“Det största hotet mot världen idag är kärnvapen i händerna på en radikal islamistisk regim. Iran ljög för världen om deras kärnvapenprogram; nu är det dags att sätta högsta press så att deras kärnprogram inte tar sig någonstans.”
Premiärminister Benjamin Netanyahu välkomnades idag av Frankrikes president Emmanuel Macron med hedersvakt vid Élyséepalatset i Paris.
Nedan följer Netanyahus uttalande efter mötet med Macron:
“Thank you President Macron, Emmanuel, for your warm hospitality. I find our repeated conversations, including this most recent one, have been very useful, very productive.
We obviously can’t discuss everything that we discussed privately in public but I think these exchanges are very important to advance security, stability and prosperity in our region and obviously to help both our countries advance towards the future in areas such as technology, and science and culture.
We are natural allies. We share the values of democracy, peace and pluralism. We’re going to talk about culture today. Like many Israelis, I was raised on Alexandre Dumas and on Victor Hugo and on Émile Zola – we’ll talk about that later. But this is not strange to us and it’s not only not strange – it’s part of our heritage. We have a common heritage.
We have a community – a wonderful French Jewish community, 200, 000 of which roughly have emigrated to Israel and form a natural human bridge so we are natural partners and we are democracies.
And today the democracies, France and Israel, all the democracies, share a common challenge – it has two words to it – it’s called radical Islam. It challenges not only the democracies, it challenges Muslims. It kills Muslims. It does horrible things to them. And it has two great sources of aggression: One are the militant Sunnis, initially led by Al-Qaeda and now led by Daesh and that has been largely crushed in Syria and Iraq. We must make sure they don’t have other outposts because this is where they send their killers to attack France and to attack Europe and to attack the rest of the world.
You said correctly that Israel and France are cooperating and sharing intelligence. I can only say to the citizens of France that I believe that these exchanges have saved many, lives. It’s very valuable for us and I believe, as you said, it’s very valuable to you so this cooperation is something that we will intensify because it’s just so important for the security of our nations.
Challenging Daesh is one thing and there’s another source and the other source of radical Islam is the militant Shiites led by Iran. We’re doing everything we can to prevent the aggressive designs of Iran, which will ultimately destabilize not only the Middle East in their effort to conquer the Middle East but destabilize Europe and the world.
You have experienced 250 people lost here in terror attacks for one side of this radicalism. You do not want to have any more.
So in addition to fighting terrorism through intelligence cooperation, Israel is also fighting this battle in the Middle East by fighting Daesh in the Middle East but also by fighting Iran.
The greatest threat to the world today in my view is nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical Islamic regime like Tehran. The nuclear archive that we uncovered recently proved that Iran lied to the world about its nuclear weapons program and I believe now is the time to apply maximum pressure on Iran to make sure that their nuclear program doesn’t go anywhere.
I want to make it clear that I did not ask President Macron to leave the deal. I think that economic realities are going to decide this matter so it’s not what we focused on actually. What we focused on is, and what I focused on, is to stop Iranian aggression in the region. Specifically, Israel’s goal, which I think should be shared by all those who seek peace and prosperity and stability in the Middle East – a reconstructed Syria which you seek… I think that the precursor to that, the precondition to that is that Iran leaves Syria – all of Syria. It has no business being there. And we must block Iran’s plans to transport its army and its weapons, sophisticated and deadly weapons to Syria, from which they seek to attack Israel.
The ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said two days ago that their goal is to eradicate Israel and for this purpose they want to pursue nuclear weapons but also pursue other weapons, bring them close to Israel so they can fire at our cities and our citizens. We will not accept this. I want to say that this position I believe is common right now across the Middle East but not only for us Israelis but for many many of the Arab countries, who are themselves threatened by Iranian aggression. The simplest thing, the most direct thing and the most necessary thing that we need to concentrate on now is to get Iran out of Syria.
I want to say a few words about Gaza – What you’ve seen in recent weeks are not peaceful protests. These are violent riots that are organized by Hamas. They’re using human shields to move their terrorists in place, they want to kidnap Israelis, they want to murder Israelis.
These protests are paid by Hamas, organized by Hamas, they’re paid by Hamas and they are seeking to storm into Israel, capture civilians or soldiers right next to the fence, within meters of the fence, of the border fence, they burn our fields. These are not civilians. And one day, one day which had the greatest amount of casualties – there were 62 casualties – Hamas openly said there were 50 of the 62 were Hamas terrorists. We have their names, we have their photographs. So, this is not what it appears.
We have a right to defend ourselves. We exercise that right. We seek to do it in non-lethal means and we’re not successful because Hamas wants these people killed.
I’ve said a few minutes ago that just imagine that you had the equivalent of about 20 million people who are governed by a tyrannical terrorist regime who want to storm into France, they say: We want to enter France, we want to destroy France, we want to burn Paris down and when we cross the border into France we’ll kill any French citizen that we can get our hands on. Obviously, you would act in every way possible to prevent this from happening and this is exactly what Israel is doing.
Here too, I think that there is a changed attitude in certain parts of the Arab world because they understand this. They’re sick and tired of this war against Israel, of this attempt to destroy Israel. They understand that there’s a potential partnership with Israel both for security against Iran and against radical Islam from wherever it comes but also for a better future because they believe they can…these Arab countries believe that they can join Israeli technology to have water, to have agriculture, to have cleaner air, to have IT, to have all the health services.
All these things are possible and I think that you should know that they’re happening under the surface. There is a change. And I believe ultimately this is the biggest hope for peace.
We have to confront the radicals and the terrorists but at the same time we have to seize the opportunities for advancing a new future, a better life and it’s happening. It is happening now as we speak in the Middle East.
This is also true of Israel and France because as we fight the forces of the past, we embrace the future. And we both understand the value innovation , the value of transformative technologies like AI, quantum mathematics and quantum computing – these are not strange words. They are real words, they are changing fundamentally changing the lives of people. They create new opportunities.
I think that in order for them to blossom you need an economic climate that rewards initiative, rewards enterprise, and I follow with great admiration, Emmanuel your efforts, valiant efforts in France to create these possibilities. I know the great potential that you have in this country, the great resources that are available – human resources. We think that Israel and France together can do a lot more. Separately we’re doing a lot, together we can achieve even greater things.
I want to commend you for this as I want to also commend you for fighting anti-Semitism. It’s been a consistent position that you’ve espoused. I think it’s important because anti-Semitism does show its ugly head here and the fact that you are taking a resolute stand against it I think is important.
You rightfully said that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. You can say: Well, I have nothing against Jews but I don’t think there should be a Jewish state, which is basically what the anti-Zionists are saying. We understand that this is hypocrisy and I’m glad that you took a clear stand against it.
I want to continue to have this cooperation. I look forward in a few minutes to talk about our shared cultural base and our shared goal of innovation and transformation and I believe that together will succeed.
Thank you for this meeting and thank you for this evening and many other evenings as well. Thank you Emmanuel.”
Foto: GPO/Haim Zach