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