Addressing the 71st UN General Assembly debate, Netanyahu began by stating that “Israel has a bright future at the UN,” despite the current hostility towards his country. And if the Palestinians accept a Jewish state, there will be peace, he said.
“The UN, begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce. So when it comes to Israel at the UN, you’d probably think nothing will ever change, right? Well think again. You see, everything will change and a lot sooner than you think,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
Citing Israel’s diplomatic relations with 160 countries – nearly double the number 30 years ago – the Israeli leader explained that Israel has superior intelligence services, counter-terrorism expertise, and ingenuity in medical technology, recycling wastewater, cyber security and more – all of which is needed by countries across the globe.
‘Nothing Less than a Revolution’
Israel is increasing ties not only with African countries, but also with Arab nations, who are coming to realize that “Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are Iran and ISIS. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals, work together openly. So Israel’s diplomatic relations are undergoing nothing less than a revolution.”
Netanyahu expressed a desire to negotiate peace with the Palestinians, while stressing that the Jewish state will continue to thrive and will never give up its right to exist.
The “core of the conflict,” Netanyahu stated, is the “persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state within any boundary.”
‘The War Against Israel at the UN is Over’
Addressing the profound bias against Israel at the UN, which he believes will imminently come to an end, he said, “Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?
“I have one message for you today: Lay down your arms. The war against Israel at the UN is over. Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet.”
Shunning preconditions to negotiations, he stated, “The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York,” perhaps in reference to what many Israelis suspect could be a last-ditch diplomatic initiative between the U.S. elections in November and the swearing-in ceremony in January, when a lame-duck Obama could initiate a UN Security Council resolution relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or, in a change from traditional US practice, refrain from exercising a veto against resolutions damaging to Israel.
“If the Arabs had said yes to a Jewish state in 1947, there would be no war, no refugees, no conflict. And when they finally say yes to a Jewish State, we’ll be able to end this conflict once and for all,” Netanyahu said.
‘Palestinian Leaders Poisoning the Future’
“The tragedy,” he continued, is that the Palestinians “are not only trapped in the past, but their leaders are poisoning the future.”
On Wednesday, Obama stressed that the “settlements” are an obstacle to peace, but, Netanyahu declared, “settlements isn’t the problem. The conflict isn’t about the settlements. It never was. For decades, when Judea, Samaria and Gaza were in Arab hands,” the Arab-Israeli conflict existed. Meanwhile, in 2005, Israel uprooted all 21 Jewish “settlements” in Gaza and got, in return, thousands of rockets fired at its civilians.
“The real settlements they’re after are Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv,” the Israeli prime minister asserted.
“Israel is ready, I am ready to negotiate all final status issues but one thing I will never negotiate: Our right to the one and only Jewish state,” he affirmed, followed by thunderous applause.
“Wow, sustained applause for the Prime Minister of Israel in the General Assembly? The change may be coming sooner than I thought,” Netanyahu responded.
Addressing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who had spoken earlier at the Assembly, he said, “You have a choice to make. You can continue to stoke hatred, as you did today. Or you can confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two nations.”
Netanyahu also vowed never to allow Iran, which is the greatest threat to Israel and to the world, to develop nuclear weapons – “not now, not in a decade, not ever.”
By: Terri Nir, United with Israel
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