Speaking on Mark Levin’s FOX News show “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Levin, “America has been the vanguard of freedom, and without the United States of America, you wouldn't have freedom in the world.”
“Well, I think, in one word, freedom – freedom,” stated Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in response to a question from Levin concerning what makes America so “profound” and “compelling.” “Because I think that America has been the vanguard of freedom, and without the United States of America, you wouldn't have freedom in the world. And freedom is what makes life worth living – freedom, innovation, informality. The fact that America is a meritocracy, okay?”
Below is a transcript of Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks from “Life, Liberty and Levin”
Mark Levin: “Let me ask you a question. You just returned to Boston, you went full circle. What is it about America that you find so profound and so compelling? You spend a lot of time here.”
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: “Well, I think, in one word, freedom – freedom. Because I think that America has been the vanguard of freedom, and without the United States of America, you wouldn't have freedom in the world. And freedom is what makes life worth living – freedom, innovation, informality. The fact that America is a meritocracy, okay? It's not a class society. If you're good, if you have the smarts and the ambition, you can do it, and this is a message for everybody. At least, it should be. That's the way I see in America. That's what I encountered in America and I thought should be brought to Israel. And in many ways, it influenced my thinkings, certainly on the questions of the economy and innovation, because I saw here great things.
“But there's something else, I mean, that anybody could tell if you they're objective about it. But I saw in America something else. I'm the leader of the Jewish state. The Jewish people underwent horrific tragedies, and the greatest tragedy befell us you in the 20th Century, the Holocaust.
“During the first half of the 20th Century when the Holocaust occurred, America was not the world leader, and we paid a horrible price for that. Then the state of Israel was established, and what a difference that made and the fact that America did become the leader of the world. It's made all the difference. So when I look at America, I don't only think of the principles of freedom. I think of America's defense of freedom in the world and its alliance with Israel and support for Israel. I have the deepest feelings about the United States of America for both reasons.”
Levin: “When you come to this country, do you notice the deepest feelings Americans have for the state of Israel? How does that make you feel?”
Netanyahu: “Makes me feel great. I’ll tell you, I walk out, you know, going from here to New York City – they let me walk out a bit from my cage. I go out, you know. I go with my wife to Central Park, and you know, Americans come and they clap. And I did go to mount Vernon here.”
Netanyahu: “Yeah, I wanted to pay my respects to George Washington, who was incredible. Incredible figure, people don't know, don't appreciate Washington for so many things. They appreciate it, but I learned a lot of things about him.
“I went there. There were people from all over the United States, and they applauded. But it's – I think it's an identity that most Americans feel about Israel, that we're part of the same civilization and in many ways, you know, what the Islamist radicals say about us, they say, ‘You are you. You are them, and they are you. You are the small Satan. They are the big Satan.’ No, we're not satanic. On the contrary, the very contrary, but we are exactly that: we're the same civilization, and Americans overwhelmingly understand that.”