Benjamin Netanyahu at a memorial service.
(photo credit: GPO)
Next week’s meeting in Jerusalem between the national security advisers of Israel, the United States, and Russia is “very important for the stability of the Middle East during these turbulent times,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
Speaking at a memorial ceremony in Jaffa for the victims of the Altalena, Netanyahu asserted that the tripartite meeting testifies strongly to Israel’s standing today among the nations.
The meeting that is scheduled to take place from June 24-26, was first proposed by Netanyahu at the Kremlin in February, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin discussing Iran’s presence in Syria.
A White House statement earlier this month about the unprecedented meeting stated that the three men will “discuss regional security issues.”
US National Security Adviser John Bolton and his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, are scheduled to arrive early next week for talks alongside Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.
Picking up the discussions between Netanyahu and Putin, they are expected to continue to focus on Iran’s presence in Syria.
At the Altalena memorial ceremony, Netanyahu also spoke of Israel’s relationship with many leaders in the Arab world, noting “extensive ties” between Israel and most Arab states, both openly and in secret. Netanyahu stressed the importance of the story of the Altalena, stating that “we are here to tell the truth.”
In June 1948, when David Ben-Gurion gave the order to fire on an the Altalena, an Irgun arms ship, 16 Irgun fighters and three IDF soldiers were killed in what has since been widely viewed as a watershed moment in the country’s national security history.
To prevent civil war, Menachem Begin, then-commander of the Irgun, ordered his men not to retaliate. Netanyahu claimed that the truth about the incident was still being unveiled, as the historical record has been largely written by one camp – Ben Gurion’s.
“There were those who saw the passengers... as rebelling against the kingdom” Netanyahu said, “we are talking about almost 1,000 proud Jews, many of them Holocaust survivors, patriots, lovers of their people and their country. We are here to remember them, and to echo Menahem Begin’s eternal decree, ‘Civil war, never!’”
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>