In Fox News interview, Netanyahu addresses Israel’s growing relations with Arab states in combatting common threat of radical Islam; PM: They don’t view us anymore as their enemy, but increasingly they see us as their ally against a common threat.
In an interview with Fox News before returning to Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about his successful meeting with President Trump, as well as the growing support and future alliances of Arab states with the State of Israel, speaking at length of the threat of nuclear Iran to the globe.
Netanyahu referred to his meeting with Trump as not only historical, but as a “meeting of the minds and a meeting of the heart”. He stated that Israel and the United States, as Trump said himself have “an even stronger alliance. A new day, he called it. Maybe a new age.”
On Israel’s growing relations with Arab states, particularly Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates, Netanyahu spoke of Israel and Arab states as combatting the same threat of radical Islam.
When asked about Netanyahu’s remarks during his White House press conference Wednesday with President Trump on how “Arab countries do not see Israel as an enemy, but as an ally,” as well as Netanyahu’s remarks in the past that “One of the benefits of the Iran deal is that it brought you and your Arab neighbors together,” Netanyahu responded by stating “I think there is a change, and the change is coming because of the rise of radical Islam.”
He went on to state that “Radical Islam has two fountainheads: The radical Sunnis led by ISIS and before that, by Al Qaida, and the radical Shiites led by Iran. The Arab countries are threatened by both, and when they look around they say ‘who is going to help us from these twin threats?’ Well, there is one country in the region that’s powerful, that’s determined, that’s resolved to fight this common enemy- and that is Israel. So they don’t view us anymore as their enemy, but increasingly they see us as their ally against a common threat.”
When asked specifically about Israel’s forging alliances with the Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians in relation to Iran’s efforts to gain “hegemony in the region”, Netanyahu stated, “That’s an understatement. They think Iran will cut their throats- and they are right…”
On US-Israel relations under the Obama Administration, particularly amidst the nuclear deal with Iran, Netanyahu stated, “We also had our differences-the most important was on Iran. The Arab countries sort of whispered things in the dark. I had to speak out for everyone in the region. But now, it is not nearly in the region- people understand that Iran is a malevolent force and the nuclear deal with Iran, if it is kept, the deal essentially said this, it said no bomb today, 100 bombs tomorrow, in 10 years. Now the assumption was, people (would say) ‘Well, okay, we’re kicking the can down the road.’ But this nuclear can of a single bomb then becomes the capacity to make dozens and dozens of bombs. And Iran doesn’t change its attitude. Iran has become more aggressive, more deadly, sponsoring more terrorism,” emphasizing “with a lot more money,” referring to growing economic growth and partnership between Iran with European states, most recently Sweden.
He referred the threat of a nuclear Iran to the globe as a “roaring tiger,” that “if it not stopped, it will devour all of us, we are all prey to this militant Islamic regime that will arm itself with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that will reach you,” adding “They’ve killed Americans all over the place. They’ve sponsored terrorism against Americans all over the place.”
Speaking of Iran’s missile program he stated, “Now they’re going to build ICBMs, intercontinental ballistic missiles, that can reach the United States and have multiple warheads to do that? That’s horrible. It’s dangerous for America, its dangerous for Israel, its dangerous for the Arabs. Everyone now understands it, and there is an American president who understands it, and we are talking about what to do about this common threat.”