Netanyahu: Israel will not sub-contract its security

Prime minister refers to talks, but continued to remain vague about when exactly they would begin in meeting with Japanese FM.

July 24, 2013 22:10
3 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, July 24, 2013.

Netanyahu and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida 370 . (photo credit: GPO / Moshe Milner)


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Peace is only made “between the strong,” and Israel will “not entrust our national security to others,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday evening in a message that could be interpreted as directed either to the Palestinians, the Iranians, or both.

“In the Middle East and in the brutal world in which we live, in order to survive, you have to be strong,” Netanyahu said at the graduation ceremony for cadets from the National Defense College held on Mt. Scopus.

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“This was true in Herzl’s time and is true seven-fold in our time. We will not entrust our national security to others. Israel will always defend itself by itself against any threat, near or far. Maintaining, preparing, developing and operating this ability as necessary – this is our national security,” he said on the eve of the expected resumption of talks with the Palestinians in Washington.

Earlier in the day, before a meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Netanyahu referred to the talks, but continued to remain vague about when exactly they would begin.

“We both want to see peace between Israel and the Palestinians. I hope that soon we will be able to see the beginning of peace talks. Our team is ready – we’ve always been ready,” he said.

Netanyahu is expected to brief the cabinet on Sunday about the planned talks, as well as discuss legislation to bring any agreement to a national referendum, and to appoint a ministerial committee that would oversee the talks. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu’s envoy Yitzhak Molcho will conduct the negotiations, but the appointment of a ministerial overseeing body is regarded as an effort by ministers in the government to “keep an eye” on Livni whose Hatnua party is on the left flank of the government.

Regarding Iran, Netanyahu called again before his meeting with Kishida for the international community to impose stricter sanctions on the Islamic Republic, saying this was the only way to bring about a real change in its behavior. Alluding to Iran and North Korea, Netanyahu said that both Japan and Israel were facing “rogue states with dangerous nuclear weapons programs.”

The two countries know very well the threats to their security and the security of the world posed by “irrational and extreme” regimes looking to arm themselves not only with atomic weapons, but also with ballistic missiles to deliver them, he said to Kishida.

“On Iran, it is crucial that we see a change in Iran’s policy, not a change in style, but a change in substance,” Netanyahu said. “And that can only be gauged by meeting the demands of the United Nations Security Council.

Iran must stop all enrichment. It must remove all the enriched nuclear material from its territory. It must shut down the illicit nuclear facility in Qom. And all work on plutonium production must cease. I believe, Mr.

Minister, that the pressure on Iran must increase because that’s the only way we’ll see a real change in Iran’s behavior.”

Netanyahu praised the Japanese for their support of a joint Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian project in the Jordan Valley called the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity. Japan is funding the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park, which is scheduled to begin operating next spring.

Officials said that besides talking about Iran and the Palestinian issue, the two also discussed bilateral issues, with the Japanese interested in becoming involved in the extraction of natural gas from Israel’s new found reserves, and Netanyahu mentioning that Japan might want to become involved in the high-speed Eilat-Tel Aviv train project.

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