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June 11, 2018 10:21 am

At AJC Global Forum, Netanyahu Hails Israeli Innovation, Calls on Palestinians to Recognize Jewish State

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the AJC Global Forum in Jerusalem, June 10, 2018. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Addressing a major Jewish gathering in Jerusalem on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed his country’s innovation and economic success, and called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

In a speech he delivered at the American Jewish Committee’s first Global Forum, Netanyahu extolled Israel’s economic progress, saying, “I just received statistics from the IMF. Israel has just overtaken Japan in per capita income. Israel has overtaken the EU average in per capita income. And it’ll take us a couple of years, really I’m not competing with anyone, we’re going to catch up to Britain and France, because we’re that close.”

Netanyahu noted Israel had a “vibrant” society and economy.

“We gave room and birth for the ingenuity of our people, and young people, and they make fantastic things in technology, we’re all aware of that,” Netanyahu said. “Israel is the quintessential innovation nation. That’s what we do. We innovate, and the future belongs to those who innovate.”

Netanyahu highlighted that Israel’s unemployment rate was at its lowest level in 40 years and that the wealth gap in the Jewish state appeared to be shrinking.

“We also got statistics for the inequality coefficient,” he stated. “It’s called the Gini coefficient. It measures inequality in a society across countries. And Israel’s has gone down steadily and dramatically as we speak. As our economy has grown and as we have grown richer, we’ve also become less divided. Less divided because right now — our inequality rates, which were very high — now are almost touching the inequality rate, gross inequality, that’s what it’s called, almost touches the OECD. So we’re surpassing many of those countries, but we’re also making sure that this redounds to our people. And when I say our people, I mean all our people.”

Netanyahu also touched on the conflict with the Palestinians, saying that the reason for the impasse in peace negotiations was due to the consistent Palestinian rejection of the idea of a Jewish state.

“The reason we don’t have peace is not because of the absence of a Palestinian state,” he said. “It’s been offered many, many times. And it’s been rejected many times, because it always had a condition: no Jewish state.”

“That’s why a hundred years ago, the rejectionist elements in Palestinian society rejected the Balfour Declaration,” he added, “They rejected the Peel Commission in the 1930s, they rejected the partition resolution, which called for a Jewish state and an Arab state in 1947, and they’ve rejected it ever since. … It’s never been about a Palestinian state, it’s always been about the Jewish state.”

“If President Abbas wants to make peace,” he admonished, “recognize the Jewish state for God’s sake! That will bring peace once and for all.”

The prime minister also pointed to warming relations between Israel and the Arab states due to the Iranian threat. Pledging that Israel would never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, he emphaszied that many Arab states agreed, and that he told European leaders during a recent visit to the continent, “When Israelis and Arabs agree on something — pay attention! They must know something!”

“Iran has done one good thing,” he added. “It’s brought Israel and our Arab neighbors closer together than ever before.”

Commenting that a delegation from Indonesia was attending the forum, Netanyahu expressed the importance of relations with the Muslim world, saying, “I find that particularly important and particularly hopeful. Welcome to all of you from Indonesia. Know that we have contacts … with many in the Muslim world, and that holds the promise of peace.”

Finally, Netanyahu mentioned the importance of Jewish solidarity across denominations, saying, “We know that before everything else, Israel is the home of all Jews. Every Jew should feel at home in Israel. This is our goal and this is our policy. And that’s why I hope you’ll visit the pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall. We’re making it accessible so anyone can pray at the Western Wall. … I know that we are one people. I know that we share a common past and a common destiny.”

The AJC Global Forum is the first of its kind and is being attended by over 2,000 delegates.

Watch Netanyahu’s address below:

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  • Samuel Fistel

    It’s so very smart of Netanyahu to demand muslim recognition of a Jewish State (and Netanyahu is very smart): The League of Nations, and its successor, the UN, referred to Israel as “the Jewish State” from its very beginning. Therefore, the western nations can have no valid objection to Netanyahu demanding that the muslims recognize Israel as the Jewish State. Of course, Netanyahu knows that islam forbids the muslims from doing so. Islam says that all muslim lands must remain muslim for eternity. Islam must not only keep on expanding until it has conquered the whole world, but it also can never retreat. The fact of the Jews defeating the muslims, and taking possession of formerly muslim Israel/palestine, places the muslims in a state of eternal warfare with the Jews, until Israel is destroyed. Any muslim who recognizes the Jewish State is betraying islam (and condemning himself to death). Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with “Israel”, but purposely never mentioned Jews or a Jewish State (and they could do so because they never lost any land to the Jews). In contrast, Netanyahu points out that if the “palestinians” refuse to recognize a Jewish State, then they are free to insist that eventually it can all become a muslim state. (And since Israel is growing ever stronger, while the arabs continue to self-destruct, time seems to be on Israel’s side.)