Netanyahu Interviewed in Jerusalem Post
Speaking of bad PR, why do you think that the Israeli settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are such an explosive issue?
I don't think they are. They are presented as such. But it is a fact that when Barak was prime minister, when he offered practically the entire territory of Judea and Samaria, including the uprooting of dozens of settlements, Arafat merely pocketed the offer and proceeded to the real aim of the conflict, which is the eradication of the rest of pre-1967 Israel. The settlements are a smokescreen under which Palestinian and Arab propaganda tries to reverse causality. What they typically do is present the results of Arab aggression as the cause of the problem.
Now they are saying that the settlements or our being in the territories is the cause of the problem. But of course, when we were attacked from these very territories in 1967, there wasn't a single Israeli soldier or settlement there. That came about as a result of Arab aggression, not the cause of it. They did the same thing about 1948 in 1967. Then they said the cause of the conflict was the refugees, but there wasn't one refugee in the Middle East when five Arab armies attacked us. What they consistently do is turn the results of this aggression against us.