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Bibi My Story By Benjamin Netanyahu

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Details of Bibi My Story By Benjamin Netanyahu Book 

  • Book Name: Bibi My Story 
  • Authors: Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Pages: 675 
  • Genre: Autobiography, Biography
  • Publish Date: 18 October 2022
  • Language: English

Book Review:

JUDY WOODRUFF: As we reported, Ukraine is asking the Israeli government for air defense assistance to combat Russia's campaign of drone strikes that are crippling critical infrastructure. 

That request comes as Israelis are poised to head to the polls for the fifth time in the last several years to elect a new government. Israel's longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is running to regain the post he lost last year. 

I spoke with him this afternoon about a host of issues facing Israel and the world, as well as his new memoir, "Bibi: My Story," which is out this week. Prime Minister Netanyahu, thank you very much for talking with us. And I do want to ask you about the book, but let me start with the news from Ukraine. 

As you know, the Russians are now under pressure. They are aiming indiscriminately at Ukrainian civilians, using these drones, killing people. This is after months of pounding civilians in that country. Is there a good defense for what Vladimir Putin is doing, do you think? 

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Former Israeli Prime Minister: No. But I think that, beyond the tragedy and horrors of Ukraine, there is a larger issue of where this conflict is going. A year ago, it seemed that it would be contained and resolved within the confines of Ukraine. 

But -- and I certainly hoped that that would be the case. I no longer can say that this conflict will not spiral out of control and have ominous global implications. Obviously, the most ominous one, aside from shortage of food, shortage of wheat, shortage of protein, and the other horrible things that are happening that could affect countries around the world, I think the possibility of a nuclear exchange, or the use of nuclear weapons, even tactical nuclear weapons, is something that I would have discounted completely a year ago. 

And I would say it's still not likely, but it's no longer impossible. And I think this is, by far, the greatest danger and the greatest horror that we face after 77 years in which the world did not witness the use of these weapons. 

JUDY WOODRUFF: I hear you, but, in the meantime, this is, as you know, mainly a conventional war. We are seeing Russia, again, pound civilians. And you have said you think that Israel's position on the war is mainly correct, largely staying out of it and denying repeated requests from Ukraine for lethal weapons. 

Today, there are reports that Ukraine is asking Israel for early warning defensive equipment. Why not make that available? BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, the government has decided the way -- the present government, which has fallen, and, in fact, is going to elections in two weeks. And I hope to replace them. 

They have decided what they have decided, to basically limit Israel's support to substantial humanitarian aid. We have taken in more Ukrainian refugees, Jews and non-Jews, proportionately, probably than any other country. They have sent field hospitals. They have done other things. 

JUDY WOODRUFF: I'm asking because, as you know, the question is out there, at what point, does it make sense to respond to these humanitarian needs, rather than worrying or being mainly focused on placating, frankly, Vladimir Putin because of Syria? 

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, it's not placating. There is a -- Russian and Israeli planes are literally flying next to each other and could bump into each other, and we could provoke a Russian-Israeli war. That's the reason there is caution the Israeli side. But you can ask the same question, why doesn't NATO intervene? Because it's complicated, obviously. 

And even though there are unquestionable horrors that are being perpetrated against the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian civilians, there is the larger question of, what happens when one side has nuclear weapons? And I think that leads to the point that I have been trying to make for decades. It's bad enough that you have these nuclear weapons. Do you want Iran to have nuclear weapons and threaten the entire world, chanting "Death to America" and "America the Great Satan"? Not a good idea. 

JUDY WOODRUFF: And I do want to ask you about Iran in just a moment. But in some documents that were recently released, former President Obama is described as putting you in the camp of world leaders who subscribe to what he called Putinism. And we were reminded today that there were billboards in Israel in an election in 2019 that showed you with Vladimir Putin. Is he still your friend, your ally? 

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I don't know if he was my ally, but we had a common interest in Syria and avoiding an Israeli war. And, yes, I worked that corridor because I thought it was in the interest of my country. It wasn't -- it wasn't a love affair, as people describe it. I also disagree with the President Obama, not for the first time. 

Although I respect him, I disagree with him. He was friends with Erdogan. Erdogan was perhaps one of his closest friends. And I have had a running feud with Erdogan. I mean, I suppose our relations with Turkey have improved because he's calling me -- he called me Hitler not every six hours, but every 12 hours. 

But Erdogan is a classic authoritarian leader, if you will, falling into the category that President Obama described. And he was supporting him. He was also very friendly to the regime in Tehran. And you can see today what that regime amounts to. I mean, it is murdering its citizens. 

Its brave women are coming out and fighting for their freedom. I'm sorry. No, I'm not -- I'm not an authoritarian. JUDY WOODRUFF: And when it comes to Iran, you have argued all along that the Iran nuclear deal was a mistake. President -- former President Trump agreed with you. 

He saw that the U.S. pulled out of that deal. It's now in great jeopardy, whether that deal will ever be revived. But, in the meantime, Iran has built up its nuclear capacity. It's closer than ever to having a bomb. So how is Israel safer as a result of what -- of what you advocated? 

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: The deal doesn't stop it. I mean, I sent -- I describe this in my book. I sent the Mossad to the heart of Tehran to pilfer the secret atomic archives of Iran. They brought it to Israel. 

And Hollywood couldn't even begin to describe this chase and -- in the streets of Tehran against our agents who got the material out, got themselves out. And they brought the archive, the secret atomic archive of Iran, to Israel. And when we looked at it, we could see that they were cheating. 

They had, as early as 2003, had a secret plan to build five -- that's 20 years ago -- five atomic bombs, Hiroshima-style bombs. And then they hid this program under civilian guise. But Iran cheats. And, look, there is no way to stop them. You can sign 100 agreements with them. 

You could signed agreements with North Korea. It doesn't mean anything. Iran is the worst of all, because it is a radical Islamic regime that is fundamentally opposed to our free way of life, our free societies, and calls and chants "Death to Israel," "Death to America." 

That's only going to be stopped not by any agreement. It's going to be stopped by the combination of crippling economic sanctions and a credible military option. If you're not prepared to do that, don't hide behind the agreements. The agreements are not going to stop Iran. 

They merely pave Iran's path to the bomb with gold, with hundreds of billions of dollars that they use both to accelerate their nuclear program and also to foment terrorism and aggression throughout the Middle East and the world. 

You want to stop Iran, stop it now. Stop it before they have nuclear weapons, because, once they do, you're not going to be able to. JUDY WOODRUFF: A few more questions. And, in the book -- I do want to focus on that -- you detailed your relationships with a number of American presidents in succession going back to President Reagan, President Bush, both Presidents Bush. 

When it comes to President Trump, it looked to many of us as if you had more positive things to say about what he did for Israel, what his posture was toward Israel. And yet, Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is just in the last few days that there are questions being raised about whether former President Trump has made antisemitic remarks. You saw it. 

He said American Jews should all support Israel -- quote -- "before it's too late." What do you make of that? BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, look, I don't think he's antisemitic. His daughter-in-law -- his daughter, rather, married his son-in-law, who is Jewish.