(photo credit: Associated Press)
The free world must unite to combat a rising wave of global terrorism, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to tell American Jewish leaders when he meets them in New Orleans next week.
He is also scheduled to meet there with US Vice President Joe Biden, who is similarly expected to address the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
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“The General Assembly will be held against the background of reports about the attempt to attack the Jewish community in Chicago,” Netanyahu told the cabinet on Sunday, referring to the mail bombs addressed to local synagogues from Yemen.
“The truth is that it does not matter if the target was a synagogue in Chicago or a railway station in Madrid, London, Mumbai or Bali.
“We are facing a growing wave of terrorism by extremist Islam. It is growing in the scope and brazen gall of its attacks, in the weapons with which it is arming itself, and in the sweeping objectives of the leaders of global terrorism.
“Therefore, one of the main issues that I will address at the General Assembly is the steps that the civilized and free world must take in order to stop this wave that threatens us all,” said Netanyahu.
Separately, the prime minister said that he will talk with Biden and other senior US administration figures about “the resumption of the diplomatic process [with the Palestinians], in order to reach a peace agreement [that ensures security] for the future of the State of Israel.”
Netanyahu is expected to leave for the US after next Sunday’s cabinet meeting and to return mid-week.
At present he has no plans to meet with US President Barack Obama, who will be in Asia at the time.
Since taking office, Netanyahu has held six faceto- face meetings with Obama.
Last year, when Netanyahu similarly traveled to the US to address the General Assembly, a meeting with Obama was scheduled only after he had boarded the plane.
The last physical meeting between the two leaders was at the start of
September, when Netanyahu was in Washington to launch direct
negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Netanyahu and Abbas held one more meeting in September before the talks
fell apart, shortly after the prime minister refused to extend the
moratorium on new settlement construction which expired on September
Abbas has since insisted that he will not talk with Netanyahu until Israel halts all settlement construction.
The 22-member Arab League is set to meet in mid- November to determine whether the Palestinians should resume the talks.
In related news, Egypt has begun to organize a regional peace conference, London-based Arabic language daily Al-Hayat
reported on Saturday.
The conference will take as its principles decisions passed by the UN on the issue of Middle East peace.
The report quoted an Egyptian official as saying that finding a way to
keep the peace process alive despite the right-wing government in Israel
was a necessity.
The official was critical of Netanyahu, stating that he was unwilling to make concessions for peace.
The Prime Minister’s Office did not comment on the reports of an
Egyptian conference but a government source said that Israel was in
constant contact with Egypt with respect to the peace process.
The source added that Netanyahu has continually sought to hold direct talks with Abbas.
AP and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report