Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the opening session of the Knesset, October 15, 2018.
(photo credit: ESTI DESIOVOV/TPS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he maintains "a direct connection with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin," speaking at the opening of the Knesset's winter session.
"I care for a strong connection with him," Netanyahu stated. "This allows us to deal with difficulties in our area. It is important for the safety of Israel."
"But the most important connection is our alliance with the United States," he added.
Netanyahu additionally spoke on Israel's long-term goals, in particular that of defending the country from the risks an Iranian nuclear power may present.
"As Prime Minister of Israel, I have stood in front of our biggest dangers — in front of an agreement that would allow Iran to have nuclear power," Netanyahu said. "The security of Israel comes before everything."
He stated that Israel's security forces "act against the Iranian regime in Syria, even today."
He continued by stating that US President Donald Trump "is acting financially against this regime."
"This is once again an opportunity to thank Trump for his brave decision to renew the sanctions on Iran and to exit the Iran nuclear deal."
Netanyahu added that due to the Iranian nuclear threat, "Israel and other Arab countries are closer than they ever were before."
When approaching the topic of Israeli-Palestinian relations, Netanyahu stated that if Israel "must act against [its] enemies," they will do so powerfully. "The obstacle for peace is not with us, but rather with the Palestinians."
"When Abu Mazen refuses to recognise Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, there is no basis for peace for generations to come."
On the topic of the newly-enacted Nation-State Law, Netanyahu said that "Israel is a healthy democracy" that "protects the individual rights of its citizens."
"The Nation-State Law does not harm the rights of Israel's citizens."
The opposition in the Knesset did not remain silent in response to Netanyahu's speech, instead heckling at every interval. MK and chairman of the leftist political party Meretz Tamar Zandberg, as well as several other members of the opposition, were removed from the Knesset floor for disruption.
"You are not worried about the democracy leaving," Netanyahu said, facing the opposition. "You are worried about the 'left-ocracy' leaving."
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