PM Netanyahu addresses NATO member state ambassadors
?PM Netanyahu: "We have a longstanding policy to prevent the transfer of
game-changing weapons to Hezbollah from Syrian territory. This policy has
not changed. We back it up as necessary with action."
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 9 January 2017), in
Jerusalem, attended a lunch with NATO member state ambassadors to Israel,
chaired by Greek Ambassador to Israel Bikas Konstantinos and said, "We have
a longstanding policy to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons to
Hezbollah from Syrian territory. This policy has not changed. We back it up
as necessary with action."
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"Ambassador, you outlined the great cooperation between NATO and Israel.
It's a natural one. NATO was created one year after Israel, it's a unique
alliance of democracies that share common values, committed to the
preservation of freedom, the protection and advancement of peace. Israel is
such a democracy as well. It's the only such democracy in this region and
therefore our cooperation is natural. It was somewhat overdue and it
received significant acceleration and flourishing following the opening of
our office in NATO headquarters in December of 2016. Beyond the many
important areas that you outlined, there are two issues that I think I want
to spell out for you which I think are important areas where Israel
contributes to the security of every single NATO country. And they both
have to do with radical Islam.
The world right now is threatened by radical Sunnis, led initially by
al-Qaeda, now by Daesh, by ISIS, and radical Shiites led by Iran. When we
talk about ISIS it's important to understand that Israel helps Europe in two
fundamental ways. The first is that we have, through our intelligence
services, have provided information that has stopped several dozen major
terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries. Some of these could
have been mass attacks, of the worst kind that you have experienced on the
soil of Europe and even worse, because they involve civil aviation. Israel
has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives.
The second assistance that Israel has given to Europe and NATO has been the
prevention of the establishment of what I call ISIS West in the Sinai. There
is, as ISIS is contracting and is being destroyed in Iraq and Syria, it is
trying to establish an alternative territorial base in the Sinai. Israel is
contributing to preventing that in myriad ways, and in general I would say
that Israel is the most powerful indigenous force in the Middle East that
fights radical Islam.
Now to the second stream of radical Islam. That's Iran. Why is Iran so
dangerous? Because it is, as Kissinger said, a cause, not a country. And the
cause is worldwide domination under their brand of Islamic militancy. We are
the small Satan, you're – no offence – the middle sized Satan, America is
the great Satan, but they have designs on all of us. Iran is dangerous
because this radical ideology seeks to acquire nuclear weapons. The first
task is to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The second reason they are so dangerous is because they're trying to
establish an empire, a territorial empire from Tehran to Tartus in the
Mediterranean, enveloping the Middle East also from the south through Yemen,
eventually conquering the Middle East. This is what Iran is about.
We are absolutely committed to preventing Iran from forming such a base, a
military base in Syria, and we back our words with action. And this is
dangerous for you too because the conquest of the Middle East by Iran would
eventually effect all of your interests. Here's the third and specific
interest that you should be concerned with. As part of Iran's plans of
conquest and colonization of Syria, they want to bring in as many as 100,000
Shiites, Shiite fighters, imported into Iran - Non-Iranians under Iranian
command. If you think you had a reaction to ISIS, that is, to radical Islam,
radical Sunni Islam, and this is what really is happening in Syria, this is
correct. So half a million were butchered, millions were uprooted from their
homes and millions went to Europe. They didn't go anywhere else, they just
went to Europe. And that maybe about to end, one hopes, this tragedy I hope
But if Iran realizes its goal of bringing in 100,000 Shiite fighters into
Iran, this will reignite the same conflict and you'll have the son of ISIS
and the grandson of al-Qaeda that will be fighting this new Shiite force.
Where will the spillover happen? In Europe. Where will the human flow go? To
Europe. Who's preventing that right now? Israel. Right now Israel alone.
But I maintain that this is a common interest that we have with NATO. So my
message to you today is, radical Islam, either Shiite or Sunni, threatens
all of us. Israel is fighting both. Israel seeks your cooperation. You have
a statement and a sl ogan in NATO which I think is particularly apt: "An
attack on one is an attack on all". An attack by radical Islam from
whichever direction on any of our democracies is an attack on all our
democracies. This is not merely a statement of abstract principle, this is
simple truth. So I submit to you that what we should do is increase our
cooperation for our common interests, our common security and for the quest