His Excellency
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    Prime Minister
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    Statement summary

    BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Prime Minister of Israel, said that over 3 millennia ago, the leader Moses told the people of Israel, as they prepared to enter the promised land, that they would face before them two mountains, which were the sites of a blessing and a great curse.  Their fate would be determined by the choice they made between those sites, he said, adding:  “We face such a choice today.”  Recalling his 2018 address at the Assembly, during which he issued a warning about the “tyrants of Tehran” who were “a curse to their own people and a threat to the world”, he said the common threat posed by that country had brought Israel and Arab States closer together, with countless meetings between world leaders potentially facilitating a breakthrough for broader peace in the region.

    This success came after a quarter century of failed peacemaking and good intentions, based on a false idea that relations would not be normalized with Israel unless a peace agreement with the Palestinian State was concluded, he went on.  “We must not give the Palestinian State a veto against a peace process,” he stressed, adding that they represented 2 per cent of the Arab world. Recalling the “amazing breakthrough” by his country in 2020, when it brought about four peace treaties with four Arab States, he said that these events placed Israel on the cusp of a more dramatic breakthrough:  historic peace between his country and Saudi Arabia.  Citing the announcement during the recent Group of 20 (G20) Summit of “visionary plans” to connect India to Europe with maritime links, rail links and energy pipelines, he said Israel can become a bridge of peace and prosperity, paving the way for a new Middle East.

    Recalling that he had, during a previous address, held up a map depicting Israel at the point of its creation in 1948, surrounded by “a hostile Arab world”, he said that events over the past few years have helped Israel “tear down the walls of enmity”, representing “a monumental change and a pivot of history” that brought the prospect of prosperity and peace to the entire region.  However, the path to genuine peace with Israel’s Palestinian neighbours must be based on truth, not on “lies or the endless vilification of the Jewish people”, he stressed, underlining the need for the Palestinian leadership to stop glorifying terrorism and put an end to its ghoulish ‘pay to slay’ policy. Citing his youthful experience as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, he said, “Those who suffered the curse of war are committed to the path to peace.”

    Underlining the indispensable role of the United States in these peace efforts, he said, “Just as the Abraham Accords were achieved with the lead of [former United States] President Donald Trump, peace in Saudi Arabia will be achieved with the lead of [United States] President [Joseph] Biden.”  However, he warned about the “fly in the ointment” to this optimistic vision:  the “fanatics of Iran”, who intended to thwart peace, by pouring money into spreading the tentacles of terrorism across the Middle East and the world.  Emphasizing that his country aims to do all it can to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into Tehran’s hands, he underlined that Iran’s people, who braved death by protesting on the streets, and not their oppressors, were the “real partners to a better future”.  Turning to the artificial intelligence revolution, he said that nations must address the dangers it poses quickly and together, so that the promise of utopia does not turn into dystopia.

    Related News Story

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Friday that Israel is at the cusp of a “dramatic breakthrough”: a historic peace deal between his country and Saudi Arabia.

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    Portrait of His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister), Israel
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