Benjamin Netanyahu möter Angela Merkel

Premiärminister Benjamin Netanyahu mötte igår Tysklands förbundskansler Angela Merkel. 

Premiärminister Netanyahu gjorde följande uttalande:

”Thank you Chancellor Merkel for hosting me today, and our delegation. I look forward to seeing you in Israel in October.

The alliance, the relationship between Israel and Germany is an excellent one. It has historic foundations, because of the unique experience that we have undergone here obviously, and the commitment that you and previous German governments, but you sustained it with great vigor and great conviction, your commitment to Israel’s security, the security and the future of the Jewish state, is deeply appreciated by me, by the people of Israel. Your very strong stance against antisemitism is also deeply appreciated, and of course, the relationships between our two countries, our two economies, is one that is natural. Germany is one of the great economies of the world; Israel is the leading, among the leading innovation nations in the world. And the combination of technology and industry is extremely powerful, so I am very, very happy that we decided to add a business delegation to the upcoming meeting of our governments, so that we can have these benefits of technology, of knowhow, of innovation accrue to both our countries and both our peoples.

We have great opportunities, but we also face great challenges, and I think the greatest challenge that the civilized world faces today is the danger that comes out from militant Islamic states that are bent on aggression and acquiring nuclear arsenals. This, the greatest danger, is in Iran. Just yesterday, Iran’s leader Khamenei, yesterday he said again that Israel is a cancer that has to be eradicated, will be eradicated from the earth. And this is amazing that in the beginning of the 21st century, somebody talks about destroying Israel. It means destroying another six million plus Jews. It’s quite extraordinary that this goes on, but this is what we face.

Iran calls for our destruction, but it’s also seeking nuclear weapons to carry out its genocidal designs. We know that for a fact. We have shared, as Chancellor Merkel has said, we have shared with the German government, German specialists, the information that we retrieved from a secret atomic archive that Iran has. We think that it’s important, as Chancellor Merkel has said, that the IAEA investigate Iran based on this new information, a lot of new information that Israel has now provided the IAEA as well. And it’s important to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We commit, and I commit again, that we will not let that happen.

But the other danger from Iran is that it is trying to conquer the Middle East. It’s doing so in Syria. It’s doing so in Yemen. And it’s doing so in other places. In Syria, Iran is trying to put its army, its air force, its navy and ground forces from, moving it 1500 kilometers from Iran to the backdoor of Israel, with the explicit goal of attacking us. So obviously, we cannot accept that.

I think that you cannot accept it for two reasons as well. The first is one of principle, obviously. Germany does not condone, nor does any peace-loving country condone wanton aggression and the calls for the destruction of other nations. But I think that there is another reason why this should be of concern to Germany: The Iranian military presence right now in Syria includes about 18,000 Shiite militia, commanded by Iranian commanders. These Shiite militias come from Afghanistan, from Pakistan, from other places, and they have a specific goal, a military goal, but also a religious goal. Iran wants to increase the number of such militia to 80,000 and to basically conduct a religious campaign in largely Sunni Syria. Syria is 96% Sunni, but try to convert Sunnis. This will inflame another religious war. This time a religious war inside Syria, and the consequences would be many, many more refugees and you know exactly where they’ll come.

The ability to increase four-fold, five-fold the number of militias that are there depends, among other things, on money, and the money comes from Iran. Until recently, it came, from among other places, from the JCPOA. This is not a false argument; it’s a true argument. We have seen that they have used about 25 billion dollars from proceeds that they got in one way or another from the easement of sanctions in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon and elsewhere.

So, I think the economic pressure, economic sanctions on Iran, break this cash machine that feeds the Iranian empire that endangers everybody, endangers Israel, but indirectly also endangers Germany and Europe. Iran must not be allowed to have a foothold, a military foothold in Syria. Iran should leave Syria, all parts of Syria. This is our position, and I think we have to band together to confront this Iranian aggression, the world’s foremost sponsor of terror.

I want to thank you, Chancellor Merkel, for your personal commitment to Israel’s security, and I want to assure you again that our hand is always extended to peace for our neighbors. We have changes in the region that are taking place, and I think they’re very promising. We have contacts with Arab states that are developing. They developed obviously because of our common concern with Iran and its aggressive designs, but I think they go well beyond that, because many Arab states recognize that Israel can contribute technologically to the development of their societies, a better life for their peoples. I think ultimately this is the most promising goal, the most promising route to have peaceful development with the Palestinians as well.

It may not be possible today, but I believe it will be possible tomorrow. And that’s what we’re all working for: A better tomorrow.

I want to thank you again for doing that consistently over the years. I thank you for your friendship, and I thank you for your leadership.”

Foto: GPO/Haim Zach

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