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Netanyahu: Boycott movement aims to destroy Israel

June 9, 2015 10:10 A.M. (Updated: June 9, 2015 5:49 P.M.)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek in Jerusalem, June 8, 2015. (POOL/AFP, Debbie Hill)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a Palestinian-led campaign to snub Israeli goods sought the "elimination" of Israel, following a boycott row with French telecoms giant Orange.

"I think it's important that the international community stop giving the Palestinians a free pass," Netanyahu said after meeting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek.

"They're engaging in BDS, which calls for the elimination of Israel," said Netanyahu of the grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

BDS has been the central theme for Israeli politicians and media since last week when the chief executive of Orange said his firm was planning to withdraw its brand from Israel.

Stephane Richard's comments came just four weeks after the publication of a report accusing Orange of indirectly supporting settlement activity through its relationship with Partner Communications.

Israel reacted furiously, accusing Orange of succumbing to BDS pressure.

Netanyahu cited what he called "one of the leaders" of BDS as stating that its real aim was "to bring down the State of Israel."

The international community regards all Israeli construction on Palestinian land seized during the 1967 Six-Day War as illegal.

"Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel," Netanyahu added.

"It's a rejectionist extremist Palestinian position in which there is no room for Israel in any borders."

In March, shortly before the Israeli election, Netanyahu said that he would not allow a Palestinian state if reelected, in comments he has since sought to distance himself from.

He also vowed he would never allow the Palestinians to establish a capital in occupied East Jerusalem and pledged to build "thousands" of settler homes.

The premier on Monday spoke with Zaoralek of the need to return to "direct negotiations without preconditions" with Palestinian officials, professing his commitment to "a solution of two states for two peoples."

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
Mel / UK
"So far but no further..". Bibi should reflect on the words of Henry Siegman. No "slaughter of innocents" by so-called Israeli "righteous victims".
09/06/2015 11:52
Carol Scheller / Switzerland
"Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel." So, no 2-state solution is possible, according to the Prime MInister ? What does he suggest as an alternative ? An eternal occupation ? Is this what Israeli citizens want ?
09/06/2015 14:19
Brian Cohen / Israel
Gosh, Mel. I guess you agree that the Palestinians do have the right to slaughter innocents. They've been doing it for decades by blowing planes out of the sky or slaughtering Israeli civilians in buses and restaurants. You should reflect on the fact that international laws do indeed apply to Pals.
09/06/2015 15:15
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