PM addresses Iran in Syria, normalization with Arab states; Netanyahu: Israel is currently in contact with half a dozen important Arab and Islamic countries.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s normalization with the Arab world during a ceremony commemorating former Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.
Speaking at Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl, the premier addressed Israel’s ongoing efforts to prevent Iran’s entrenchment in Syria. He reiterated that Israel is “continuing to take vigorous action against Iran’s attempts to entrench militarily in Syria. We are also doing so in the face of the aggression of Hezbollah and Hamas, whose tunnels we are systematically dismantling.”
Referring to Eshkol’s leadership during the Six-Day War, Netanyahu expressed, “Eshkol did not rejoice in unnecessary wars; no responsible leader of Israel rejoices in unnecessary wars. He understood the cost of such a war but when war was forced upon us, it was clear to him that we had to push back strongly, and repel the aggression directed against us.”
The leader then spoke of Israel’s growing relations with some of its neighbors, as well a regional recognition of Israel’s strength and the fight against a common enemy- Iran. He stated Wednesday, “Only when our neighbors are convinced that our strength and our presence here are irrefutable facts, only then some of them will be persuaded to make peace with us… We are fully advancing this recognition and agreement process with our remaining neighbors- not with all of them, but with most of them.”
On Israel’s lobbying efforts, most of which are not shared with the public or media, he reported, “We are doing this with extensive segments of the Arab and Islamic world in an expedited normalization process, only part of which the public can see. We are also holding this process in secret, and Israel is currently in contact with half a dozen important Arab and Islamic countries, which up until recently were hostile to Israel.”
The most recent reported effort by Israel to establish ties with Arab states was last month when Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, on the sidelines of the Warsaw Summit. Netanyahu previously met the minister alongside Mossad Director Yossi Cohen during his surprise visit to Muscat to meet with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said in October of last year. Oman called for regional recognition of the State of Israel at that time.