    Or Peace Now? You are the worst kind of friend,the kind of friend who will never say “you’re out of order mate”.
    Still waiting for your essay on those Al-Jazeera leaks.
    Whaddya reckon to Zippy’s supposed comments advocating ethnic cleansing “population transfers”.
    She sounds like a classy broad.

    • Chas Newkey-Burden says:

      You are the worst kind of friend,the kind of friend who will never say “you’re out of order mate”.

      Lol. On the contrary, I frequently criticise aspects of Israeli policy, including aspects of Operation Cast Lead, and Israel’s handling of the aftermath of the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. I have done so on this blog, and face-to-face with MKs in the Knesset building. I have also written sympathetically about some Israeli human rights activists and writers.

      Thanks for popping by, anyway.

      Oh, and thanks for reminding me about Livni: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2011/feb/12/corrections-clarifications?INTCMP=SRCH

      • The Fogel says:

        Quality comeback, son!

      • Jonathan S says:


      • blahblahblah says:

        I must’ve missed that sypathetic reportage,maybe it was submerged in a bunch of sycophancy towards chauvinists like Bibi.
        Whaddya reckon to these mooted “population transfers” then Chas! Huh,Chas!? “pop-u-la-tion trans-fers
        Is there another way of putting that? Ethnic hygiene or something? Purification of the land?Doesn’t sound like a liberal democracy at any rate.

        Maybe it won’t happen-you better hope not,’cause you are not going to be able to bullshit that away.

      • blahblahblah says:

        Okay I’ll give you a chance-you must have posted the wrong link right? Because what you’ve put up doesn’t contradict what I put up one jot-do you want to have another go?

    • Zkharya says:

      ‘Yeah,wasn’t there a bit in Louis Theroux’s recent production
      that looked at life in Hebron?’

      You should have seen under Islamic and Mandate rule: no Jew was allowed to ascend above the seventh step, let alone enter the tomb of the patriarchs (built from a Herodian Judean building). In 1929 Palestinian Arab Muslims ethnically cleansed Hebron of pretty much all its Jews. And that is how it stayed, until 1967.


    • conchovor says:

      Your misogyny and use of the term ‘Zippy’ is strongly redolent of her majesty Richard Seymour.

  9. blahblahblah says:

    I don’t know why it is,but your reference to your “wider readership” reminded me of a rather cruel portrayal of John Selwyn Gummer in a piece done by the wonderful cartoonist Steve Bell back in the 80′s.
    Steve drew him as Johnny Three-Buttocks,who wandered barefoot in the desert with his faithful dead dog Spot.Johnny Three-Buttocks would say to Spot “what do you think,east or west?”.
    Spot would say nothing.Johnny Three-Buttocks would then say “Good.We stay put.”
    What does this have to do with your wider readership?
    Search me squire.

    • Chas Newkey-Burden says:

      Must admit I assumed you were far too young to recall Selwyn Gummer! Well, we all make mistakes, as you showed so hilariously higher up this thread.

      Hmmm, Steve Bell: http://cifwatch.com/2009/11/11/does-steve-bell-read-stormfront/

      • blahblahblah says:

        There’s a typo here Chas-where it says as you showed so hilariously…
        it should’ve read as I showed so hilariously…
        but we all make mistakes.
        Yeah,I did see that cifwatch thing aimed at Steve Bell-I wouldn’t want to speak for him but having followed his work for many years I think it’s fair to say he has a loathing for racism,fascism and so on-and I don’t think he’s very keen on imperialism and colonialism either.Without clicking on the link I’m thinking it’s a portrayal of Ariel Sharon putting his bloodied hands on the Wailing Wall.
        I’ll be 35 this year.My hair loss is at about the same stage as yours.

  10. Israelinurse says:

    Great idea Chas – looking forward to reading future instalments too.
    Now isn’t the Blah x3 approach very revealing? Rather than try to find out for himself exactly what was behind the misrepresented (deliberately, in my view) Livni statements, we get a knee-jerk ‘told you so’ reaction.
    Like so many others, he can only cope with information which he thinks supports his already entrenched opinions.
    And so,an attempt to prevent repetitions of the tragedy of Ghajar becomes ‘population transfer’ to the mind lacking in curiosity.

