‘We do not turn the other cheek,’ Netanyahu asserts

“Under my leadership, Israel is a strong and proud nation,” the Israeli leader stated, saying that only with strength and pride can the Jewish state win the respect of other nations.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News

Addressing a ceremony launching the Socio-Economic Development Plan for the Galilee in the mixed northern town of Maalot-Tarshiha on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at opposition party leaders who rebuked him for his tough reaction to countries that supported the anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution three says ago.

The anti-Israel resolution stated that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, “occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,” have “no legal validity.” It demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”

Among other measures, Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to complete within a month a reassessment of all of Israel’s contacts with the UN, including Israeli financing of UN institutions and the presence of UN representatives in the country. He halted all Israeli assistance to Senegal, canceled a visit to Jerusalem this week by the Ukrainian prime minister and instructed his ministers to refrain from visiting countries in the near future that supported the UNSC resolution.

“Netanyahu has lost control,” Labor party leader Isaac Herzog said in a statement Saturday night. His number two, Tzipi Livni, head of the Israeli negotiating team in the failed US-led peace talks with the Palestinians, slammed the Israeli leader, claiming that he “knew and said clearly that the [settlement] regulation bill will bring about a Security Council resolution — and nonetheless conceded to the radical right.”

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said Netanyahu’s reaction was unreasonable. “It’s not a policy; it’s hysteria,” he declared.

‘Enough of this Diaspora-Think’

Netanyahu defended his actions, telling the assembled at the launch in Ma’alot that “Israel is a country with national pride, and we do not turn the other cheek. This is a responsible, measured and vigorous response, the natural response of a healthy people that is making it clear to the nations of the world that what was done at the UN is unacceptable to us.”

“There is no alternative to a determined response because it is, in effect, creating the basis for a different approach in the future,” the Israeli leader affirmed. “Therefore, to describe our protest as a world war is ridiculous. I suggest – enough of this Diaspora-think. I tell you that there is no diplomatic wisdom in being ingratiating. Not only will our relations with the nations of the world not be harmed, over time they will only improve because the nations of the world respect strong countries that stand up for themselves and do not respect weak ingratiating countries that bow their heads.”

“Under my leadership, Israel is a strong and proud nation. We will continue to defend our state and we will develop the country,” Netanyahu stated,