Netanyahu tells foreign press: Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender

Amy Spiro is a reporter and writer with The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement to foreign media outlets, October 30, 2023. (GPO/Screenshot)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement to foreign media outlets, October 30, 2023. (GPO/Screenshot)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas.

“Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities after the horrific attacks of October 7,” says Netanyahu in comments in English to the foreign media. “Calls for a ceasefire are a call for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terror, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen. Ladies and gentlemen, the Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war.”

Netanyahu says nobody would have called on the US to agree to a ceasefire following the Pearl Harbor attack during World War II.

“The horrors that Hamas perpetrated on October 7 remind us that we will not realize the promise of a better future unless we, the civilized world, are willing to fight the barbarians. Because the barbarians are ready to fight us… and usher in a world of fear and darkness,” says Netanyahu.

“This is a turning point — for leaders and for nations,” he says. “It is time for all of us to decide if we are willing to fight for a future of hope and promise or surrender to tyranny and terror.”

He says Israel has been at war since October 7. “Israel did not start this war. Israel did not want this war. But Israel will win this war.”

He calls the Hamas onslaught “the worst savagery our people have seen since the Holocaust. Hamas murdered children in front of their parents, murdered parents in front of their children. They burned people alive, they raped women, they beheaded men, they tortured Holocaust survivors, they kidnapped babies.”

He stresses Iran’s role in financing Hamas and the rest of the “axis of evil… an axis of terror” in the Middle East and beyond. “In fighting Hamas and the Iranian axis of terror, Israel is fighting the enemies of civilization itself.”

Victory begins with moral clarity, he says, in comments on the death toll of Palestinians in Gaza.

“It begins with knowing the difference between good and evil, between right and wrong… It means making a moral distinction between the deliberate murder of the innocent and the unintentional casualties that accompany every legitimate war.”

“As long as Hamas’s use of Palestinian human shields results in the international community blaming Israel, Hamas will continue to use [the practice] as a tool of terror,” he warns. “Hamas will continue to use the basements in Gaza’s hospitals as the command posts of its vast terror tunnel network. It will continue to use mosques as fortified military positions and weapon depots. It will continue to steal fuel and humanitarian assistance from UN facilities.”

“While Israel is doing everything to get Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep Palestinian civilians in harm’s way,” he says.

Turning to the hostages held by Hamas, he urges every civilized nation to stand with Israel in demanding that these hostages are freed immediately and unconditionally.

“Israel will stand against the forces of barbarism until victory. I hope and pray that civilized nations everywhere will back this fight,” he says. “Because Israel’s fight is your fight; because if Hamas and Iran’s axis of evil win, you will be their next target. That’s why Israel’s victory will be your victory.”

Make no mistake, he concludes, “regardless of who stands with Israel, Israel will fight until this battle is won. And Israel will prevail.”

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