Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday night addressed the Palestinian Authority (PA) demand that Israel be banned from international soccer competitions with FIFA, a demand that is to be voted on this Friday unless the FIFA scandal delays it.
"The attempt to harm Israel will destroy FIFA, because if it starts with one state it will go on to a second state and this will collapse the organization," warned Netanyahu at a briefing with journalists.
He added, "the attempt to suspend Israel is very serious and we will oppose it with full strength."
Netanyahu then turned his attention to the demand of the European Union (EU) to restart peace talks with the PA, after EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday called for new talks.
"My position is that there needs to be global backing for construction in the blocs in the settlements," said Netanyahu, referring to the large concentrations of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
The PA recently said it will not restart peace talks on the basis of "settlement blocs," effectively denying the idea of leaving Jews in Judea and Samaria in the framework of an agreement.
Netanyahu's call for international support for Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria is made ironic by the fact that his government has covertly frozen all such building since late 2013 when the last talks started, despite no formulated international demand to do so.
Openness to gradual withdrawal?
"After what happened in Gaza due to the disengagement, how will that not repeat itself?," he posed, referring to how the Hamas terrorist group took control after Israel expelled all Jewish residents in 2005. "Who will deal with the tunnels? Who will deal with the weapons smuggling? The only answer is that Israel must militarily control for years. That's the only solution."
The phrasing "for years" brings to mind reports from the last failed round of peace talks in which there was discussion of the IDF maintaining a temporary presence in Judea and Samaria before being completely withdrawn after several years.
The prime minister continued, "there are things that have lost their freshness, like for example the demand that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights or the matter of the refugees."
"That hasn't been up to date for 13 years already, there are positive and negative things about it. Several things have happened in the Middle East and the general idea of an attempt to achieve understanding with several leading countries in the Arab world – that's a good idea," said Netanyahu.
Speaking about the rocket fire from Gaza this Tuesday, he said, "this is the quietest year (in terms of security) in the last decade, quieter than it was after (Operations) Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense."
"Five rockets have been fired and Hamas hurried to stop those firing and to give clarifications," said Netanyahu. "That reveals a balance of deterrence."