B’Tselem is a “disgrace,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday night as he lashed out at the left-wing Israeli NGO over its plans to speak out against Israel at the United Nations Security Council later this week.
“How do I define B’tselem? It’s a disgrace that is how I define B’tselem,” Netanyahu said in a talk that he gave to an attentive and supportive audience at the start of the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem.
He also spoke in support of Israel’s refusal to grant entry to US student Lara Alqasem over her past involvement in the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.
Since her arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport almost two weeks ago, she has remained at a holding area, refusing to leave board a flight back to the US until she has exhausted all legal appeals.
Netanyahu said that her case will now appear before the High Court of Justice and that if they do not grant her appeal, “she will be deported.”
“Every country and every democracy and many democracies have special arrangements where they decide who to let in and who not to let it. If you come in and you are virulently against America and you try to come to the United States, there’s a good change you won’t be let in if people know that in advance. That’s also true of many of the European democracies. It’s true of the democracy called Israel,” Netanyahu said.
With regard to the threat against Israel from Tehran, Netanyahu said, “Iran wants to base itself right next to Israel to destroy Israel. We will not let them do so. We back up these words with actions. We will continue to do what we need to do to protect ourselves and defend ourselves against those who want to destroy us.”
“Who is fighting the Iranian takeover of Syria? Israel is doing it. Who is fighting ISIS? In the last three years, Israel stopped 40 terror attacks by ISIS world wide,” Netanyahu said.
Iran and ISIS are attempting to report radical Islam throughout the Middle East, Netanyahu said.
“Israel is the vanguard of freedom in the heart of the Middle East. Without Israel, radical Islam would have overrun the Middle East.
Netanyahu was greeted with applause as he walked into the room and received further applause for his statement: “I want to welcome you to Jerusalem the eternal united capital of Israel.”
One enthusiastic audience member yelled out, “Yah!”
In response to a question from the audience, Netanyahu said he would consider appointing an emissary of the Israeli government to the Christian world.
“I am in a position to appoint [an emissary].That is a great idea. I think I am going to do it.”
He thanked US President Donald Trump for correcting “a historic wrong” by relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem earlier this year. Such a move goes a long way in combating “blasphemous” attempts by the UN, including UNESCO, to claim that Jews are not historically connected to the city.
“We are not connected to Jerusalem? Take a shovel, put it in the ground, see what you get,” Netanyahu said.
“What do you get? Palestinian artifacts?” he asked, noting that Israel had just unearthed a two-thousand- year-old stone column with the word Jerusalem carved into it in Hebrew.
“Where did they build the Temple, in Nepal?
“Where did Jesus overturn the money changer’s tables, in Tibet? Where did Solomon build his Temple? Right here. This attempt to distort history, falsify history vis a vis our connexion to this land is a terrific injustice to the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said.
“This is our land, we have come back to it, we will stay here forever,” he said.
Netanyahu said that Israel is a country that deeply wants and dreams of peace. PA President Mahmoud Abbas in contrast, he said, rewards terrorism by giving payments to those who murder Jews. “The more they kill, the more they get paid,” Netanyahu said.
He added that the PA also hands out a death sentence to Palestinians who sell land to Jews.
“Israel is a robust democracy” that “supports the rights of all,” Netanyahu said, adding it is the “only country in the Middle East where the Christian community thrives and grows.”
Israel protects both Christian holy sites and rights of the Christian people.
The Christian population in Bethlehem has dropped from 80% to 20% since Israel overturned the city to the PA over two decades ago, he said.
“We have no better friends than our Christian friends,” said Netanyahu as he thanked the Christian community for its support of Israel.
Netanyahu was asked if Israel was soliciting funds from US Christians to help restore the Sea of Galilee. He said he hadn’t thought about it, but now he would consider this option.
At the end of his talk he invited US Ambassador David Friedman to the stage to address the audience. During the talk, the premier sat on a chair on the otherwise empty black stage.
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