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Netanyahu: Many Arab Countries Now See Israel as a Friend

January 17, 2014 10:27 am 22 comments
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being interviewed on CTV. Photo: Screenshot / CTV.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being interviewed on CTV. Photo: Screenshot / CTV.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Arab world is changing its position on Israel.

In an hour-long interview with Canada’s CTV News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel, Netanyahu said he is “glad to see the constancy and consistency of Canada’s friendship to Israel” as exemplified by Harper.

He responded to a question about what he thought of those who criticized the Canadian leader for his outspoken support of Israel, by saying, “Those who criticize him are out of sync.”

“They should go to some of the countries in the Middle East who now support Israel, who think about Israel in different terms,” Netanyahu said.

On its website, CTV wrote that Netanyahu explained that “many of Israel’s Arab neighbors share a common goal of peace in the region, as well as concern over a nuclear-armed Iran. Other Arab countries see a bigger threat in hard-line Islamist groups, he said.”

Netanyahu said, “So I say to those who criticize a pro-Israel position in Canada, I ask them, come to the Middle East. Go to the Arab world and you’ll discover, you’ll discover a lot of people are reconsidering their positions,” adding that many Arab countries now “see Israel not as an enemy but as a friend.”

“So when Canada says, ‘Israel is our friend,’ they’re not necessarily alienating the Arabs. Quite the contrary, because the Arabs are changing. The Arabs, many of them, sometimes openly and sometimes in corridors and whispers, they say, ‘Israel is our friend.’ So they don’t view others differently as a result of that.”

To a question of whether increased trade will be a topic of discussion during Harper’s visit, Netanyahu said Canada and Israel “can do a lot together” by sharing technology, and natural and human resources.

On the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu said “nobody wants peace more than Israel.”

“Now, when we say we want peace, what we want is really for our Palestinian neighbors to have a demilitarized state next to us that recognizes the Jewish State. We’re willing to recognize their state, the Palestinian state. But we ask them to recognize the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.

“The last thing we want to do is just walk out and have them use that, the Palestinian state to attack what remains of Israel. So I think this is perhaps the pivot to the whole debate… will the Palestinians, as part of peace, recognize the Jewish state as Israel is willing to recognize the Palestinian state. I hope they do. If they do, it’ll afford a better future for us and their children.”

“Now the Palestinian state, the way it’s being contemplated, they’re saying, well, no Jew can live there. It has to be Jew-free. Ethnic cleansing. Well, what is that? There are Arabs who live here, but they can’t contemplate Jews living there,” he said.

“We’re willing to make difficult and hard decisions and compromises to live in peace with our neighbors, but we’re entitled to our own country where Jews from around the world can come here, just as Palestinians from around the world can come to the Palestinian state,” he said.


  • This is the first time I have read people’s comments and am amused at their horrible spelling mistakes. I used to teach English and quickly realised that bad spelling indicated undisciplined thinking. Just looking at what peple say proves my point.

  • Peace in the western world means cessation of a hot war wile working to cool down other problems. Peace in the arab/muslim world means a breather between wars while both sides prepare & plan for the next round.
    Once the iranian threat is gone, don’t count on the sunni arab world.

  • “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Arab world is changing its position on Israel” – I partly agree with this and Israel should try to make good diplomatic relationship with those Arab countries.

  • I wouldn’t go as far as saying they see Israel as a “friend”. But Israel and the Arab countries currently have common interests regarding Iran, and the Arab countries are willing to work with Israel against Iran for the time being. But they will never be friends with the Jewish state.

    • We have NO COMMON INTEREST with Saudi Arabia once we have stopped Iran’s nuclear development.
      Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc., have been FOR DECADES the MAIN FINANCIAL HELP of PLO, Hamas, Palestinain Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaida, and the single biggest printer and distributor of Jihadist schoolbooks teaching Wahhabism and genocide of Jews.

    • george beacock

      I agree with Laura, beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.Look at Psalm 83

  • By stating that some Arab countries perceive Israel as a friend, the PM could, in part, be encouraging more Arabs to think that way. In other words, to borrow some modern psychological lingo, encourage them to “fake it until they make it.” I applaud such an effort to encourage Arabs to think of Israel as a friend. The Arabs can learn a lot by emulating Israel, as Dr. Dan Gordis has pointed out in his books.

  • Sounds too good to be true, but I really hope he’s right :)

  • I just want to ask a question according to the Holy Scriptures…and New Testament…”how can you trust an enemy that openly denies your existence and have hatred in his heart?” In Psalm 1 we are clearly warned against the connection with wicket people…if you do not love the Lord Jesus Christ and you accept Him as your Saviour that died for your sins on the Cross outside Jerusalem, then you are against God and then you are wicket….for Yeshua is the only door to the Father….the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    • I just want to ask a question regarding proselytizing!

      Why is there always some “holier than thou” person who insists on hijacking a thread to get in a dig about the holy scriptures and the only way into heaven – blah de blah de blah de blah.

      The word, dear lady is “WICKED” – a wicket is otherwise known as a cricket pitch (a place where sports are played)

      Just a quick lesson in genealogy, according to the Jewish religion (please remember here, that your “saviour” lived AND died as a Jew) lineage follows the line of the father.

