Netanyahu optimistic about ties with world despite UN setback

The leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, said on Friday that his country should “seriously consider” moving its embassy.

December 24, 2017 05:30
2 minute read.
Netanyahu optimistic about ties with world despite UN setback

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is shown on a large screen as he addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 19, 2017. . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Despite the setback at the UN on Thursday, in which 128 countries approved a resolution slamming the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country has won over the minds of many governments of the world, and now needs to gain the “hearts of the people.”

“It may take about 10 years before the absurd automatic majority against Israel may change, but that process has begun,” he said in a CNN interview broadcast on Friday.

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128 countries defy Trump, vote for UN resolution slamming his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, December 21, 2017 (Reuters)

“The overwhelming response of Asian countries, African countries, Latin American and European countries, to Israel – to its technology, water, agriculture, health, security – I’d say they are embracing Israel in a great way. What will happen eventually is that this embrace of Israel, the flourishing of our relations with the world, will eventually get even to the theater of absurd at the UN. It will take time.”

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the US move by a vote of 128 to nine, with 35 abstentions. Another 21 countries absented themselves from the vote.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu told CNN, “I think that you will see the continued trend of Israel’s increasing ties with many countries of the world. I think that it is happening. If you can get the hearts of the people – we already have many of the minds of the governments – if we can get the hearts of the people, that is the highway to peace.”

Netanyahu said he believes the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be followed by other countries, and that the government was “talking to several countries that are seriously considering” following suit and moving their embassies. He said he did not want to mention which countries, “because I want it to succeed.” Benjamin Netanyahu to CNN: About time US recognized Jerusalem as capital and whether other countries will do the same, December 22, 20

The leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, said on Friday that his country should “seriously consider” moving its embassy.

Romania abstained from Thursday’s vote. Dragnea, who is the speaker of Romania’s lower house of parliament, was quoted as saying, “All Israel’s central institutions are in Jerusalem, and ambassadors and embassy staff commute from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Asked in the CNN interview whether he would negotiate with the Palestinians over Jerusalem, Netanyahu said Israel’s position is that Jerusalem “should remain united, safe and secure,” with freedom of worship for all.

“The Palestinians may have a different vision,” he said. “They should come and negotiate. I’m willing to put my position forward, they put their position forward. That is what negotiations are for.”

Regarding a two-state solution, Netanyahu reiterated that he would support “a solution where the Palestinians can govern themselves, have all the powers to govern themselves, except the power to threaten us.”

The most important condition Israel needs “for an effective, sustainable peace,” he said, “is retaining overriding security control.”

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