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Netanyahu: I’m hopeful about our region

January 15, 2017
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Photo: Michio Nagata/Bridges for Peace

“There is hope in your future,” says the LORD, “that your children shall come back to their own border.”     Jeremiah 31:17

The Middle East Is Changing

“I’m going to dispel a longstanding myth about me and I think you should brace yourselves. If you read some of the, well the other papers in this country you might come out with the impression that I’m a gloomy guy, that I’m pessimistic, that I’m a fear monger. So I’m glad you’re sitting down because what I’m about to tell you will startle you: I am supremely optimistic. In fact, I’ve never been more hopeful. I’m hopeful about Israel, I’m hopeful about our region, I’m hopeful about peace. I’m even hopeful about the UN, can you imagine that?”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Addressing the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference

“Mr. Ambassador, as you know the Middle East is changing. We must find the way to give strength to the voices of peace and stability. We must strengthen our common ground. When I spoke to President Erdogan, we spoke about the situation in Gaza. I want to thank him for his commitment to help return the Israelis and the bodies of our soldiers held by Hamas. Israel like Turkey places great importance in rebuilding the lives of the civilians in Gaza; in infrastructure, economy, energy, water, and more. This must be with the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority. It is also an important way to show that we can live together in this region.”

President Reuven Rivlin,
Welcoming Turkish ambassador to Israel

“Israel is the Jewish state and Azerbaijan is a Muslim state with a large Muslim majority. Here we have an example of Muslims and Jews working together to promise a better future for both of us. The world sees so much intolerance and darkness…This is an example of how the Muslim-Jewish relationship can and should be everywhere.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Speaking at joint press conference with Azerbaijan president


“I don’t see any other example in modern history of a country that has had to face a constant state of war, a constant state of emergency, having in its own space a very strong minority who might be tempted to take the path of the adversary, and yet sticks so firmly to its principles.”

Bernard-Henri Levy, French philosopher and author
Interview with The Israel Project



Looking at the Palestinian Peace Process

Photo: Kobi Gideon /GPO /Ashernet

“Israel’s position in the Arab world has changed because they no longer see Israel as their enemy, but as their ally, in their indispensable battle against the forces of militant Islam, either those led by Iran, the Shiites, or those led by ISIS, the militant Sunnis…Palestinians know—they look at Aleppo in Syria, and they look at Yemen, and they look at Libya, and they look at other places, and they know that our intention is coexistence.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
CBS “60 Minutes” interview with Leslie Stahl



“I think to achieve a real strategic breakthrough, to achieve a comprehensive reasonable solution between us and Palestinians we need somebody very strong that has support from his own people, is very popular, and somebody who is a real leader and ready to sacrifice something for peace…To speak frankly, what we need today is to enter an agreement for some years, to rebuild trust between the two sides, and to wait for real opportunity. Israel proved our desire to achieve real peace many times. But for this kind of solution you need, as I mentioned earlier, a real strong partner and I don’t see today on the Palestinian side these kinds of leaders.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Addressing the Saban Conference


“Whoever wants to see a future in which peace emerges between the sides, needs to invest in education today. This is an investment in the future and the effort will be well worth it in the long run. It is possible. I call on the international community to work together once again and invest in the Palestinian educational system and in the future of Palestinian children. Israeli children are raised on values of tolerance, innovation and entrepreneurship. Palestinian children are raised to hate and murder Jews. The situation is very tragic and it is high time we change it.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely,
Addressing the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference


A Nation-State for the Jewish People

“The Balfour Declaration recognized this land as a home for the Jewish people, which obviously had consequences later on down the line. But if the Palestinians, 100 years later, are challenging even the idea that the Jewish people have a home here, you know that they are not really gung-ho on…a nation-state for the Jewish people.”

“It’s not about territories, even though that’s an issue,” he continued. “It’s not about settlements, even though that’s an issue. But it’s not the issue. It’s not even about a Palestinian state…it was offered again and again and again. It was never and is still not about a Palestinian state. It’s always been about the Jewish state and the fact that there’s a challenge to the Balfour Declaration 100 years later tells you that we haven’t come very far.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Addressing the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem


“It [Balfour Declaration] is one of the most important letters in history,” May announced. “It demonstrates Britain’s vital role in creating a homeland for the Jewish people. And it is an anniversary we will be marking with pride.” Her comments come in the wake of threats by Palestinian officials to sue Britain over the declaration.

British Prime Minister Theresa May,
Addressing Conservative Friends of Israel


Source: See individual quotes

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