Intelligence Services Minister Israel Katz.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
US President Barack Obama’s administration has not been supportive enough of Israel at the UN and elsewhere, Intelligence Services Minister Israel Katz charged on Tuesday night in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Katz will be coming to New York next month to address The Jerusalem Post Conference on May 22.
While he is in the US, he intends to seek Democratic and Republican support for legislation in Congress backing proactive sanctions on Hezbollah and whoever helps the terrorist group with money or weapons.
He said the fact that Arab countries also see Hezbollah as a terrorist organization helps on the issue.
“It is very important for Israel to know that the US supports us in international organizations, including with its veto at the United Nations Security Council,” he said.
“This is a key component of our national security and our security considerations. Unfortunately, with the current administration, we cannot be sure of that.”
During Obama’s tenure in office, the US has been the consistent no vote in support of Israel at the United Nations, including at the Security Council. In the last seven years, the US used its veto power at the UNSC only once, to prevent the passage of a resolution against Israeli settlement activity. There have been no other resolutions against Israel at the UNSC during that time.
Katz has been building himself up recently as a candidate for prime minister after Benjamin Netanyahu retires. He is among several candidates in the Likud who intend to seek the party chairmanship but would not run against Netanyahu.
“Transportation and Intelligence are portfolios that give me the reputation and qualifications necessary to become prime minister,” he said.
“I need to make sure that I am fit and ready to lead, because it can happen at any time.”
Katz made news around the world following three coordinated terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22 that killed 32 people. While presenting a bill to the Knesset House Committee to deport terrorists’ families, he accused Belgium of not doing enough to fight terrorism.
“The first rule of war is know your enemy, and Europe and the current US government are unwilling to define this war as against Islamist terrorism,” Katz said. “If Belgians continue eating chocolate and enjoying life and looking like great democrats and liberals, and not noticing that some of the Muslims there are planning terrorism, they won’t be able to fight them.”
Katz said he did not mean to insult anyone.
“I simply advised the Belgians to define the enemy and take action instead of refraining for exaggerated liberalism and other political reasons,” he said.
Comparing Belgium to Obama’s administration, he said, “The current US government does not say Islamic terrorism, but they know what to do to fight it, and they do.”
The full interview will run in The Jerusalem Post
Conference magazine that will be distributed at the event in New York.