Netanyahu NSC graduation 248.88.
(photo credit: Defense Ministry 248.88)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the vast majority of Muslim societies would choose advancement and progress over radicalism and terrorism, and predicted that the Hamas regime in Gaza would fall.
"In the struggle between darkness and terror, advancement and prosperity, the vast majority of Muslim societies would pick advancement and prosperity," Netanyahu said, in an address to the graduating class of the National Security College at a ceremony at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"We have seen this in Teheran and in the West Bank and tomorrow we will see it in Gaza," he added.
Netanyahu noted that the question for the Palestinian Authority running the West Bank, where he is seeking to promote the Palestinian economy as a cornerstone of a future peace deal, is "do they progress economically like Dubai, or do they go backwards like Gaza?"
The prime minister said the Palestinians in Gaza would get rid of their Islamic rulers if they had the power to do so, and predicted that in the future they would be able to.
"Prosperity and peace will win in the struggle and, in the end, Islamic radicalism will be defeated," he said, adding that the need to stop Iran's nuclear program was an essential condition for a victory of moderates in the region.
"In the fight between the 21st century and the 9th century, I am confident they will choose the 21st century," he added.
In a colorful 90-minute ceremony for the 41 graduates from six countries at the university's historic amphitheater overlooking the Dead Sea, east Jerusalem and the West Bank, Netanyahu outlined what he envisioned as the five principles of a future peace deal with the Palestinians: Palestinian recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people; resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem outside the borders of the State of Israel; an agreement that any peace plan would be an end-of-conflict accord; effective demilitarization of a future Palestinian state, and international guarantees to any such agreement.
Netanyahu conceded that such acceptance of Israel would take time, but he said that peace would come.
"It will take a generation of Palestinians to internalize the permanent recognition of the State of Israel," he said. "We will overcome the difficulties and create a future of peace between us and our neighbors."