Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (R) shakes hands with PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset . (Hadas Parush/Flash90) (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Italy Renzi Netanyahu Knesset
Renzi Italy Knesset

Italian PM Renzi addresses the Knesset on Wednesday. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Addressing the Knesset on Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi expressed strong support for Israel and its historic rights that “predate any international agreement.” 

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had strong words of support for Israel when he addressed the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Wednesday during his official visit to the Jewish state.

“The peace that we want for Jerusalem will only be possible when there will be two states for two peoples. This will only happen if the safety and security of all will be ensured,” he said, adding that he will urge the Palestinians to recognize Israel, a cornerstone to any diplomatic process – which the Palestinians have so far refused to do.

“Peace means that the Palestinians will have their nation-state and the Jews will have their nation-state,” Renzi declared. “Recognizing Israel means recognizing reality…. The existence of the State of Israel is not a gesture of the international community after the Holocaust, but a fact that predates any international agreement by hundreds of years…. Israel exists despite the Holocaust, not by virtue of the Holocaust.”

‘Israel’s Security is Our Security Too’

The Italian premier, speaking from the podium at the Knesset plenum, lashed out at attempts to isolate and boycott Israel, saying that anyone who thinks to boycott Israel, “does not realize that he is boycotting himself, betraying the future.”

“Italy will always stand at the forefront of cooperation, never of boycott,” he vowed. ”It is stupid and futile.”

Regarding the nuclear accord signed between the P5+1 powers and Iran, Renzi said that “it’s possible to disagree on the compromise with Iran,” but he clarified that “there will never be any compromise regarding Israel’s future. Israel’s security is our security too.”

He concluded by stating that “peace for Jerusalem is peace for the whole world. Our fate is your fate. Together we will build a more just world.”

“You are a true friend of Israel, for truth and peace and against boycotts. We have always seen Italy as an important and central ally in the Middle East,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded.

Renzi arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a state visit, during which he attended a panel discussion at Tel Aviv University, titled “Italy-Israel: Knowledge as an engine for growth.”

Israel and Italy cooperate on a broad range of scientific projects, such as the joint brain study laboratory at Tel Aviv University. New start-ups developed by Italian and Israeli entrepreneurs were also presented.

Following a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, he met with Netanyahu at his residence. He also held a work meeting with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

On Thursday, Renzi met with Palestinian leaders.

By: United with Israel Staff