PM addresses US-Israel relations, ISIS, Iran, radical Islam, Israel as a light to the nations; Netanyahu: I am confident that the United States and Israel will stand together, shoulder to shoulder, to ensure that light triumphs over darkness and hope triumphs over despair.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington live from Jerusalem on Monday, addressing US-Israel relations, Iran, radical Islam and Israel’s achievements in technology, security and growing international relations worldwide.
The Prime Minister began by emphasizing the strong bond between Israel and the United States, then addressing Iran and radical Islam as a mutual threat. He stated, “Israel has no greater friend than America and America has no greater friend than Israel. For the security of both Israel and the United States, we must ensure that the forces of militant Islam are defeated. We won’t let them drag humanity away from the promise of a bright future to the misery of a dark past. I am confident that the United States and Israel will stand together, shoulder to shoulder, to ensure that light triumphs over darkness and hope triumphs over despair.”
Specifically addressing Iran and the Islamic State, he stated “That means preventing Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons. That is our policy; it will always be our policy. And our partnership means also confronting Iran’s aggression in the region and its terrorism around the world. It means utterly vanquishing ISIS – not partly – utterly vanquishing ISIS. It means building alliances with moderates in the region, those moderates who seek to build a better future and embrace modernity and peace. In this battle between modernity and medievalism, more and more countries in the region and outside the region, around the world, realize that Israel is on their side.”
Netanyahu spoke of the assistance the State of Israel has provided to foreign states in combatting terror, as well as its assistance globally in humanitarian efforts and disaster relief, stating, “Where terrorism threatens innocent people, Israel is there, with unmatched intelligence and counterterrorism capabilities. Where people are suffering from hunger and thirst, as in Africa, Israel is there with technologies that help feed the world’s hungry and literally create water out of thin air. Where hackers threaten the critical networks of our lives – our banks, our transportation and power plants – Israel is there, with incredible cyber capabilities to help protect all of us. Where natural disasters strike around the world, Israel is there too, with rescue and medical services second to none.”
He went on to state, “All of this is possible because of Israeli ingenuity and Israeli determination. It’s the same ingenuity and determination that has built our strong army, our robust economy, our resilient society. But we haven’t done it alone. Israel wouldn’t be the country it is today without the steadfast support of the United States of America. All of you should be proud of the work you’ve done to strengthen that friendship year after year, decade after decade.”
On US-Israel relations, specifically under the Trump Administration, Netanyahu spoke of the progress and action under the Administration stating “I am confident our alliance will grow even stronger in the years ahead. As you know, I had an exceptionally warm meeting with President Trump last month. I want to thank the President for his strong support for Israel. I want to thank Vice President Pence for his warm words for Israel last night. The administration is showing its commitment to Israel by turning those words into policies. You see that reflected, you see that expressed in Ambassador Haley’s standing up for what’s right for Israel and the truth at the United Nations. You see it in the budget request submitted by President Trump. It leaves military aid to Israel fully funded, even as the fiscal belt is pulled tighter. And we appreciate that.”
He thanked the United States for its continued support, stating that the “In Israel we are deeply grateful for the generous support of the President, the Congress and the American people. We know, as you do, that this support is an investment in our common security and in our common future. Because we confront the same enemies and we defend the same values. Our open societies, our respect for the rule of law and the many freedoms we rightly cherish – these are the things that bring Americans and Israelis together.”
He spoke of the Palestinian Authority and the dire need to end its corrupt education of Palestinian youth, specifically anti-Semitism and hate, emphasizing “It must stop teaching hatred to its children. It must stop paying terrorists. It must stop denying our legitimacy and our history. It must above all, once and for all, recognize the Jewish state.”
On the peace process, he stated that “Israel is committed to working with President Trump to advance peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors,” speaking about Israel’s growing relations with Arab states in its common fight against radical Islam and the Islamic State. He stated “I believe that the common dangers faced by Israel and many of our Arab neighbors now offer a rare opportunity to build bridges towards a better future – a future more prosperous, more secure, more peaceful. And to achieve that future, Israel will stand ever vigilant, never compromising our security, always ready to defend ourselves.”
He addressed Israel’s strength amidst the BDS movement, regional conflict and growing anti-Semitism, stating, “We will defend ourselves not only on the physical battlefield, but also on the moral battlefield. We will defend ourselves against slander and boycotts. We will speak clearly against anti-Semitism from any quarter.”
He also spoke of the need for the international community to do more to return the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, two soldiers killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, their remains held by Hamas. Netanyahu called on “our friends in America and around the world to demand that Hamas free Israeli hostages and enable the Goldin and Shaul families to bury their fallen sons.”
He thanked AIPAC for being a “critical partner in strengthening the alliance between our countries” as well as “building broad bipartisan support for Israel” to ensure that our alliance will stand the test of time. Your commitment to Israel makes you a part of the rebirth of the Jewish people, the renewal of Jewish sovereignty in our ancestral homeland.”