Speaking at the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism held at Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliyah, Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, addressed the nation’s security challenges.

According to Steinitz, while Syria is currently on top of the international agenda, Israel does not want to be involved in the civil war there. Steinitz emphasized, “We are not interested in taking part in the bloodshed around us. If we will be attacked, we will react strongly and affirmatively. However, Netanyahu wants to lower the profile on Syria.” Nevertheless, he added, “We cannot remain complacent when we see victims of such cruelty [harmed by] chemical weapons. The Middle East is burning.”

He continued, “We have to determine the order of priority. Egypt is very important and we are convinced that they will eventually stabilize themselves. Syria, Lebanon, Libya, every thing is important.” According to Steinitz, “[T]he Iranian nuclear threat is the most important. [It] disrupts the world order for generations into the future.”

Steinitz believes that with the election of the current President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, the world will witness an “attack of niceties to calm every one down.” However, he does not believe that the world should deceive itself. The Iranian nuclear threat is still very much an international problem, even if Iran has a leader who is “much nicer than Ahmadinejad. He is going to laugh all the way to the bomb.” The world “must judge him by deeds.”


Steinitz asked, “How are thousands sent to sacrifice their lives and kill others?” He believes that heavy indoctrination is the primary tool creating a desire to harm, humiliate and kill others. He continued, “I want to live in peace with the Palestinians, but I cannot ignore the level of incitement.” As an example, he cited Palestinian children being taught to praise Hitler and view Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs. “The terror of the suicide bomber would not exist without real incitement,” he emphasized.

by Rachel Avraham, Staff Writer for United with Israel

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