Netanyahu lauded Israel’s diplomatic advances, which are opening new markets and routes around the world.
By Jack Gold, World Israel News
Israeli planes will soon be able to fly over the Gulf state of Oman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed on Monday at a conference of Israeli ambassadors held at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.
According to Netanyahu, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said gave permission for El Al flights to pass over his country on their way to the Far East.
“Right now we can fly over Egypt, Chad, and apparently over Sudan, we are breaking out into the world, this is an unprecedented revolution,” he stated.
The announcement followed Netanyahu’s historic visit to the Gulf state in October, the first such meeting in over 20 years.
The Sultan’s decision solves part of the problem created for El Al after Air India began to fly to Israel over Saudi Arabia, significantly reducing the flight time. El Al cannot fly in this path and thus has a significant disadvantage compared to its competitor.
Netanyahu also related to Israel’s political prosperity and said that it stems from the government’s policy of underscoring Israel’s intelligence and technological assets.
“Our diplomatic map is changing dramatically because of the intelligence advantages Israel has,” he said. “We prevent the downing of aircraft. We prevented dozens of catastrophic attacks. No one has intelligence like ours. The combination of our intelligence and technological capabilities – this gives us the map of Israel’s expanding relations.”
San Francisco, Beijing, Mumbai
He further noted that the most important flights from Israel are from Tel Aviv to San Francisco, and “no matter how many flights are added, there is not enough. It’s not tourists, it’s entrepreneurs.”
He added that the second most important flights are from Tel Aviv to Beijing and other cities in China, which is “the biggest market that is opening [to Israel] and we are trying to reach a free trade agreement [with China].”
The third most important line is from India, “so we worked hard – we fly in Air India every day over Saudi Arabia. Soon we will fly to Mumbai. Tel-Aviv-Mumbai is fewer flight hours than from Tel-Aviv to London. A second massive power [opening for Israel].”
As if to illustrate Netanyahu’s remarks, El Al announced Monday the opening of a new route to Las Vegas.
According to Netanyahu, “the other important change is the relationship with the Arab world.”
“Israel protects Europe twice: We prevent dozens of terror attacks [in Europe], and prevent the collapse of the western Middle East because there is the double threat from Iran and the Islamic State (ISIS),” he said.
“When I meet with Arab leaders, they tell me that the time has come for one percent to stop wagging its tail,” Netanyahu said. These leaders say they want to “benefit from the fruits of progress” and will no longer base their normalization of ties with Israel on “the whims of the Palestinians.”
He explained that the policy he is promoting is built on “a long-term perspective, and says that first and foremost, our ability to be accepted by nations is related to our ability to defend ourselves and to maintain our state.”
Israel believes in “peace through strength. We believe in alliances born out of Israel’s value as a technological, financial, defense, and intelligence powerhouse.” Netanyahu said.
“That’s what we will continue doing, and that’s also how we’ll achieve peace.”