Netanyahu: Time for countries to go public over ties with Israel, show support

Israel encounters bias at international forums, while simultaneously forging new ties with many countries – especially Arab ones. Netanyahu says this must change, and they must publicly support Israel.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for a change in the way countries that have ties with Israel display and express them publicly, adding that Israel is experiencing a dramatic and  positive shift in its ties with many countries, and primarily with the Arab world in the Middle East.

In remarks to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu talked about the bias Israel encounters at international forums such as the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), while many countries are forging new ties with the Jewish State.

“We live in an era where there are two parallel but contradictory trends regarding the State of Israel. The first one is all too familiar to you and that’s the ongoing multinational hostility to Israel… we know that in many of these multinational forums, Israel is singled out,” he said, expressing hope that this trend would change one day. However, “in some senses it’s getting worse.”

The opposing trend, which is happening simultaneously, is that of “small countries” such as India, China, Japan, Russia that are establishing diplomatic and economic ties with Israel. “Scarcely a week goes by that we don’t have a delegation from one of these countries of either political office-holders, or more and more entrepreneurs, heads of companies.”

A similar trend is happening in Africa and Latin America, and Netanyahu explained that they were coming to Israel for two reasons.

The first reason is the spread of Islamic global terrorism. Countries seek Israel’s vast knowledge and abilities in countering these threats.

The second reason countries are seeking ties with Israel is “to embrace the future, and they see Israel as a thriving, dynamic economy that has fostered innovation, that has great capabilities, and basically when they come for this reason, they come for three reasons: technology, technology and technology,” Netanyahu said

“They’re coming here because they want cyber security. They want to improve their management of their water resources. They want desalinization. They want recycling. They want agriculture. They want biotech. They want technology – Israeli technology, Israeli technology, Israeli technology,” he added

“And the combination of the battle against the forces of yesterday and the desire to embrace the opportunities of tomorrow makes them look around the world and they say, well, which country straddles both meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities? And they come to a conclusion increasingly: Israel.”

In an attempt to overcome the dissonance between Israel’s isolation in international forums and its blossoming ties with countries around the globe, Netanyahu says he now requests from countries to vote in favor of Israel.

“I think that we have to press this point. We shouldn’t be shy about it. We shouldn’t accept that there is this strange dichotomy and dissonance between the friendship and the alliances that are being built between Israel and the many countries and the way they vote about Israel in international forums…because as interests shift, as Israel becomes such an important country internationally, it’s important that this will be reflected in international forums as well,” he stated.

Dramatic Shift Towards Israel in the Arab World

The most dramatic shift is occurring “right here in the Middle East,” Netanyahu revealed. “Major Arab countries are changing their view of Israel…they don’t see Israel anymore as their enemy, but they see Israel as their ally, especially in the battle against militant Islam.

The countries feel threatened by Iran and by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and its affiliates “and they see Israel as their ally, not as their enemy, in confronting these threats. Now, this is something that is forging new ties, many of them discreet, some of them open.”

“And I think there too we can expect and should expect and should ask to see a change,” and make the ties public, the Israeli premier declared.

He added that in his view, better ties with Arab countries would influence the Palestinian arena. “I think that the encouragement of Arab states for a more realistic position on the part of the Palestinian Authority might contribute to a stabilizing situation and even advancing to a better future.”

“I think we live in a time of great change, rapid change…And I think that we have opportunities. We have opportunities to change our relations with the countries of the world, the countries of the Middle East and the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean. And we’re working vigorously…to realize that potential. Netanyahu concluded.

That being said, Netanyahu said that he US remained Israel’s closest ally. “We certainly will welcome Vice President Biden, who will come to visit us. I think it’s another reflection of this deep friendship between our countries. And I think the American people understand that in this turbulent Middle East and this turbulent world, America has no better friend than Israel and Israel has no better friend than the United States of America.”