Netanyahu tells Saban Forum in D.C. that half of Middle East believes that their respective countries could benefit from Israel ties
WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised concerns over the threat posed against Israel by Iran while addressing the Saban Forum taking place in Washington, D.C. via satellite from his office in Jerusalem.
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Iran has “ruthless commitment to terror” and “ruthless commitment to kill Jews,” much like Nazi Germany during World War II, the premier stressed while addressing the forum.
As the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu said he did not “have the luxury of discounting” threats to destroy the Jewish people, and for this reason he continues to speak about Iran.
skip – Netanyahu at Saban Forum
Netanyahu further echoed his statements from over the weekend, vowing to stop Iran from entrenching itself in Syria. On Friday, Israel allegedly struck an Iranian military base in Syria.
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He called for the policy community in Washington D.C. to take the opportunity set up by U.S. President Donald Trump to “erase the great flaws” of the Iran nuclear deal, as its current status allows Tehran to build up a nuclear arsenal.
Netanyahu added that Israel will be the first to restore relations with Iran once its current regime falls, and that in the future, Israel will be “embraced openly by its Arab neighbors, rather than in secret as it’s done today.”
He further added that “half of the public in the Middle Eastern countries that were surveyed appreciate Israel’s strengths and assets” and that “they believe that their country could benefit from having ties with Israel.”
Excerpts of his speech were published on Saturday night, in which he vowed to stop Iran from entrenching itself in Syria.
The Saban Forum is an annual conference on U.S. policy in the Middle East organized by the Brookings Institution.
>>Israeli attempts to kick Iran out of Syria could escalate into war | Analysis
Other Israeli speakers at the event this year included former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and the new leader of the Labor Party, Avi Gabbay. Topics discussed included the Iran deal and Saudi Arabia’s role in the Middle East.
Later on Sunday, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will speak publicly for the first time about the Trump administration’s attempts to facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Kushner will talk about the administration’s peace efforts together with Haim Saban, the Israeli-born business mogul who funds the annual event.