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Bennett in Australia: Israel can only depend on itself for security
December 8, 2013 14:16
Economy Minister presents Australian PM Abbott with 2,000 year old coin from City of David, signs R&D agreement.
Economy Minister Bennett shows Australian PM 2,000 year old coin from Jerusalem, Dec. 7, 2013

Australian PM and Bennett 370. (photo credit:Courtesy- Economy and Trade Ministry)

Israel, and Israel alone, is responsible for its security, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday in remarks posted on his Facebook page.

Bennett wrote the remarks from Australia, where he met on Friday with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Melbourne.

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In his post, Bennett called Abbott a “true friend of Israel and the Jewish people who expressed great readiness to act for Israel’s security.” But he also wrote that Israel was “operating on all levels of activity” to protect its residents.

“While we certainly should increase cooperation with our friends, the responsibility for our security, in the end, is ours and we must rely on ourselves,” he stated.

During their meeting, Bennett and Abbott discussed at length the interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1.

Australia is currently a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council and leads its sanctions committee.

“Israel is focused on what happens after six months,” the Bayit Yehudi party chairman wrote. “There needs to be a clear goal: Full dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear machine. If it doesn’t happen, the world must reinstate sanctions and make them more severe.”

Bennett also thanked Abbott for changing his country’s UN voting policy to one that was more pro-Israel.

At the end of Friday’s meeting, Bennett presented the prime minister with a 2,000- year-old coin that had been unearthed in Jerusalem’s City of David. It was the coin with the engraved words “Freedom of Zion” that he had showed CNN’s Christiane Amanpour during an interview several weeks ago.

“The State of Israel is the direct continuation of the Jewish state that existed in the Land of Israel 2,000 years ago,” Bennett says he told Abbott. “Imagine, 2,000 years ago, two Jews stood in the City of David and traded, using this coin and the same language that I speak today in Israel.”

As economy minister, Bennett, together with State of Victoria Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Businesses Louise Asher, made a joint announcement that a foundation for research and development had been established as part of an agreement between Israel and Victoria.

“As we learned from negotiations with the European Union about Horizon 2020 [the EU framework program for research and innovation], Israel must accelerate, create and vary its trade relations around the world,” Bennett wrote on Facebook.
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