      Joseph, was of the line of king David and if he was to have fathered the child, then there may have been some merit to claims of messiah – which would have washed out, when prophecies concerning the time after the messiah failed to materialize.

      However, the very claim of a “miraculous” “immaculate conception,” take lineage out of play and your “saviour” becomes just another person of dubious fatherhood – of which there have been many over the years.

      This is a bluntly as I am able to put it, and I do not wish to offend you. You are 100% entitled to your beliefs – but please, please, please – stop pushing your agenda onto others.

      Your question could have been rephrased as “Psalm 1 says…..therefore, how can you trust…….?

      Simple, no agenda, to the point, and not offensive to anyone !

      I hate to break it to you, but it seems to me, that people who push an agenda such as yours (constantly) erect more barriers than they breach, and cause more people to fall asleep with their one track monotonous monlogues.

      Just one final pause for thought, G-d created the world and gave the Torah, in which are written all the laws that apply to his followers. These laws are suddenly caused to have no value at all, by the appearance of a man that you call your “saviour” (he himself, said that he comes not to change…..) It appears to me, that what is being said here, is that those laws were not necessary and that G-d made a mistake by giving them to us in the first place !

      G-D MADE A MISTAKE ?????????????

  • What a load of twaddle.

    “Netanyahu: Many Arab Countries Now See Israel as a Friend”

    If that’s the case how come with no advance warning UNESCO pulled the Jewish exhibit two years in the planning and making, entitled “People, Book, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” after a last minute protest from the Arab League.

    The exhibit, was created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center together with UNESCO and was scheduled to open on January 20th, 2014, at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters. The invitations had been sent out and exhibition was already in place. The display was co-sponsored by Israel, Canada and Montenegro.

    The surprising part is that good old US of A (note the sarcasm) prior to the Arab League’s objection, the State Department withdrew the US as a sponsor of the exhibition, using language almost identical to that of the Arab League!

  • Aurora Aronsson

    He is delusional. He must have been infected by “peresites”…
    Peres, in fact, said in 1994, to push his Osloporosis, that “soon Israel will be part of the Arab League”…
    Israel need real Jewish leaders.

  • James Crozier

    Poverty is ugly. The generational cycle in the Arab lands can only be broken by embracing modernity. Separation of church and state–because no man can impose his will on another using the name of God without sinning. Freedom of speech.
    Emancipation of all.
    When women are equals there is less violence and more wealth. Women tend to choose peace.
    Longevity goes up… a long way!

  • This will require a massive de-indoctrination process from the muslim world leaders towards their citizenry.

    They’ve perpetuated so many historical lies, it will take a long time to readjust.

    Egypt needs Israel and el Sisi is not an enemy. This is one intelligent leader. However, the Egyptians as a whole, hate Israel. The movie and media industries needs to get involved.

  • Netanyahu along with the rest of the world knows the ME has changed. The American accommodation with Teheran is a game changer. Canada’s position is to be commended and will put it into a southern camp of the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Israel as opposed to an expansionist new Persian Empire for the foreseeable future.

    The problem of the Palestinians still remains and is not insolvable. But like Sharon and Arafat, Netanahu and Abbas will not be the peacemakers. When the Palestinians really will make peace with the Israelis is when they see their future linked economically and security wise with the Jewish state. Israel will change, Palestine will change. A new generation will need allies like the Canadians, GB, the US and Australia-NZ.

    The ideological alligators feeding off the ignorance, self-interest and darkness of their own machinations will still remain but their attraction will be focussed onto SE Asia. The ME has changed, is changing and will continue to change but the centre will be in the Pacific. The Canadians know this and their foreign policy is based on this new geopolitics. The Jewish state of Israel is part of this strategy.

  • The Arab states will never admit to friendship with Israel. Their citizens would never support it.

  • Jill Schaeffer

    It looks as if stability in the region has become a driving concern, regardless of who is in power. What I think is happening (and I could be dead wrong, of course) is a dawning recognition among governing powers in the region is that if Israel is destabilized or delegitimated or both – they will be the next to topple. What a strange twist of political affinities: It has come to pass that the canary in the mine is an Israeli, and that nobody in the region except anarchists and Islamists, wants that bird to stop singing.

    Besides, the song is so sweet: “Shema…..”

  • Not to worry, CTV will find some way to distort the story. If this had been the CBC, they would have distorted the piece by now.

  • Yes , what happened to the kurds ???? When
    the U.S. went to Iraq we mentioned them in the
    If you don’t own a t.v. station people
    forget you and justice for your people.

  • For now sir,some Arab states fearful of Iran, know they can work with Israel. Time for the Kurdish people to have their own country right now to lessen Arab monopoly on the region.

    • Kurds are Iranian.

      • Kurds aren’t Iranian they are Kurdish, some Kurds are Iranian Citizens, just as some Arabs are Iranian Citizens just as some Armenians are Iranian Citizens, just as some Jews are Iranian citizens, however that does not make them ethnic Iranians, all have their own ethnicities. British Indian, Pakistanis, Turk, and Jews are not Anglo-Saxons, or
        Celts they all belong to their own ethnic groups etc.

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