Netanyahu To Knesset: Israel Experiencing “Unprecedented” Diplomatic Achievements In Region and World
Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Netanyahu strongly defended Israel’s international status under his leadership during a session in the Knesset plenum yesterday, March 7, 2016.
“The Foreign Ministry is working very intensely in an unprecedented manner,” Netanyahu contended. “We are maintaining diplomatic relations with 161 countries. This is unprecedented.”
Netanyahu made note of Israel’s development of relations, some unofficial, with other countries.
“What’s new is the significant increase in the number of countries who want to improve their relations with us,” Netanyahu said. “The reason for this is that many countries fear radical Islam, which threatens them. They know we have intelligence and operational experience and they value our security agencies and want to take advantage of our capabilities.”
“Many countries understand that [without the State of Israel] this part of the Middle East would have collapsed a long time ago followed by the rest of the region,” added the prime minister.
Some of the countries referred to by the prime minister are Israel’s neighbors in the region which have yet to establish official diplomatic relations with Israel. However, Israel has developed closer ties through back channels with many Sunni Arab regimes, including Saudi Arabia, in light of the common threat of the increase and spread of Iranian influence in the Middle East.
The improved ties between Israel and the Sunni Arab regimes in the Middle East were displayed last week when the Gulf Cooperation Council labeled the Shiite Iranian-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
“Countries from the Arab world decided to recognize Hezbollah as a terror group,” Netanyahu noted. “This is an important and even amazing development.”
Netanyahu also said that many Arab countries in the region have begun to accept that Israel is not an enemy of the Arab world.
“There are massive changes overtaking the Arab world with an increasing number of countries understanding now more than ever that Israel is not their enemy,” Netanyahu explained.