Netanyahu thanks Blinken for US support, says ‘barbarians of Hamas’ must be crushed

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses the media together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on October 12, 2023 (Screencapture)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses the media together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on October 12, 2023 (Screencapture)

“Mr. Secretary, my good friend Tony, thank you for your important visit here today,” says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in English to US Secretary of State Tony Blinken at the start of their joint statements in Tel Aviv.

“Thank you, thanks to President Biden, and thank you to the American people for your incredible support for Israel in our war against the barbarians of Hamas,” Netanyahu says.

He then thanks them in Hebrew, and says “Mr. Secretary, you have come to a hurting nation, a fighting nation, a nation of lions, a nation that is determined to defeat the forces of evil around us.”

Switching back to English, Netanyahu says that the visit “is another tangible example of America’s unequivocal support for Israel.”

“Hamas has shown itself to be an enemy of civilization. The massacring of young people in an outdoor music festival, the butchering of entire families, the murder of parents in front of their children and the murder of children in front of their parents. The burning of people alive. The beheadings. The kidnappings – of a young boy, not only kidnapped, molested, hurt, attacked,” Netanyahu says.

Netanyahu also laments “the sickening display of celebrating these horrors — the celebration and glorification of evil.”

“President Biden was absolutely correct in calling this sheer evil,” Netanyahu continues. “Hamas is ISIS, and just as ISIS was crushed, so too should Hamas be crushed.”

“And Hamas should be treated exactly as ISIS was treated,” Netanyahu declares. “They should be spit out from the community of nations. No leader should meet them. No country should harbor them. And those that do should be sanctioned,” he says.

“There will be many difficult days ahead, Netanyahu says, but he has “no doubt that the forces of civilization will win, and the reason that’s true is because we understand what is the first prerequisite of victory. It’s what you just said in our meeting — moral clarity.”

“This is a time, a particular time, a special time, that we must stand tall, proud and united against evil. Tony, you are taking that stand; America is taking that stand,” he says.

“Thank you, America, for standing with Israel today, tomorrow, and always, “ he concludes, then shares a firm handshake with Blinken.

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