    • blahblahblah says:

      Why don’t you try clicking on my link,Israelinurse-Chas seems to be refering to different statements to me.You may dismiss my link just because it comes from Al-Jazeera-in that case who is displaying entrenched opinion and a mind lacking in curiosity?
      You might note that I refer to supposed comments also-
      is it to much to ask that you actually read a comment rather than skim it and asssume you have grasped what someone is saying?

      • cba says:

        blah, Livni wasn’t talking about “ethnic cleansing”–she was talking about how to solve, in the most humane way possible, the issue of villages that were divided into two by the 1949 Armistice Line (which, some time after the Six-Day War, started being called the 1967 “border”).

        She said that there would have to be a decision in each of those cases as to whether the border (a real one, not the pretend “1967″ one) would put the village in question within the new state of Palestine (and therefore all the villagers would be Palestinian citizens) or within Israel (and therefore all the villagers would be Israeli citizens).

        That the Guardian (and you, of course) would twist such a common-sense and humane approach into another “look how evil Israel is” moment is completely unsurprising.

        • blahblahblah says:

          That the Guardian (and you, of course)
          Another person who can’t be arsed to click on a link helpfully provided.Of course Zippy wasn’t talking about ethnic cleansing-nobody who is threatening ethnic cleansing uses those words.

  11. Shmuel says:

    “blahblahblah” – well named. He is the gift that keeps on giving. What a douchebag.

  12. Jack says:

    It’s strange that people get so worked up about the idea of the *possibility* of some arab Israelis being moved from their land as part of a final status solution to the conflict, when those same people seem to have absolutely no problem at all with the idea of Jews being moved from their land to somewhere else (after all, the Jews wouldn’t have the *option* even of staying on the land and being citizens of a different state). That Al Jazeera link shows arabs proclaiming their wish to stay where they are because they were born there. The sam eis of course true of plenty of Jews in the disputed territories.

    If any Israeli leader is to find a way to solve the problems there, messy and somewhat difficult decisions will need to be made. The same is true of the Palestinian leaders. The desire of some to demonise any leader who dares to even discuss the options that may need to be considered is very telling: they’re not interested in reconciliation and resolution. They are interested only in perpetuating conflict and killing.

  13. Chris L says:

    Thanks for the post Chas – some of it I knew and some I didn’t about my favourite living statesman!

    Coincidentally only a few days ago I finished ‘Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu’, Bibi’s older brother, the leader of the Entebbe rescue operation (and sadly also the only casualty). I cannot recommend the book enough. It’s a compilation of his letters to family, friends and the women he loved from his late teens/early 20s to a few days before he died. Like his brother, he comes across as a truly noble man; a warrior and thinker in one person.

    Would that there were more people like the Netanyahu brothers.

  14. Zkharya says:

    ‘When Palestinian terrorists hijacked an aeroplane approaching Israel in 1972, he was among the commando team that successfully carried out the rescue mission, during which he was shot in the arm. ‘

    Are you sure about this? His brother Yoni is, of course, famous.

  15. Zkharya says:

    I beg your pardon. I totally misread you, and confused 1972 with 1976. Sorry.

    • Chas Newkey-Burden says:

      No problem! I think – not sure – Ehud Barak was in same operation as Bibi.

      • SteveR says:

        Ehud dressed as a woman as they landed in Beruit. The expression on the terrorists face as he was despatched must have been a moment to behold.

  16. susan says:

    I love Israel too. And, in spite of how difficult they can be, they are cousins to me as a Christian and I am deeply indebted to the Jews for the scriptures. I greatly admire what I know and see of Bibi.
    Also, anyone who expects the Jewish people to give up Israel is in a fantasy. Never, ever, will happen.

  17. Squeaky McCrinkle says:

    2- As Saddam Hussein attacked Israel with scud missiles in 1991, Netanyahu was being interviewed in a CNN studio. He placed a gas mask over his face and carried on with the interview.

    As I recall, Netanyahu also “confirmed” that one of the missiles was definitely armed with a chemical warhead.

    I’m glad that he doesn’t speak for all Israelis.

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