Because what it does is prevent peace. Suppose I reversed it. Suppose I said to the leader of the Palestinian authority, 'You know, that in all the final peace settlement negotiations the right of return, the flooding of Israel with refugees, would … not take place.'
Suppose I said to him, 'I want an indication now, before we enter indirect negotiations, that you dismantle some of these refugee camps. Dismantle four houses of refugees to show your commitment.' You would rightly say, 'Ah, Israel is trying now to load the deck. To stack the deck. It's trying not to enter in negotiations.'
And in fact that's exactly what the Palestinians are doing - to us. I want peace. I want to negotiate peace. I say let's remove all preconditions, including those on Jerusalem. Let's get into the room and negotiate peace without preconditions. That's the simplest way to get to peace.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Sir, it seems like you and President Obama then are still at odds on this whole issue of whether there should be a settlement freeze right now. If that's the case how do you get these talks started again?
NETANYAHU: No, in fact … I'm the one who initiated -- that's unprecedented. A settlement freeze - in the territories. Again, in Jerusalem, we're talking about neighborhoods, not settlements and their urban areas right next to this office in the heart of Jerusalem.
But look, I did three things when I came in and I think people have to understand how much we've taken steps for peace. First thing is I said, and I think … as a (pronunciation unclear) leader, it wasn't easy for me to do. I said we're ready to have a solution of peace of two states for two people.
Then I removed hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints, which makes the West Bank economy boom. I mean … they've got coffee shops. They've got shopping malls. They've got restaurants. They've got e-businesses. You name it. It's great. But it hasn't been done before. We helped make it happen because of the change of policy.
Third, I actually froze new construction in the … settlements for a period of 10 months, something that hasn't been done before and which Secretary of State Clinton said was unprecedented. That's what we did for peace because we want peace.
And unfortunately, the Palestinians so far have not responded in kind because what they've done is named public square honoring -- public squares, in fact, honoring terrorists who've murdered hundreds of innocent Israelis, including innocent Americans.
And they're loading the deck with all sorts of demands and requests for preconditions that make the starting of negotiations impossible. I hope they'll change their mind. I hope they'll enter negotiations. And … I don't think it's that difficult to do once you remove all these preconditions we've have never been put before. I think let's go back to negotiations directly and without preconditions. Or indirectly. But without preconditions. That's the way to get to peace.