Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu corrected CNN host Candy Crowley after she gave voice to a discredited attack on Israel's negotiation stance toward the Palestinians Sunday on State of the Union.
"One of the criticisms," Crowley said, "has been prior to this when you were dealing with Abbas, you had said, look, I don't know who I'm supposed to negotiate with. There's Hamas and then there's Abbas and Fatah. So now there's a unity government and you still don't want to talk to them. There's criticism here that this was an excuse for you to walk away —"
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"Sorry Candy, whoa," Netanyahu interjected. "No, Candy, no. I’m sorry. I heard that. I hear people write that. In fact, it's the very opposite," he said.
"I said right from the start, I said look, I could wait until President Abbas represents the entire Palestinian people. But in this case we'll wait until eternity and we won't have peace. I chose deliberately, openly, specifically, and explicitly to negotiate with that part of the Palestinian people that said it was willing to make peace with Israel. I said we're not going to try to include the other part that seeks our extermination. That's what I did. I've been very consistent on this."
A sheepishly corrected Crowley then asked if Netanyahu if the only circumstances he would consider negotiating again with the Palestinians would be if Abbas renounced Hamas or if Hamas renounced terrorism.
"I think that's a fair summation," Netanyahu said. "Either Hamas disavows the destruction of Israel and embraces peace and denounces terror or President Abbas renounces Hamas. If one of those things happened, we could get back to the peace negotiations. I hope that he renounces Hamas and I that hope he gets back to the peace table, as I've just said. The ball is in his court. It's his decision."