Israel Katz (L) whispers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) during a cabinet meeting, December 9th, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has called on the international community to join the United States in imposing new sanctions on Iran for its continuing sponsorship of terrorist organizations and its reneging on its nuclear commitments.
Katz was speaking at the annual Independence Day reception hosted by President Reuven Rivlin for heads of foreign diplomatic missions, defense attaches, heads of international organizations, honorary consuls and spiritual and lay leaders of religious communities.
Katz commended the US for its current stance vis-à-vis Iran.
The call came at the tail end of his address after he completed a thumbnail review of Israel's history. He said that it was truly a miracle that out of the ashes of the Holocaust and 3,000 years of exile, that Israel has been able to accomplish so much in only 71 years.
No other nation has been able to do so much in so short a period of time, he asserted.
Declaring that Israel had built a future of hope and promise, Katz said that it developed from an agricultural country exporting oranges to a powerhouse of innovation.
He also emphasized that from zero acceptance of Israel by the entire Arab world, Israel now has diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan and has made inroads with other countries in the region that in the past called for Israel's destruction.
He noted that several countries now recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some embassies have moved to Jerusalem, there has been a restoration of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Chad, Israel has opened an embassy in Rwanda, there are direct flights to and from Israel over Saudi Arabian air space and the Israeli flag is flown and the anthem played in the Gulf States.
Rivlin who spoke prior to Katz, also referred to miracles, saying that it was a miracle that Israel exists in such a dangerous neighborhood, but having a vibrant democracy is no more a miracle than making the desert bloom. In relation to the recent elections, Rivlin described Israel's democracy as "very, very vibrant."
Turning to Israel's other achievements Rivlin said: "Israel is a small country, but we had big, big dreams."
Rivlin credited Israel with being a super-power not in conquest, but as "a world super-power of hope for the future" working in partnership with the international community with the aim of ending poverty and empowering communities.
Israeli technology is improving life throughout the world, he said, and asked his guests to imagine what could be done in the Middle East if Israel was able to attain peace with her Palestinian neighbors.
"It could bring prosperity to the whole region," he stated.
He asked the international community to work with Israel to bring new hope to the region.
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