Middle East: An opportunity for new alliances

June 10, 2015 Agencies
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The turmoil in the Middle East presents an opportunity for new alliances that can help bring about a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an hour long address at the closing of the 2015 Herzliya Conference.

Benjamin Netanyahu   Photo: Erez Harodi - Osim Tzulim

Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Erez Harodi – Osim Tzulim

“I committed to two states at Bar Ilan,” he said. “The solution as I see it is a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes Israel as a Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.

“The Palestinians expect us to recognize a Palestinian state. But they won’t recognize a Jewish state for the Jewish people. That’s what we want. Mutual recognition,” he added.

Netanyahu said the crisis engulfing much of the Arab world presents an opportunity for Israel to form new alliances. “The trepidation of the Sunni states from Iran on the one hand, and Isis on the other, creates potential for cooperation,” he said.

“Perhaps it could help resolve the problem we want to resolve with the Palestinians. Because I don’t want a one state solution,” he said.

He also spoke about danger of an Arab arms race in response to a nuclear Iran. Some states will seek nuclear weapons of their own, he said, while each of them will substantially increase their stocks of conventional weapons.

“It won’t make Israel safer,” he said, regarding the emerging nuclear deal with Iran. He said he’s spoken to Arab leaders, and “no one believes that this deal with block Iran’s path to the bomb, or many bombs.”

Netanyahu also noted that Iran has been involved in “cyber attacks on Saudi Arabia, and even the United States”.

Netanyahu also outlined an economic development program, with the goal of raising Israel growth rate to 5%.

The program is based on developing new markets in areas such as China and India, developing new products in areas such as cyber security, improving telecommunications and transportation for greater connectivity online and between regions of Israel, and developing Israel’s natural energy resources.

“There is no security without a strong economy,” he said. “And there is no prosperity without growth.”

Preceding Netanyahu, Former Prime Minister and Former Minister of Defense Lt. Gen. (res.) Ehud Barak discussed the issue of the international legitimacy of Israel and its challenge facing the BDS movement.

Barak argued that only the core of the BDS movement is against Israel for what it is, regardless the actions it takes. “We must today create a barrier between the millions in the free world and the hard nucleus of BDS. A government that operates decisively to separate from the Palestinians shifts the attention to the Palestinians.”

“The international legitimacy is fundamental source of power for Israel nowadays. Had Israel been willing to concentrate the building in settlement blocks and stop it outside of it, fundamentally changes Israel’s situation. The lack of distinction between settlement blocks and outside them is very dangerous. The building beyond this settlement blocks essentially endangers the settlements themselves.”

 Barak also called for a regional arrangement, including the moderate Arab countries, The Palestinians and Israel. “Against the Palestinians Israel can mostly give. In front of the entire Arab world, Israel can get a lot. This is the source of a great opportunity of a regional arrangement.”



One Response to “Middle East: An opportunity for new alliances”
  1. Gil Solomon says:

    Contrary to what others may think, I find Netanyahu an abysmal Prime Minister who shows no leadership when it comes to elevating Israel as a sovereign nation in control of its own destiny.

    Under him, Israel is incapable of making unilateral decisions in its own self interests.
    He keeps babbling on a about a two state solution, a “solution” endorsed by Israel’s enemies that will never get off the ground. How many failures will it take for this man to come to the conclusion that Israel must make unilateral decisions on borders, the illegal (UN sponsored) so called “Palestinian” settlements surrounding Jerusalem and dotting the landscape of the Negev and a myriad of other issues?

    Why has this administration opened up the border with Gaza and resumed the free flow of tens of thousands of tons of cement to be imported again into Gaza? This is in spite of a spate of missile attacks from Gaza into Israel. Does some fool in his cabinet think that this time this material will not go into tunnel construction?
    Why has he not followed the Egyptian actions in respect to that country’s border with Gaza? At least Egypt under el-Sisi knows what he is doing in his fight against terrorism.

    Netanyahu, to hysterical applause, is often found babbling on about a united and indivisible Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish nation when right bang smack in the middle there is the most revered piece of real estate in all of Judaism, the Temple Mount, where former Jewish Temples stood and which today Jews are not permitted to enter in groups of 10 or more lest they be seen to be forming a Minyan and heaven forbid, moving their lips in prayer.
    This sorry state of affairs is the result of the stupidity of the Jewish nation showing magnanimity in victory after the 1967 war, by leaving the Muslim Waqf in control of the Temple Mount, when they should have been unceremoniously kicked out. It is time to retake control of the Temple Mount, if not now, then when?

    Even in the last war with Hamas in 2014, Netanyahu’s stated aims were to restore “quiet” for Israel “for a period of time”.
    Restore “quiet” for “a “period of time”!!
    Is the man out of his mind?
    Whatever happened to the aims of war being the unconditional surrender of the enemy?

    Netanyahu may have once been a courageous Sayeret Matkal commando but as a leader, he doesn’t have what it takes. He can only give speeches which on close examination indicate weakness and a capitulation of sovereignty.

    Israeli democracy, where one useless coalition follows the other is a train wreck waiting to happen. A political basket case to be sure.

    The country is in urgent need of a dictatorship of sorts to get its house in order before attempting to attend to the various external problems confronting the nation.
    Do I think this will happen any time soon, probably only when pigs will fly.
    In the meantime this train wreck will roll on.

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